Poets on Sports



‘I got some friends together to talk about this NBA season. Here are some selections from our talk. We’ll keep doing this until we’re tired of each other.


October 28th


Andrew East:  Go Pacers

Justin Carter: LOL, the Pacers. I picked up Donald Sloan today in my fantasy league, because I realized that someone named Donald Sloan is currently the Pacer’s starting point guard. I’m going to go <sarcasm> out on a limb </sarcasm> & say the Pacers miss the playoffs.

& staying on that limb– 76ers win on the road at Indy tomorrow in a game that I already fell asleep & missed.

Max Mellman: If Pacers play the 76erss and theres no one awake to see the end, does it really happen?

AE: Speaking of poets and Donald Sloan, his Twitter is highly recommend. Every day when he wakes up he tweets “I’m up” it is one of my favorite things to see in my feed.

His snapchat is pretty great too. His stories are usually one of three things: him, in bed, with an “I’m up” caption, him driving down the highway singing along with rap music, a video of whatever club he’s in.

Also I hope that’s the last time I talk about Donald Sloan and I promise I won’t always just talk about the Pacers.

Tom Melton: it’s 2014 and i’m rooting for a basketball team that gainfully employs jannero pargo. on purpose.

here is my first Searing Hot Take of NBA 2014-2015 Chat: the hornets should absolutely be one of your nba league pass teams if that is nba league pass is a Thing You Have

JC: I don’t even know where the Hornets play. Charlotte? New Orleans? Seattle?

AE: Speaking of the hornets, how good are the Pelicans (on paper)? That roster looks so good to me. But they probably won’t be in the playoffs.

MM: Hornets are becoming Must Watch Basketball if only because of that killer new stadium floor

Pelicans look great on paper but they are in the west so whom know??? Id love to see them in the playoffs

TM: there are three gordons on the court in new orleans right now, we are at 30% gordon saturation

aaron, eric, and ben (although the FDA is currently testing whether or not ben gordon should be legally allowed to be labeled as a basketball player)

JC: Top Five: Players I Forget Are Still Playing– Ben Gordon. Literally all five spots.

TM: at this point he’s less basketball player and more metaphysical problem

“if ben gordon is by nature a spark plug who scores off the bench, how can ben gordon still exist when his spark is gone and he does no scoring?”

MM: Did anyone else forget that Omer Asik was on the Pelicans???

I was streaming the game while driving through LA and nearly crashed from shock

AE: Yeah. And also forgot Jrue Holiday, Tyreke Evans, and Ryan Anderson were too. What on earth?

TM:if one half of a game against the magic is any indication, they made a good decision. asik and davis in the paint is pretty unfuckwithable on D.

but the pelicans can never truly prosper until their arena is called something other than “smoothie king center”

(unless “smoothie king” is the name of a little-known new orleans dignitary rather than the jamba juice knockoff chain by the same name, in which case, nice)

nik vucevic has 20 rebounds in less than 3 quarters against a team that allegedly has anthony davis on the roster

JC: Just got home from class. Opened up Spurs/ Mavs box score. Parsons has two points.

Also, I forgot to remove him from my favorite player section on ESPN & his name is lit up in gold & I don’t like it. GET AWAY, PARSONS.

TM: high times for justin “chandler parsons-based schadenfreude” carter


Also, three names on the Magic roster that I have literally never seen before: Kyle O’Quinn, Dewayne Dedmon, & Devyn Mable. O’QUINN IS A STARTER. Do the 76ers have competition?

TM: i can independently confirm that kyle o’quinn is not good at basketball

i watched a shocking amount of magic-pelicans. fantasy sports are not a positive life development.

that being said tobias harris thooooo

JC: I’m just looking at that roster & thinking “this is year three of your post-Dwight rebuild? THIS is all you have to show for it?”

To be fair, the 2013 Draft was so bad that anyone trying to rebuild is fucked.

TM: i mean elfrid payton looks like the real deal as a point guard but he’s about 2-3 years away from being a genuine threat to drop 20 on any given night

vucevic and harris are a good start but only that

aaron gordon feels like brandan wright redux to me


MM: Of all the suffering I’ve done as a cavs fan, having Byron Scott for 3 (2?) years was probably the worst part


MM: Who do you all think would win in that fight?

I’d put my money on Kobe

JC: Dwight would think they weren’t really fighting & by the time he realized it, he’d be knocked out.

Zeke Hudson: That’s one of those “size of the dog in the fight” vs “size of fight in the dog” questions.

JC: Also Julius Randle looks extremely hurt. Air cast going on his leg. FUCK. One of my favorite rookies & I really hope the injury isn’t too serious.

Boozer & Kobe just helped lift him onto a stretcher. That’s not a good sign.

ZH: What!? He was gonna be huge.

MM: Oh shit, what happened?

Julius Randle was one of the few things worth watching on this years Lakers

JC: Kobe trash talking while down 25. Does he go Malace at the Palace era Artest before this season ends?

If I had to bet on one player just attacking the shit out of someone this is year, money HAS to be on Kobe. I mean– look at who his teammates are!

ZH: Definitely Kobe.

MM: Theres no one even close to Kobe in that regard


October 29th


Andy Briseño: That’s definitely going to be Kobe, and I’ll parlay that with the person he fights is Russell Westbrook, who is starting at both guard spots tonight against Portland.

JC: Five games to watch for re: Kobe Fight 2014-2015: November 19 @Houston, December 19 v OKC, Christmas Day @Chicago, & then any two games in late March/early April where the Lakers are eliminated from playoff contention & someone happens to defend Kobe too hard.


AB: Am I the only one excited to see where the floor is for the Pacers? They’re starting Donald Sloan tonight. What does that even mean?

MM: I think it means theyre close to out-76ersing the 76ers

JC: WAIT THE 76ERS CUT RONALD ROBERTS? Does this mean the Deadspin dream of them signing Robert Ronalds is going to come true soon?

I know the Pacers are relying on Roy Hibbert to be their best player right now, but I honestly can’t see them challenging the 76ers. I can’t see anyone truly challenging the 76ers in the East actually. Milwaukee is my choice for “WOW, how are they only five games out of a playoff spot at the end of the season” team of the year. Maybe Orlando? Maybe Boston if Rondo goes down or gets hurt?

In the West, though, the T-Wolves have a shot at being worse than the 76ers if Wiggins struggles to adjust.

MM: Please Wiggins, save the T-Wolves

If Wiggins leads Minnesota to victory, do you think they’ll build him a statue?

AB: I know this is based on small sample size, but right now the Lakers are definitely the worse team in the league.

JC: Since 1981, #1 overall picks drafted in consecutive years to the same team: Sampson/Olajuwon, O’Neal/Webber, Bennett/Wiggins. Webber, of course, was traded immediately. Sampson lasted three seasons in Houston after Olajuwon was picked. This is to say: Bennett & Wiggins are fighting an uphill battle for the Wolves, compounded by the fact that we already know Bennett isn’t very good.

MM: True but at least the Lakers will have a stretch in March, maybe April where Kobe gets furious and has a 60 point game where he gets ejected after fighting someone at the end & they STILL lose. I cant wait to see Kobe get fed up

Last year there was a Cavs fan on Fear The Sword who said if Bennett ever had a stat line above 18 points then he’d get the box score tattooed on his body

And it happened once & I believe the guy actually did it

JC: If we had to redraft the 2013 Draft, how many teams would just forget to turn in their picks?

Steven Adams averaged three points & four rebounds a game last season & WAS A SECOND TEAM ALL-ROOKIE.

AB: He’s starting tonight. I totally picked him in a daily fantasy league, largely because of the mustache he grew just for his media guide picture.

JC: I’m glad he’s starting, because otherwise my rule “If Kendrick Perkins starts ahead of you, you should not be in the NBA” no longer applies to him.

I phrased that wrong.

MM: I love Steven Adams because he always manages to push people to the point of fighting him

Plus he’s on my fantasy team and Ejections is a scoring category so hopefully he brings home the bacon there at least

AB: I feel like if he’d been drafted by San Antonio, we’d be reading articles about he was the next great two way threat. I have more than once floated the idea of Pops Camp–intentionally trading a player to San Antonio so that he learns to play defense and then scooping him up in free agency later on.

MM: Imagine if some freak like Javale McGee went there

My god

TM: it should be noted that kissing suzy kolber’s writing staff (including, god bless him, PFTCommenter) are doing a fantasy football league where teams have to have the lowest score possible (with punishments for DNPs)

JC: I miss Grantland’s Bad Quaterback League. Wish it wasn’t too late to try starting a Bad Point Guard League.

“With the first pick in the 2014 Bad PG League draft, Justin Carter selects: Jannero Pargo from the Charlotte Hornets.”

ESPN announcers: “Well, Pargo’s a pretty solid pickup, but one has to wonder why they’d pass up Raymond Felton. Sure, he’s out with an injury right now, but once he’s back he should just be horrendous.”

MM: Oh god Raymond Felton

AB: I think Felton’s tenure in Dallas will say a lot about the team culture surrounding Dallas and New York. Maybe this is absurd homerism but I can completely see him not screwing up that bad.

TM: t minus 2 hours 12 minutes until the lance stephenson era begins y’all

reports are that he’s gonna buzz in people’s ears this year instead of blowing

bzzzz bzzzz

MM: Buzz buzz

I’m praying that I finish work in time to see The Stephenson Era launch

TM: i might miss chunks of the second half because my house is having a halloween party but i will report in with initial impressions of jabari parker and updates every time somebody passes the ball to bismack biyombo

AB: NOOOOO re: bismack biyombo being fed the rock.

MM: I would gladly go an entire season without seeing Bismack ever touching the ball

AB: Just saw Spoelstra on SC. He looks like he’s been drinking heavily as of late.

JC: Little Eric, sneaking beer from his dad’s fridge.

AB: Okay that’s amazing. But seriously, he’s been taking this break up pretty hard. Five to one he’s been taking it out on the kids. Poor Chris Bosh.

TM: ok i’m less than one quarter in and already i highly HIGHLY recommend rooting for a team that has lance stephenson on it, if you’ve never done it you should really try it

AE: I’m less than one quarter in and I already miss doing it.

TM: we also have already had the first kemba ankle-breaker of the season and two (two!!!) MKG made jumpers

JC: I’m looking at the lineup the Bucks started & I’m so confused by it.

Maybe it’s just me, but Dudley over Greek Freak & Mayo?

AE: Pacers down four and have missed four free throws in a row.

Seems like a back cover quote for the book on this season and we’re not halfway through game one.

Hibbert almost got in a fight with one of philly’s 16 year olds.

TM: to be fair, kidd’s plan kinda worked; giannis and OJ ended up eating our backups alive in the second quarter

AB: The Knicks starting lineup looks alot like the Mavericks second line last season. They’ll probably finish second in the east.

AE: The NBA replay center is hard at work. Can we move this overseas for lower wages? Can we completely outsource officiating or is that still a few years off?

Seems like this replay center is taking a lot longer than your typical referee-in-front of-a-ten-inch-monitor review.

AB: Oh God the ESPN announcer just went to with “That’s Amare!” Is that Marc Jackson, did he get his old job back that quickly?

TM: we are down 18 to the bucks at home and it is one hundred percent hootie’s fault

JC: I’m telling you, the Bucks will shock some people this year & finish 9th or 10th in the East. Which is still ten games under .500.

TM: we have STORMED back to down only 15 going into the 4th after an 18-9 run that started when kelly tripucka joined the booth

but basically the bucks are drive-and-dishing to three point shooters more or less at will



guys, the nba, you guys. you guys.


Kemba Walker was approaching Nick Young levels near the end

AE: Donald Sloan had a double double tonight. And no, one of the categories wasn’t turnovers.

MM: Donald Sloan had incredible games his first few games with the Cavs

Then he revealed his true colors – a truly awful PG

Donald Sloan, keeping me solidly at 14/20 in my fantasy league. #basedsloan

AB: Getting a double double against the 76ers is like getting 500 passing yards in Tecmo Bowl

MM: Does anything that happens against the 76ers even count?


October 30


MM: This Cavs – Knicks game has been very weird

TM: obviously we had all seen/heard about slimmed down lebron during the offseason but seeing him on the court it’s still really jarring

in years past he just naturally looked more physically imposing than anybody else guarding him, i don’t know if that’s still true. not that that’s inherently bad, but it’s very conspicuous and certainly doesn’t seem good on paper.

MM: Also I’m realizing that I’ve never really spent much time watching Kevin Love and wow, he’s so great to watch

ZH: Really? I always thought he was really boring.

TM: i watch the ‘best of kevin love outlet passes’ video once every 6-8 weeks just to remind myself that there’s beauty in this world

MM: I’m going to cry real tears when I see my first K Love Cavaliers outlet pass

“Dellav-whatever his name is” MY GOD I LOVE CHARLES BARKLEY

TM: turner sports’ doesn’t have an NBA commentary team so much as a performance art collective

jr smith-jason smith buddycop movie? yes?

MM: Can anyone explain what is going on with Mike Miller’s hair?

JC: Didn’t watch, but the answer is probably that Mike Miller is 130% white trash.

Living in DFW means I have to see Mavs games at every bar. The thirty times they win this year are going to be tough days.

MM: At least Dirk is still amazing to watch in the sense that he’s like 200 years old and still making fadeaway 3s

AB: The Mavs looked a thousand times less terrible tonight than they did last year, when they led the league in blowing leads to miserable teams that start two guys named Burk

This is what being a Mavs fan is–I literally wasn’t convinced they wouldn’t blow it until the clock was under thirty seconds.

MM: Parsons seems kinda overrated from what I’ve seen, is this true?

JC: He’s a good player, but not worth the money Dallas is giving him.

MM: Yeah that’s a better way of putting it instead of ‘overrated’


October 31


MM: The closed captioning for Cavs-Bulls just called Tony Snell “Tony Smell”

JC: 4yr/70m for Klay Thompson. Is that reasonable?

MM: Probably not, especially considering they are paying 4yr/70mil for Thompson instead of Love

JC: Was mildly amused by this video of Goran Dragic & a t-rex: http://deadspin.com/suns-pranked-by-old-dinosaur-in-the-arena-trick-1653449530

Was even more amused because Zoran Dragic was in the video & I still refuse to admit that’s a real person.

“ALERT: The Cleveland Cavaliers sign CeBron James to a three year deal.”

TM: i don’t think love for 4/70 would have been an option for the warriors

still not sure how i feel re: the klay deal though

MM: I love Klay but it seems kinda high

JC: It seems high but at the same time– there are not many good 2-guards.

TM: kirk hinrich has lost his mind

MM: This is bullshit

Cavs are Cavsing STILL

TM: the proper term would be cavving #actually
lol the nba continuation rule is such trash

MM: even though im happy we got that call, u rite

TM: why is tony snell

just like, in general

why is he

MM: Im at a bar and some dude keeps screaming about why isnt derrick rose in

JC: If Cleveland loses w Rose & Gasol on the bench, is it kneejerk OMG THE CAVS time

TM: it seems the world may never know

JC: Lakers could end November with three wins.

Actually, OUT ON A LIMB TIME. When November ends, the Lakers will have five or less wins.

MM: Lakers and 76ers are racing to the bottom

JC: Three of the 76ers starters tonight made me scratch my head & say “who?” Also someone named Brandon Davies played. I saw “B. Davies” on ESPN & assumed it was Baron Davis with a terrible pseudonym.




About juscart

Justin Carter is the co-editor of Banango Street & an MFA candidate in Poetry @ Bowling Green State University. He enjoys the Rockets & Texans. He sometimes enjoys the Astros. His poems appear in Hobart, Red Lightbulbs, & Revolution House.

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