It’s like I always say, “Don’t let bats in the arena when a basketball game is getting ready to start.” But sometimes, bats don’t want to cooperate, you know? Like, for instance, last night before the Pelicans-Kings game in ye olde Sleep Train Arena, a moment which Cowbell Kingdom’s Jonathan Santiago was lucky enough to catch in person.
Didn’t catch the bat though. That thing was being mad flighty. And that’s why it takes seeing a video like this — where it takes several full-grown men, a bunch of towels that I hope no one was planning on using and a pool skimmer to catch a single loose bat — to really appreciate what Manu Ginobili did a few years ago.
In case you somehow forgot:
No matter what happens from here until the end of time, Manu’s bat strike is guaranteed to be one of the greatest individual performances the NBA will ever witness. One bat, one man, one swipe, one fatality — that’s a perfect BSR (bat strike rating) of 1.0, something we haven’t seen before and something we’ll probably never see again.
One does have to wonder, though, why the bats seem to be following the Kings. And since Jason Thompson is the only guy to play in both games, it’s only natural to wonder if he might be a vampire. I know it sounds crazy, but if there’s an explanation that’s more logical than that, I haven’t heard it. Protect ya neck.
On Tuesday’s live episode of The Starters, the guys discuss LeBron’s career night, the T-Wolves’ playoff chances, that Lakers/Blazers’ ending, and the increasingly terrible Knicks. That, plus Bones joins us in studio to talk Danny Granger and Caron Butler, New York traffic, and who he’d pick for his “The Basketball Tournament” roster.
Shoutout: LeBron James had 61 points last night, joining Melo as the only two bros this season to score 60 or more. Ironically enough, both of them did it against the Bobcats, which would make 100 percent sense any other season besides this one, when Charlotte is ranked seventh in defensive efficiency. He went 8-10 from three AND 10-14 at the rim, both of which would be incredible offensive performances in their own right, let alone one guy doing both of them in the same game.
Not so much: The Knicks lost again, this time to the Pistons, making good on their seventh straight defeat. New York is now a half-game ahead of the Boston Celtics, who you might remember traded away two of their best players from last year, played half a season without their other best player and just generally don’t care about winning this season, all while spending about $20 million less to be terrible. Knicks are dead, yo. This kid knows what I’m talking about.
Tip drill: Coming in to the season, if you were to tell me that the Lakers would win a game because Kent Bazemore threw an inbounds lob pass to Wesley Johnson, and that Wesley Johnson tipped it in over the outstretched arms of way-taller LaMarcus Aldridge, I’d have asked you who finally cracked the code on time travel.
Seriously, this is how the Lakers won? I don’t get it.