John Wilmes - Basketball Analysis

Joel Embiid's Punk Rock Ascendancy

by John Wilmes

Dec 20, 2017 7:04 PM

A student of both the game and the fame that comes with it, Joel Embiid is not interested in prolonging traditions of generational deference, but breaking them. Read more »

Tags: Joel Embiid, Philadelphia Sixers, NBA

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Kristaps Porzingis, The New Knicks, And The Fleeting American Dream

by John Wilmes

Nov 9, 2017 4:44 PM

For the first time in a long time the Knicks stand as a basketball product that's cohesive with a pie-skyed, post-everything, Kumbaya dream of excellence. Read more »

Tags: New York Knicks, NBA

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Lauri Markkanen And Beginning To Love The Scorched-Earth Bulls Again

by John Wilmes

Nov 3, 2017 6:09 PM

After the Bulls burned it down to rebuild, Lauri Markkanen shoots out of the soil with rarely seen cohesion and color, ahead of schedule by even an insane optimist's standards. Read more »

Tags: Lauri Markkanen, Chicago Bulls, NBA

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The First Week Of The NBA Season Shows It's The Best Show On Earth

by John Wilmes

With the NBA emboldened by new and alarming superstar alignment, the year has begun with a series of outsize shots of ecstasy, straight to the heart. Read more »
The Extra Humanity Of Kevin Durant, Who Is Mad Online

by John Wilmes

Despite his ascendancy to the throne, Kevin Durant is clearly unsatisfied enough by the notion of people being wrong about him on the internet that he pretends to be other people to combat them. Read more »
The Cultural Curiosities Attached To Kyrie Irving

by John Wilmes

Now 25, Kyrie Irving is ostensibly ready to walk away from automatic championship contests every June for the more self-as-business glory of earnestly bowing out, but doing more on the court and for longer, every April or May. Read more »
Lasting Intrigue Can Only Come From The Warriors Themselves

by John Wilmes

If the Warriors set themselves toward only achieving traditional sports goals that will be rote and predictable. Here's to wondering what, with their great powers before them, they might do that is not. Read more »
LeBron James, Michael Jordan & The Leap From Objective Excellence To Basketball Orthodoxy

by John Wilmes

Just as a rational person can't deny that LeBron James is the more evolved talent than Michael Jordan, an evidence-collecting observer knows that LeBron hasn't dominated the public imagination in the same way that his coolly bald predecessor did. Read more »
Milwaukee And Watching What Speed The Future Of The Game Moves At

by John Wilmes

The Bucks' new arena beside their current one summons easy metaphors for the endless skinny limbs of its starting lineup, which with its average age of 23.2 years also barely yet exists in the NBA. Read more »
Westbrook's MVP Waterloo And The Death Of The NBA Individualist

by John Wilmes

Russell Westbrook's first season without Kevin Durant is positively MVP worthy. Does it run the risk of becoming Sisyphean if he wants to continue playing this way and the Thunder can't improve his supporting cast? Read more »
The Dad Mystique Of LaVar Ball

by John Wilmes

LaVar is preceding his sons' feats with a reel of hyperbolic myth-making that turns them into more than athletes. Before any of them have taken a shot in the NBA, the Ball family have already become legend. Read more »
How The Political Climate Impacts Perception Of Knicks, Bulls

by John Wilmes

As the NBA reacts to an increasingly chaotic society outside that bubble, though, and pushes back on the forms that cultural madness takes within its own world, it plays a relevant role in the ongoing American identity crisis. Read more »
The NBA's Young Superstar Immigrants

by John Wilmes

Willingly or not, foreign-born NBA players like Embiid, Giannis, Jokic and Porzingis now lead a fraught and loaded existence, serving as examples of the distinct, inspiring excellence known when non-Americans become so fitted to national pastimes that they're magnetized to our land. Read more »
Derrick Rose's Game Of Myths

by John Wilmes

Now a singular NBA pariah, unfathomably facing a summer in which he'll have a hard time finding an eight-figure contract, Derrick Rose's fall has never lost touch with his rugged individualist streak that could only be forged in the American nadir, in order to escape the American nadir. Read more »
Kevin Garnett And The Deconstruction Of The Severe Basketball Self On Area 21

by John Wilmes

On Area 21, Kevin Garnett is reinforcing what we know about the wantonness of his words, but also revealing a broad, warm, and relentlessly frank sensibility. Read more »
Phil Jackson And The Loss Of His Holistic Touch

by John Wilmes

Phil Jackson, a previously untouchable uncle of the game, is an early casualty in the NBA's version of the cultural sea change challenging everything right now. Read more »
James Harden And Houston's Rehabilitation Project

by John Wilmes

James Harden will be in a position to easily score or assist on essentially every possession he's in the game, for a team that threatens to increase the number of possessions per game to previously unseen numbers. Read more »
Dwyane Wade's Beyond Basketball Mission In Chicago

by John Wilmes

Dwyane Wade's transfer back to Chicago endears him to just about everyone and elevates his voice to higher, more audible air as he makes his graceful transition to post-basketball relevance. Read more »
Why Russell Westbrook Chose His Uniquely Quixotic Task

by John Wilmes

While a superstar changing teams is always the more nuclear, news-exploding story, Russell Westbrook holding pattern in Oklahoma is just as dynamic a statement as Durant starting anew with the Warriors. Read more »
A Basketball Capital Born In The Dust Considers What's Next

by John Wilmes

A small-market team fought for championships every year, gaining global prominence and pride as Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook defied the long odds facing a multi-national entertainment product that stakes its identity in the middle of a state most known for its unbeautiful dust. Read more »