Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Other Prokorhov Short-Term Goals

From the annals of Russia's Most Interesting Man comes a fortuitous prediction. Mikhail Prokhorov, about as coy as the homecoming queen on prom night, is offering reporters a glimpse into his crystal ball. The Nets: from worst team in the league seven minutes ago to championship contender in 9 months.

And because anything is possible, he's even sketched out a plan on his lipstick-smudged cocktail napkin:
"For me there is only one place: No. 1," Prokhorov said. "And I'll do my best in order to reach a championship."
Later he added, curtsying and batting his lashes:
"I think it's the best arena in the world. I'm expecting a great rivalry with the Knicks."
Well played, Mikhail. Everyone needs goals, of course. And with petty millions to spend on silly ventures like becoming president of your homeland, Prokhorov's tycoon wish-list serves as an example to all bootstrap-pulling children of wealth that they, too, can do anything. Among his other short-term missions:
  • Invent flux capacitor. Visit to dinosaurs. Pick a fight with one.
  • Defeat Kobe Bryant in one-to-one basketball contest. Practice on Dirk.
  • Bury corpse of Jaroslav. Send ring finger to widow.
  • Complete purchase of Montserrat. Sell to China for DOUBLE!
  • Race helicopters with "Little Man" James Dolan across Atlantic.
  • Go to "Little Man" and his band jazz show. Sit in front and laugh SO loud.

Many of the remaining napkin scrawls from that Vodka-soaked evening were illegible, but the words "Little Man" and "Dolan" populated even the far ridges of that crumpled scroll.

Perhaps, with some convincing, Mr. Prokhorov might be in for a run as Brooklyn's mayor. Or its newest franchise restaurant dealer. Skyline's the limit.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Ask Jay-Z Pt. 2: Why Should We Root for the Nets?

On the last episode of The Four Point Play, we toiled with the grim realities of the fading Knicks empire, and a growing fiefdom in our beloved hamlet, the Breuckelen Nets. Chief among our concerns? Owner disinterest superseding fan anxiety.

New York basketball fans are Sisyphus, forever tantalized by pricey teams who soften short of climax. But lately, we've had our intelligence assaulted by the eccentric, erratic strokes of a billionaire. Though the Nets are the best new show in town, they're none too immune from the whims of a Luchini lord.

Their owner has a rumor trail that leads to him being at best a Russian Larry Flynt and at worst, Moscow's Bill Clinton. His résumé has a Body Count and an oil spill on it. And that's just the first page.

And not that I'm a fan of rap or anything... BECAUSE I ABSOLUTELY AM but has Jay-Z (new nose face of the Nets) applied his effort to rhyming even 30% of the time on his climb to Forbes list fame?

Is 30% a generous estimate at this point?

Frankly, we have right to suspect he'll bring that imperious air into Barclay's Center and thus create another vanity team. Image over wins.

With that in mind, we sent him an earnest dispatch, listing our qualms.

What follows is Mr. Carter's reply:

Dear Breez,

The Four Point Play? honestly, clever name. congrats on your ambition, kid. clearly you're gonna need it.

also, you're writing letters? I got Obama on the text, baby. holla at me. you don't know if I'm talkin' Barack or Michelle. it's bananas.

what they gon DO with me? my one of a kind self. HOV!

but for real. when I said "the Nets could go 0 for 82" et al, I wasn't being literal. you know what I mean, it's not like I'm looking at YOU like it's gravy for YOU.

it's more like this boat I got floating everybody: THIS SHIT GRAVY.

I hear the people talkin', I assure you. but I don't rap for you. or the people. I rap to hear myself rapping to you, and for the satisfaction of laughing when you still don't get it. take a second to wrap your mind around that.

it's cool; I'll wait.

I'm so far ahead of my time. Marcy Projects...I'd like to introduce you to my friend, Trader Joe. you already know what it's about. organic produce in the project hallway. high-rise condos across from police towers.

mattafact I did my last Rolling Stone interview in a pissy elevator with two heroin addicts holding a iPhone. I had to hustle, my back to the wall, ashy knuckles. nawmean? (although -- I can't front -- Carol's Daughter has really changed my approach to skin care. no more dark spots, ya'heard.)

to keep it 100, I can't show you the bigger picture if you ain't tryna see it lil homey. sure, if a No-Win-82-Loss season doesn't spell "success" to you, I'm already playing the underdog. but if you see the aspirational value in hundreds of low-wage arena jobs, absurd raises in property tax and unimaginable traffic, then, maybe, we can have a civil discussion on the subject.

otherwise, save up for some season tickets and stop crying to me about it.

Hova The God aka Young Forbes List 4Ever

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Ask Jay-Z

The Four Point Play announces its official and complete defection from the ranks of Knick fans. This journal, a running tract for the basketball-minded, must be purged of its filthy ties to the Dolan monarchy. In "common sense" terms, we value the common as much as the sense. For too long, in the oily undercarriage of Madison Square Garden, we dressed fatal wounds, and sutured heartbreak. No more pandering to the whims of an increasingly moneyed class of carpetbaggers, sports dilettantes, ball hobbyists, closet polo players. The Garden left "common" behind decades ago, while its lore grew the warts of excess: 12 dollar beers, overfed, bloated ballers, and lawsuits a-plenty.

James Dolan owns the dubious honor of building an entertainment vehicle that is as valuable in a wretched wrecked state as it is in near-victory.

Swept out of the playoffs at Boston? It's cool.
What's his name scored 47.
Traded one of the league's most sensational guards for a fat also-ran?
Don't worry, we're saving money for some unforeseen circumstance, like building that championship team you always wanted.

But where to plant the flag now?

Now I like to wear nice things just like you. But I'm from Brooklyn. And certain sh*t you just don't do. Like:

  • Leaving your lifelong allegiance to the orange and blue to rot on Seventh Avenue.
  • Calling yourself a Nets fan. Gross.
  • Blaming Patrick Ewing for anything ill-fated.
We didn't make these Gods; we only worship them.

However faithless his supporters, there is one self-appointed divinity who has emerged from the fiery pits of churning commerce. There is one rapper whose name has become synonymous with grandeur, opulence and style. There is one minority owner of an NBA team whose very utterance spikes property value and drops draws. He has reformed the franchise by association and locale. So I decided to contact him with a letter, a personal message from a spent fan and Brooklynite, asking him why I might jump wagons to ally with his sloganeers. Here is the e-mail exchange we had.

Dear (Young) Hov,
Long-time listener, first time caller.

Anyway, I love what you've done with the place. That rusty finish on the Barclay's Center? Like warm socks on a rainy night. You smoother than Deron Williams finger waves. But I don't know yet if that's a reason to root for your team. Granted, the Knicks with Amar'e and Carmelo are costume jewelry, the thin alloy necklace no self-respecting sports fan could ever mistake for a dookie chain.

A self-hating sports fan on the other hand...

But I digress. My main issue with rooting for the Nets is your claim that "the Nets could go 0 for 82, and I'd look at you like this shit GRAVY."

Would you look at me like it's all butter-and-flour-turkey-fat if the Nets lost all their games? Word?

This, to me, suggests that you're not really considering the Brooklyn fans who spent years suffering at the hands of another uncaring tyrant who ran the only New York basketball team.

We can't trade one fatcat for another, ya know? Just sayin.

Also, what role will Kanye West play in the development of this new team? He's lately suggested that he might have some say in the contracts of Kris Humphries and anyone else his girlfriend may or may not have fake-married.

I understand Kanye is no lay-person, but in terms of basketball, I think his imprudence might really hurt the roster. Cause, like, what if they break up and she starts dating, like, Marshon Brooks or someone equally promising and young?

(Marshon, if you're reading this, stay far away from anyone with two phones claiming to be "Kim's friend".)

This fan life thing can be pretty exhausting and, aside from all the other political and social reasons the Nets in Brooklyn is an absolute mindfuck, we just need a few assurances. In other words, talk to us like we're Memphis Bleek or Blue Ivy or one of your many dependents. This is a faith declaration, which sometimes requires more than love.

I hope this missive finds you cradled in the comforts of an extinct animal's fur, sipping chamomile-infused lemon seltzer. Or some such.



Check back with the The Four Point Play later this week for Jigga's heartfelt reply

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Dear Melo

Your three's gone cold I'm wondering why I..
might watch the game at all
The morning press shouts on my radio..
that you can't see at all
And even if you could it's just a J,
but your picture on my wall
It reminds me, that it's not so bad,
it's not so bad..2x

Melo, I wrote you but your jumper's broken
Rumor has it, you don't pass it to the man who's open
You're a magnet for the ball while flashing to the post
But the shot is flat, you couldn't cast a
Net into the ocean
Funny -- caught a glimpse of LaLa on the street
With Prada glasses, had that Donna Karan on her feet
Asked her for an autograph, cuz boy that ass is sweet
Apparently her rump turns you molasses on the D
I think I spied your crew flossin' at the Fashion Week
I even bought it when you tried to sell that trashy drink
Most your contributions don't show on stat sheets
But that's endorsement money and I know you had to eat
They praised you when you made the Finals in the Western Conference
Now the writers and the fans seem upset you're pompous
We traded all our youth for the shooter you could be
But your attitude is putrid, you're ruining my team

Your three's gone cold I'm wondering why I..
might watch the game at all
The morning press shouts on my radio..
that you can't see at all
And even if you could it's just a J,
but your picture on my wall
It reminds me, that it's not so bad,
it's not so bad

Carmelo, what's the deal, you never wrote
I see threw your weight around
To groom a better coach
I wish you threw that weight around
while driving to the paint
I ain't mad,
but it's odd that smile is on your face
As you lay each brick,
your teammates think 'This guy isn't that great';
your rivals look in-shape
and the Title is at stake!
Our only wish is you become
that player dropping 30
I'm talking pounds, not easy points
Get to your locker early
It's the least that you could do
our season's topsy-turvy
Be careful of your wishes
when you wear that 'Bocker jersey
Anyway, I'm not afraid to tell you straight
Redeem us in the playoffs or your move was a mistake

Your three's gone cold I'm wondering why I..
might watch the game at all
The morning press shouts on my radio
that you can't see at all
And even if you could it's just a J,
but your picture on my wall
It reminds me, that it's not so bad,
it's not so bad

(in Melo's voice)
yo Dude, I think you need a better hobby
Maybe check your highlight reel
for reasons why you watch me
I'm popping 3s
You trade your team
because for me there is no copy
Can someone tell me who is this
Danilo Gallinari?
There is no "I" in team
but there is a "Me" in Melo.
This the dream I succeeded
at to free me out the ghetto.
I'm already a hero
so I ain't bent on proving sh*t.
Mattafact, what kinda sucker
be rooting for the Knicks?
What's your dream and why the f*ck
do you be writing letters?
That type of thing
will guarantee
we never meet each other.
You sound like --
you on the outside looking in.
You never shot a jumper
or took one on the chin.
Or sank a winning free-throw
when the crowd was on your back.
Or dribbled to the post pivot,
pounded to the rack.
I doubt you ever won a game
in your entire life.
But I can't make you consider that when you decide to write.