Let's Unplug The NBA Offseason And Plug It Back In

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There is no fan community in American sports that thinks more about how it does what it does than NBA fans. This isn’t necessarily a compliment, but it’s not really up for debate, either. The NBA is the best and most interesting league that we’ve got, and as such is pretty excellent to get excited or upset about in various ways. Over the last few years, the game has evolved into something more protean and open than ever before while simultaneously being tamed by the bloodless beauty of the Golden State juggernaut, and as a result the fan discourse has turned inwards—away from the old soaring jazzwad aesthetic parsings of a few years ago and toward a kind of technocratic futurism and more recently, as Golden State has cemented itself as both the present and the near future, in some more grim existential directions.

The league is still strange and good, and the broader conversation that fans have about it is still miles ahead of the weird cop-grunts and flabby Trumpian grievance theater that defines the NFL discourse, for instance. But also the Warriors have just absolutely kicked everyone’s dicks in for two straight years, LeBron has removed himself from his chosen role as Eastern Conference martyr-in-residence and entered into what looks like the Active Senior portion of his career atop a truly psychedelic Lakers roster, and Golden State added DeMarcus Cousins on Monday night to officially become an entire team of All-Stars. The Summer League is barely underway and already everything feels kind of oddly... over. It’s not, of course—when the NBA returns we’ll all be glad to have it, and things will surprise us as things proceed towards the inevitable. But because the offseason has thus far manifested as a reiteration and reinforcement of a longstanding and mostly unsatisfying status quo, and because there’s no other basketball happening beyond the Luke Kennard-ruled brickscape of the NBA Summer League, even the usual offseason wishcasting and speculation feels like a chore. We had only one option—complain about that shit.


Friends, that is what we did. We brought in complaining ace and basketball knower Tom Ley to help and just got real mad about it all. Or honestly mostly we got kind of saltily wry about it, but you already knew that. Anyway, we got after it:

But that is not all. We also addressed the ongoing sinus headache that is Jameis Winston’s whole being and the NFL’s depressing and depressingly predictable compromise in the face of his most recent fuckery, and also considered a future of members-only fireworks displays. When we pivoted to The Funbag we found reader questions about egregious World Cup diving, the search for the elusive ratio’ed Trump tweet, best practices in complaining at brands on Twitter without being a total turd while doing that totally turdly thing, and the searing question of what Trump University’s mascot might have been.


I said a bunch of stuff in response to that last one, and as always roughly every fourth word was “like.” But I would like to take this opportunity, while we’re all here together, to reiterate my answer—the sports teams at Trump University would be the Trump University CLASS. That is what the sports teams would have been called if the scam university to which the man currently in charge of a great democracy had lent his brand had gone on to field sports teams instead of going down in an eight-figure fraud settlement. He’s still the President, that very same guy, but also we are still here. All of us together, keeping on. Blow off some fireworks for that, at least.

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