The Philadelphia 76ers are the Washington Generals

Basketball is an unfair game. The better the players are, the more unfair it is.

Never is this more evident than when you watch this early-season version of the Philadelphia 76ers. Sure, they missed reigning Rookie of the Year Michael Carter-Williams for a stretch but, let’s be fair, this isn’t exactly a crack squad with, or without him.

None of that is news, I realize. The Sixers have a plan, and to the delight of the league and their fans, they’re sticking to it. They’re going to stink, quite aggressively, and accumulate as many high picks as they can in the hopes of landing as many cheap, young superstars to kickstart Philly basketball once more.

Frankly, not much is different in theory this year from last. It’s not as if Sam Hinkie and the boys put forth a real effort in rostering last year’s squad. However, having watched a few Sixers games this year already, it’s clear there’s a big difference.

You see, as I alluded to earlier, there are some things about the NBA that are absolute and, as a result, unfair.

Let’s take their game against the Rockets a few weeks ago. In that game, Dwight Howard will always be taller and quicker than Henry Sims or Brandon Davies. James Harden will always be stronger and quicker than Hollis Thompson. I could go on and on with this Sixers roster, but I think you get my point: there is a base level of talent (mainly, speed/heigh/strength) that’s needed to compete on a night-in, night-out basis in the NBA. This Sixers team doesn’t have it.

In watching that very game, the Sixers were actually in it for a good stretch towards the end, down by as little as four points. But, as I watched, it occurred to me that they simply do not have the manpower or ability to score or defend enough to win games. That’s hilariously simplistic, but it’s true. The people they employ, by and large, simply aren’t NBA players.

One of them looks like he won a fan contest to be on the team. Another one has JK right in his name as if he’s in on the joke. Another one has a name so simple there’s no way he’s anything but a made-up video game character from the NBA 2K world. There’s even two guys on the team who seem like the TJ Maxx, bootleg version of actual NBA players (him and him)

Let’s be fair: last year, despite the organization’s intentions, there were at least 4 actual NBA players on the team. Say what you will about them specifically, but Thad Young, Evan Turner, Spencer Hawes and MCW are at the least guys that you could put on other NBA teams and feel confident that they could at least play. Like, actually play.

This year? You’ve got Carter-Williams, a rookie in Nerlens Noel (who I’ll count to be fair) and Tony Wroten. That’s three guys and only one shorter than last year’s total… but not one of those guys has played more than one NBA season. And the rest of the roster, honestly, would be fucking thrilled to be 8th men on any other team. Some of these guys (I’m looking at you JaKarr Sampson) aren’t actually rosterable players on real NBA teams.

I write about this now because at the beginning of the year, the Sixers over/under went off at 15.5 games. At the time I thought, for sure, there’s no way they can’t win 16 games. A few schedule favors, some hot play from this guy or that guy… boom. But, having watched them, I get the sense that if the league privately told every other team to really give Philly their best shot every time to prove the point that tanking wasn’t acceptable (as seemed to be the case when San Antonio and Dallas beat them by a combined 78 points), the Sixers wouldn’t win a game. Seriously, not one.

Even Krusty the Clown wouldn’t bet on these guys. And you know what, I wouldn’t blame him.

Chronicles of the Single Man, Episode 17: The Sexual Power Rankings

What follows is the product of intense years of study, effort and research conducted by yours truly. I’ve been out there, in the battlefields and trenches, with women who have made the mistake of allowing me into their lives. More times than I’m sure they’re willing to admit we’ve done some sleeping together, these womenfolk and myself. All times (but one) I’ve been almost assuredly the more surprised party that it was occurring.

While I won’t claim to have any sort of wealth of knowledge on the subject, I think we can all agree that not all sex is created equal. And I don’t simply mean positions or people involved. I’m talking the types of sex that you can have. It’s not all the same, and so, with the help of some gChat conversations I’ve had and my own highly involved ranking system, I think I’ve developed the proper sexual power rankings.

Without further ado, in reverse order…

7. Break-up

This is awful sex. It’s just terrible. There’s some passion, some heat in the beginning–that’s great, sure. But that quickly fades and in its place are just two sweaty people who probably don’t really like each other as much as they did 24 hours ago, but desperately need genital friction. So, they have sex. They make that last ditch effort and I’m pretty sure it ends up the same way every time: sad.

6. Nothing

That’s how much I fucking hate break-up sex. I’d literally rather not have sex than have break-up sex. You know how bad that has to make break-up sex? Think about that for a second. The thing that we spend most of our lives working for in some regard (school as a means to getting a job as a means to getting money as means to providing as a means to having as a means to impressing as a means to… you guessed it… SEX) has a variety that is so bad, doing nothing actually beats it out.

#70 – Going from Not Having Plans to Having Really Good Plans

In an instant, it should be noted.

Here’s the story that prompted this feeling: Last week, a friend reached out to me and asked if I wanted to go the Knicks game with him. My answer was obviously, yes. That part is a great feeling, without question–I love the NBA, I don’t often get to go to games, the tickets were free, I like hanging out with this actual friend… there really wasn’t a downside.

However, what elevates this feeling above the normal “Hey, I like doing fun things!”-type emotion is that I had literally nothing planned for that evening. On the horizon for me, for that evening, was a night of television (probably watching that very Knicks game), some dinner, maybe an adult video or two, maybe a conversation with a friend or two… in other words, nothing special. Just normal weekday bullshit.

Now don’t get me wrong, I enjoy normal weekday bullshit. In fact, sometimes I crave exactly that very bullshit. But, when you get offered an unexpected opportunity to rid yourself of that bullshit (the counter is at 4, for those keeping track) and substitute it for something totally awesome (and free… let’s not forget)… that’s an amazing sensation.

Happens quick, doesn’t happen often. Cherish that shit.

Polar Opposite of this Feeling?: This one’s pretty obvious, but having it go the other way on you. Let’s say you had a date set up with this really hot chick you met a week back. You’re all excited, still totally stunned she said yes when she did. Then, a half hour before you’re ready to go, she texts you to say she can’t make it. Yeah.

#163 – Finding That Warm Spot On The Bed

No, you didn’t piss yourself, you little jerk.

I’m talking about when you’re about to go to bed in the winter. The bed, unless I’m missing something, is typically chilly. The sheets untouched since you woke up this morning, cooled from inactivity. The expression, cool as the other side of the pillow, comes to mind.

Point is, it’s not exactly the warm welcome (double meaning, bitches!) you’d prefer your bed to be offering up after a long day of work (or, lazy lounging… no judgement).

So, without options* you hop in and hope for the best. At first, it’s not so great. You know it’s going to take a few minutes, you know you really can’t be moving around too much. But, out of nowhere, you notice… hey, it’s pretty warm in this exact location I’m laying in. Of course, you know that any slight movement takes you out of the comfort zone, literally, but that little area you’ve carved out for yourself is pretty snug, quite delightful.

This feeling is about finding that spot and closing your eyes.

Polar Opposite of this Feeling?: I personally prefer sleeping in the cold to the hot. In the cold, at least you can bundle up. Heat, you can’t remove much more than whatever you’re wearing. And naked sleeping, while it has its pros, can really be a mess if it’s hot enough. So, this opposite is being unable to find that cold spot when it’s hot as hell.

*Unless you have one of those electric blankets. I’m not sure how I feel about those things. Frankly, they’re often too hot for my liking, and there’s a neurotic part of me that always thinks it’s a bit silly to sleep in something that’s plugged into the wall.

 

#156 – Having The Waiter at the Chinese Restaurant Recognize You (and Your Order)

For real, if you’re in the area, go to this place. It’s legit.

This one is REALLY specific.

I’ve been going to Main Noodle House on 38th and 6th in New York City since late 2008. It’s now late 2014.

Every time I go (save for maybe one or two times), I get the exact same thing (I’m actually a 85 year old man): egg roll and bowl of chicken, vegetable and Udon noodle soup.

I go, on average, once a month. That’s approximately 80 repeats of the same order.

Now, I realize, this place is in a highly trafficked area in a highly populated city. They make their money by turning the tables over quickly, so the idea that they should remember any single customer is a little crazy. However, it always struck me as odd that–up until recently–I never got more than a blank stare and “What would you like?” from any of the many polite, but curt waiters.

Then, of course, recently happened. I walked in, sat down and the waitress that came over smiled at me (trust me, I was floored. I hadn’t seen them emote at a customer once in the years I’d been there) and said “Egg roll and chicken, Udon noodle soup?”  All I could muster back was, “Uh… yeah.”

She smiled again (a record, I’m certain of it) and retreated.

Blown away, I looked around to see if anyone else had seen what just happened. Obviously, this would’ve felt good anywhere but at this particular establishment, it felt even better. Let’s not lie to one another… if you’re a white patron, the servers at these Chinese restaurants aren’t typically the chattiest folks. Straight business, typically. Take the order, return with the order, leave the check. Not much deviation.

So, to actually crack the code, that felt pretty damn special.

Polar Opposite of this Feeling?: Trying a new place because a friend (likely, female, let’s be honest) wants to do something different! only to find out that whatever you ordered at this new place doesn’t even come close to how good it is at the original place.