Raww I’m gonna give it to you,
with no trivia.” -U-God, Da Mystery of Chessboxin’
The NBA season is upon us. All of the scribes pored over depth charts, analyzed free agent acquisitions and draft picks, and penciled in their NBA preview pieces, one boring sentence after another, all complete with the same mundane predictions (Lakers over Heat in 7! 7! OUTRAGEOUSSSSSSSS!!!!!). If they really want to get wild, they’ll throw out something groundbreaking like, “Kevin Durant wins his first MVP this season. There I said it!” Oh the novelty.
F that ish. This is Baller ball dot com. We bomb atomically. So, with a little help from the Wu-Tang Name Generator, this NBA Preview is about to get all up in your guts.
The Tale of the Throne
“Champion gear that I rock,
you get your boots knocked.”
Some days ago, in the Land of Stern, the Tribe of Heat, a tribe of mostly restless stewards in white leisure suits and fake-breasted geishas at their beckoning, toppled all challengers to seize what they believed to be rightfully theirs, eight times over. The one true Emperor, King Quiet Samurai, assumed his rightful throne, shrouded in the glories of his victories and the blood of his doubters. The Quiet Samurai’s army, urged forth by the furious drives Insane Wizard and the raptor-like rebounding efforts of Misunderstood Observer, his lead warriors, finally ruled the land. Yes, the sun finally rose in the East.
Now, just months after their ascension, they await rested challengers. Tribes replete with reinvigorated resources – rededicated in focus, reaffirmed in valor.
“Fusion of the five elements, to search for the higher intelligence.”
In the West, Phantom Swami, the one they call Black Mamba, charges into battle with a new set of troops, amplified with talent and size – craftiness and veteran leadership. Phantom Swami, though oft-blessed with the finest armies, still found occasion to complain about his support. Thus come the reinforcements: First, a sword-brandishing legionnaire, Zexy Mercenary, capable of slicing through defenses and enabling his fellow warriors with equal deference; flanking him, a seven-foot tall shrine of a man, built of equal parts skill and complaining. He is the one they call Thunderous Prophet, the one who prognosticated the demise of his former leaders and his own abandonment of the Tribe of Magic. Together, they unite with the singular goal of re-claiming the throne once held by Phantom Swami and the Tribe of Laker.
Yet still, their ability to unite remains in question by many. Will the forces of their talent be enough to overcome the gaps in cohesion? Can three warriors, all of whom gained fortune and acclaim through leading their own tribes, sacrifice for the greatest potential accomplishment? Can Phantom Swami adjust to the up-tempo combat styling of Zexy Mercenary?
“Bangin heads knockin teeth loose, welcome to the pros.”
Before making any designs on the throne, the Tribe of Laker must first thwart the advances of other Western empires. The Tribe of Spur, worn rugged in battle, press on. These are men who chew on history, true relics of the old guard clad in black and silver, armed with six-shooters, adorned with cowboy hats. Employing archaic battle tactics, they lull their enemies to sleep before bludgeoning them into submission. They are old, they are dogged and they are dangerous. The Bittah Bandit sparks their interior defense, a giant with mechanical perfection and masterful, if not boring, efficiency. His complement, the Midnight Worlock, vexes foes with a dogmatic reliance on unpredictability. The Argentinian-born maestro surgically dissects each opponent with an array of deadly firing, timely thefts and the oft-criticized tactic of exaggerated fake deaths. Just as they believe he is down, he plies the dagger into their hearts with the unsettling smirk of a woebegone wanderer. Their resources run deeper still. The Fearless Demon, a tricky, confrontation-welcoming point man ignites the offensive front. There are tales of the warrior entering battle with one good eye. Danger agrees with him.
Yet, the Old Guard may prove tired. From the West two additional tribes continue to press for the throne.
“Olympic torch flaming, we burn so sweet,
The thrill of victory, the agony, defeat.”
Last summer, on the Mount of Larry O’Brien, the Tribe of Heat dealt the Tribe of Thunder their final death blow. Not even the sniping, deadly accuracy of the lanky, backpack wearing Vizual Worlock nor the aggressive, acrobatic assaults of the Quiet Magician, a man who could only be named ironically, could lay waste to the King and his entourage. Yet, they rise again. This young tribe, perhaps naïve to their own greatness, press forth, this time without the sensational creativity of the bearded warrior, the Wacko Genius, a man now pledging his allegiances to the Tribe of Rocket. However, this battle may prove to be the first weighted with expectations. Through their emergence, their natives cheered on proudly, ruthlessly – just happy to be apart. No more. The natives want the throne.
“Continuing to build, I strive for perfection.”
Their exuberance is matched by the Tribe of Clipper, driven by the dictatorial Tuff Leader, a man hungry solidifying his standing as a legend by capturing the throne. His reputation can no longer be built on the backs of carrying lesser armies to minor victories. His army boasts the Zexy Conqueror, a sky-leaping, thunder-dunking mercenary with dreams of “Lob City” and the pretension of greatness perhaps unduly given. The Tribe of Clipper continues to wage on in the battle of hype vs. reality, seeking to prove their plans of capturing the throne are honest and not the conflation of assumptions of onlookers.
While the battle for the West runs deep with skilled tribes, the Tribe of Heat faces fewer challenges from their region. The Tribe of Bull is wounded, suffering from the loss of their tireless leader, Tuff Destroyer. The Tribe of Magic poses no threat with the departure of the Thunderous Prophet. There are, however, two foes which rise.
“You’re no warrior, ya can’t bang like us
You’re no warrior, ya not so devious.”
The pesky Tribe of Celtic, a garrulous band of warriors prone to igniting the fury of their competitors, using whatever questionable tactics required to secure victory. Ruthlessly they agitate, stirred by the compelling attitude-laden leadership of B-loved Commando, a man known more for his winding, twisting creative ability than pure precision with a sword. He drives the charge, uplifting his veteran sidekicks, Mad Desperado, who once miraculously limped off the battle field only to return to secure the victory, and Vizual Swami, whose belief that anything is possible is matched only by his admiration of the way Michelle Tafoya looks tonight. The Tribe of Celtic is aging but fearless and smart. They step down from no foe. The Tribe of Celtic takes solace in consistency.
“Cash rules everything around me. C.R.E.A.M.
Dolla dolla bill y’all.”
A lesser, but still interesting challenger arises from a new locale in new battle wardrobes. The Tribe of Net, godfathered by a furious Russian tycoon, seek to put their stamp on the chase for the throne. They flippantly toss shekels at any reinforcement with a pulse. Though spurned by the Thunderous Prophet, they remain vigilant in their quest for the throne. The Tribe of Net is but one distinguished man, the aptly named Foolish Knight.
“Killa Squadron, known to start a popular trend
And the emblem, symbolize the wisdom
certifies the plantinum, magnifies the stardom.”
Perhaps even the Tribe of 76er proves worthy, now supported by the menacing defense of the Unlucky Wanderer, a defector from the Tribe of Laker, ready to assume his own team and identity.
“Ain’t a damn thing changed, boy, Protect Ya Neck.”
As is, the path to throne is littered with the bodies of the defeated. Familiar warriors, such as the Mighty Artist from the Tribe of Mav and the Gentleman Bandit from the Tribe of Timberwolf will watch on, recovering from battle wounds. Their tribes persist with little hope without their leaders.
“Y’all been warned, about the Killa Bees on the swarm.”
There remain many unanswered questions. What new Tribes could emerge? The Tribe of the Killa Bees stake the future of their empire on a skinny, uni-browed giant, Crazy Dreamer, and talented but oft-wounded attacker, Respected Wizard. Could the future of the throne lie in nests of the Killa Bees?
Tomorrow begins the chase for the throne, the season of unrest. Scribes, peasants and rulers will watch and root, urging forth their troops for the claim of the throne. For the Throne brings glory and glory rules the world.
*Wu-Tang Name Key:
LeBron James = Quiet Samurai
Dwyane Wade = Insane Wizard
Chris Bosh = Misunderstood Observer
Dirk Nowitzki = Mighty Artist
Anthony Davis = Crazy Dreamer
Eric Gordon = Respected Wizard
Derrick Rose = Ruff Destroyer
Russell Westbrook = Quiet Magician
Kevin Durant = Vizual Worlock
James Harden = Wacko Genius
Dwight Howard = Thunderous Prophet
Steve Nash = Zexy Mercenary
Kobe Bryant = Phantom Swami
Chris Paul = Tuff Leader
Blake Griffin = Zexy Conqueror
Kevin Love = Gentleman Bandit
Manu Ginobli = Midnight Worlock
Tim Duncan = Bittah Bandit
Tony Parker = Fearless Demon
Andrew Bynum = Unlucky Wanderer
Paul Pierce = Mad Desperado
Rajon Rondo = B-loved Commando
KG = Vizual Swami
Deron Williams = Foolish Knight
***Graphic by JD Reeves at http://jdreeves.com/