It's 2 a.m. on a Tuesday night/Wednesday morning. My knee is bleeding. My shoulder hurts. My forearm is sore. I opened a 40 at 1 a.m. I should be going to bed now, but instead I take my four-year-old laptop out and start it up, wait for the bugs and processes and crumbling sounds to subside, watch the excruciating post-game highlights, and lie back so that I can type out this sentence -
FUCK TREVOR ARIZA.
We lost 10-4 tonight. I hate losing. I'd rather swallow Chinese stars than lose. We lost 10-4 tonight. I hate losing. I'd rather move to Kansas and abstain from sex than lose. We lost 10-4 tonight. I hate losing. I hate losing. I hate losing. I hate losing. I hate losing. I hate losing.
Oh. And I broke my brand-new bat. Got one opposite-field single and a walk out of it, then splintered the shit out of it. On a foul ball.
And then I promptly grounded out.
I hate losing.
I trekked home and turned on the game. DVR. Essential. Before I could settle in and eat one half of one half of a $5 footlong, the Nuggets jumped out to a quick lead. They were defending, making the extra pass, knocking down the open shots. They looked incredible.
The other shoe would drop. They would outplay the Lakers, outshoot the Lakers (well, maybe not from the foul line), outhustle the Lakers, outbasketball the Lakers, and somehow they would give this game away, just roll it up in a "1985 2: More Tattoos" screenplay and hand it on over with a Zippo to Jack and Donald Sutherland, in his stupid white sunglasses.
There were free throws, there were numerous pissed-away possessions, there were stupid fouls.
There was Carmelo Anthony, finally realizing the poetic basketball Adonis he can be if he just fucking wants to. There was Nene, cutting to the hoop for those dunks that start and make you think "he can't finish that with a dunk" and then he throws down a thunderous, one-handed Braided Brazillian special and you think "Well, he is one testicle lighter" before you say "Shit, he fouled out and was ineffective in the second half." There was JR Smith, playing Lord-awful ball, then seemingly turning a switch and hitting some big second-half threes, and then you think "he won't be that bad again." There was Kenyon Martin, making the aforementioned bad fouls, but also being physical, limiting Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom to virtual afterthoughts.
Fuck Trevor Ariza.
It was one play out of many, but it was the NBA Jam-esque "nail in the coffin." A steal of an inbounds pass, late in the game, is a playoff staple. Just as Kobe's shots will always find a way to rattle and bounce in. Derek Fisher will always find a way to hit that momentum-swinging three.
It was a horrific, brutal, soul-crushing defeat. And, needless to say, the fitting end to my shit-storm of a day.
But it is not over. This series is not over. I am not an optimistic person, and in fact I happen to think things happen better for my team when I daydream and wish the worst.
The Nuggets can play with the Lakers. They can beat them.
And they better. Because I fucking hate losing.
But I hate not finishing an open 40 even more.