Hit by a Pitch

Archive for the ‘Carmelo Anthony’ Category

Who knew?

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Who knew that losing Carmelo Anthony would be one of the best things to happen to the Denver Nuggets in a long time? Nuggets games now are more fun to watch than they’ve been in years.
Melo is still arguing.

This is a picture I took the last time I went to a Nuggets game, which was December 1. This was right before Melo was ejected from the game for arguing with a ref (it was a crappy call).

We had some good times together, Melo, but the truth is I don’t even miss you. I hope you, your talents, and your ability to play defense (LOL) are happy in New York.

Written by Tracy

March 2nd, 2011 at 10:02 pm

Where were you when?

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Where were you when ______?

It’s a question that has been asked through the ages. Where were you when Kennedy was shot? Where were you when the space shuttle Challenger exploded, its snake-like smoke plume shooting up over the dashed hopes of America?

Where were you on February 21, 2011?

I was at home, getting ready. I should’ve been ready by then, but I always wait until the last minute. Although I wasn’t ready, I had the supplies you need for this kind of situation: knee socks of the proper density to keep your feet and at least half of your legs warm while allowing you to wear short shorts and slide across hardwood floors, a highlighter that perfectly matches the short shorts, an almost untouched container of chocolate chip ice cream (a relatively simple, old-school flavor, which is comforting) and one sterling spoon that matches no other silverware in the house, a hairbrush to use as a microphone in the event of sassiness, and a fan-fucking-tastic playlist of you-suck-asshole music just waiting for you to hit “play.”

How does it happen? It happens like these things always happen. There’s a hushed phone call or a text and somebody somewhere says something like, “We have to talk.” You could just cancel the postgame show right then because you know what’s going to happen and you shouldn’t even have to bother with the rest of it, but you stupidly always think there’s a chance you’ll say something so witty, profound, and cuttingly accurate that you’ll change the path the earth travels around the sun and this won’t happen. It never works that way, ever, but I suppose thinking it’s possible is inherently part of the human struggle. While you get ready to meet him, your mental Rolodex spins out of control and randomly stops on different thoughts:

She won’t make you happy.

She’s not that smart. Eventually, sooner than you think, you’ll get bored. (You’re much more subtle than this, of course, but “you’ll get bored” is a good one to pull out because it implies that you are much more worldly, sophisticated, fascinating, and sexy than she is and if you couldn’t keep him, well, you know.)

Nobody understands you like I do.

Your heart pounds as you put on your jacket and meet him somewhere, probably a park, which is better than a bar or a restaurant in case things get ugly. He’s wearing jeans, Uggs, a ridiculous striped knit hat that’s too big and has a pompom, and mittens that are attached to a string you wear through your jacket so you don’t lose them. (Whatever, this is my story and I can have him dress however I want. Making him look stupid now is the only power I have left.)

City Park

I have parks.



We walk around Ferril Lake. It’s colder than I thought. I think he’d offer me a mitten, but doing so would require removing the whole mitten-string contraption from his jacket. I put my hands in my pockets and glare at the wind and flash-debate whether I want to hear him say it or whether I don’t want to hear it at all.

“So, I –” he starts.

“I know,” I blurt. I guess this means I don’t want to hear it at all. “When are you leaving?”

“I don’t know. Tuesday?”

It’s Monday. I almost ask where he’s going to stay, but I don’t want to know. I can’t care about these things any more.

“I’m taking Chauncey, AC, and Shelden.”

“Chauncey? Aaaaaa Ceeeee? Really?” I’m going to have nobody left.

“And Balkman.”

“Renaldo? Fuck.” That’s low. Renaldo is my favorite.

“You’ll get guys,” he says.

“I know. But they’re strangers.”

“It’s not you. It’s –”

“Oh don’t even.” Of course it’s me, you jackass. What does that even mean, anyway? It’s me it’s you it’s going to New York because it’s the only city big enough for your ridiculous ego.

We walk and my eyes are watering from the biting wind.

“What about the dogs?” I say. “You’ll miss the dogs.” This wasn’t true.

“I know.” He doesn’t look at me.

There are dogs everywhere. I don’t know if they have them where he’s going. I’m sure they do, I mean, but it’s different. They don’t have dogs in Subarus, lolling their tongues out the window on the way to the mountains, muddy paws on the upholstery because, as a people, we don’t care that much about our cars but we still have them. We don’t have a subway.

He’ll be happy with her, of course. They always are. She’s energetic and dark and light and sparkly and honestly probably has a rough coke habit and a closet full of Jimmy Choos. I’m quieter, earthy, don’t always do my hair, and have been known to wear Birkenstocks (only occasionally, like on a Sunday afternoon when you go to the park to listen to live jazz and watch the neighborhood gangsters in their color-coordinated shirts and baseball hats perform their elaborate display behavior on a large scale). I like hiking and microbrews and medical marijuana and don’t think I’ve ever been to anything that qualifies as a bodega. I don’t have an accent (if you try to tell me I have a Chicago accent, like Jennifer Beals is trying too hard to have on The Chicago Code, her “a”s all flat like a hissing bike tire that just ran over one of those things Ben calls Baumgarts that get stuck in Coltrane’s paw and make him limp around like a pirate, I’ll fight you on it because it’s not true and, for the record, I also don’t make random things plural for no reason (the store is Jewel, not the Jewels, and nobody calls it the Jewels) and also nobody calls it the “el train,” while we’re at it). As far as I know, I don’t have a meatpacking district, although I do have unfortunate cowboys who stand on the street by their old pickup trucks and pretend the litter blowing by is tumbleweeds and that this is still the wild west.

The last time I was heartbroken after a relationship ended, I sat on the couch and watched hour after hour of ESPN. I don’t go out with the girls, get drunk, and talk shit about the latest man to break my heart. That was never my style. I watch an endless loop of late-night SportsCenter, over and over, until I can tell you exactly who will be the first team out of the NCAA tournament, which I’m looking forward to even in my diminished state. That doesn’t even help now because it’s all about him. I don’t even want to mention the shit ESPN wrote on my Facebook wall earlier this evening, “Hey, I threw together a little video montage of highlights from your relationship with Melo. I’ll be airing it 100 times a day for the next week. Hope you’re okay xoxo hugs.” I change my status to “single.” I drink too much and tweet inappropriate things to @JR_Swish. (Oh crap, JR Smith just deleted his Twitter again but his pictures are still up.) I’ve always had my eye on that guy, if you want to know the truth.

I turn off the tv and bust out the “I just got dumped” soundtrack. Helen Reddy has always been there for me.

Oh yes I am wise
But it’s wisdom born of pain
Yes, I’ve paid the price
But look how much I gained
If I have to, I can do anything
I am strong (strong)
I am invincible (invincible)
I am woman

Shit, she’s right. I am wise and if I have to I can do anything. Anything. Not that this is what Helen Reddy had in mind, but I can even find a new man. A better man. A new star.

I turn the music down, pick up my phone, and make a call. He answers after one ring.

“Hey, Ubaldo?”

Written by Tracy

February 22nd, 2011 at 10:44 am

Things I Like: Sports Edition

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  • Although the season is over for the Denver Nuggets (much to the delight of David Stern and the NBA referees, but whatever), there’s some good news for the team. Super-mascot Rocky made the Forbes “Top 10 Sports Mascots” list. (Unfortunately, some of the other winners also made my “Terrifying Mascots” list.) Even if you’re not all that into sports mascots (and I couldn’t blame you for that), Rocky is the shit. The last time we were at a game, he climbed from the court all the way up to the top of the third level (and he climbs up, like, walls and stuff, not just stairs), shot out some confetti, and then ran back down to the court, all in record time (I don’t remember how much time, but it was really fast). He does crazy shit with ladders and stunts that would be impressive if done while not dressed as a mascot.
  • This just in from the U.S. Department of Badassery: Shit, dudes, Colorado Rockies catcher Miguel Olivo. I already like the guy because I picked him up for my fantasy team after A.J. Pierzynski went like 2 for his last 873. He’s been hitting well and isn’t so bad at throwing out runners. Don’t get me wrong — that’s just garden-variety badass for a catcher. But here’s the thing — during the 8th inning of Monday’s game, dude slipped into the team’s bathroom near the dugout and — holy shit — passed a kidney stone. Then he went back into the game. (I’ve heard that passing a kidney stone feels kind of like giving birth. I have no idea if this is true, but if it’s even half as painful, holy shit.) I wish my team got bonus points for that. Dude.
  • From the LOLWTF files. I present Melo’s People of Utah:

Written by Tracy

May 1st, 2010 at 12:05 pm

The Return of the Enver Nuggets

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It looks like 2008 will be the return of the Enver Nuggets, the team with no D. The Nuggets traded Marcus Camby to the Los Angeles Clippers for a future second-round draft pick.

This is the stupidest move, ever. If I had to make a top-10 stupid trades list, this would be up there. (Hey, maybe I’ll do that some day, when I’m less pissed off than I am right now.)

Maybe somebody in the front office is allergic to rebounding. First they got rid of Reggie Evans — yeah, I know, my Iowa love for him aside, he’s not all that or anything. Then they get rid of Camby. Who in the hell is going to rebound now? How in the hell are they going to play their fast-paced, hustle game without anybody pounding the boards? Shit, I don’t want to sound like John Madden, but you can’t run with the ball if you don’t have the ball. Who in the hell is going to get the ball?

I know I love Marcus Camby more than I should, probably, but he was the team’s defense. Without him, they’re going to suck even more than they already did. I’ve said it before, but I think he was a strong, stabilizing force in the locker room and probably the closest thing to a leader this sorry team had.

And let me just go on the record right now — if they had to make a blue-light special move for salary cap space, I’d rather they moved Carmelo Anthony. Don’t get me wrong — I don’t hate Melo, and I don’t blame him for the lame-ass season we ended up with last year. However, let’s face it, he’s not getting any better and he’s one fuck up away from being completely untouchable. One more DUI charge, “it’s not my backpack” incident, or misguided video, and no team in the world will trade for him. If he keeps stagnating, playing lazy, and being a generally selfish player, we’ll be stuck with him.

Well. I thought a little bitching would make me feel better, but it really didn’t.

Written by Tracy

July 15th, 2008 at 8:51 pm

Here come the Lithuanians again.

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Remember that time last year when a bunch of Lithuanian hoops fans congregated at the Pepsi Center to do some mad crazy cheering for Linas Kleiza (discussed here)? Well, they were back in full force last night, representing for Lietuvos Respublika. Ačiū for the good luck, guys (have you seen the Nugs lose a game when they’re present?).

A Nuggets team decimated by injury beat the Atlanta Hawks — without Carmelo Anthony. To be honest, I wasn’t expecting a win. No Nene? Najera with a wonky elbow? No Melo? No chance, right? The team looked good, though. Cohesive. Camby had a double-double and some Andre-Miller-like assists to Kleiza, who scored 23 points. Kenyon Martin had a double-double; a healthy Kenyon Martin is a monster. Iverson contributed, as usual, with 29 points, and Anthony Carter had nine assists.

This was a nice win, and you almost have to feel a little warm and fuzzy about the Nuggets right now. The problem is that I’m never quite sure what to think about the team — and that reveals the real issue they’re facing this year: inconsistency. As soon as you’re happy about a win over a good opponent or the team’s awesome home record, they get pounded by the Lakers and lose all road games so far this month.

So we’ll see. Today, I’m cautiously optimistic and not thinking beyond the end of the month. January ends with one more home game, then three on the road. I think they can win at home, take two of the three road games, and hopefully avoid additional injuries.

Good luck, guys, and good thoughts to Nene for a speedy and complete recovery.

Written by Tracy

January 24th, 2008 at 11:46 am

Serious Carmelo

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I don’t want to make too much of this (really!) but during last night’s Nuggets game, I saw Carmelo’s gigantic smile exactly once, and it was after a questionable call went his way. Even when he messed up or didn’t get a foul call he should’ve gotten, the smile wasn’t there. He seemed serious during the entire game, really serious. Mature, even. He hustled on defense. And they kicked ass against the Clippers, a team I didn’t think they’d beat on the second night of a back-to-back.

Nice work, Melo. Let’s see more of this!

Written by Tracy

December 1st, 2007 at 2:17 pm

Grow up, Carmelo.

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I’m not going to hate on Carmelo Anthony or blame him for the craptacular play of the Nuggets last night. Carmelo is a good player with the potential to be great — but he’s not going to be great until he grows up.

Something bad was going on during last night’s game — Carmelo was smiling that big smile after getting called for fouls. Did you see that? I’ve noticed him doing this, last season and the season before, when something doesn’t go his way. He gets called for a foul or there’s no whistle when he gets hammered on the way to the hoop, and out comes the shit-eating grin. It means he’s not giving 100%. His head isn’t in the game and instead of an elite athlete, he’s acting more like a surly teenager.

If you see that smile, it means trouble. It means he’s going to be careless. He’ll only give a half-effort when driving to the basket for a layup (which means he’ll miss the shot and might not get the foul call). In the worst case, after that smile comes out Carmelo will do something ridiculously stupid and immature, like jab the throat of an opposing player and get thrown out of the game.

I’m not saying he shouldn’t smile or have fun playing basketball. But if you’ve seen the smile I’m talking about, you probably understand that it shows frustration instead of happiness. It’s the look of “why me” and “here we go again.” It’s not the look of someone who’s going help his team get past the first round of the playoffs this year.

I don’t know if Carmelo Anthony has to be the team’s leader. Iverson and Camby can do that. Carmelo does have to take each game seriously and play hard instead of slipping into smiling give-up mode, and this will require maturity that he seems to be lacking. I don’t know how he’ll develop that maturity, but I hope it happens soon.

Written by Tracy

November 30th, 2007 at 11:45 am