John Wilmes - Basketball Analysis

Oklahoma City's Last Stand To Stay Within History

by John Wilmes

Apr 18, 2018 2:57 PM

The sheer amount of how much has happened in the Thunder's brief existence has been downright cosmic. Read more »

Tags: Oklahoma City Thunder, NBA

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Denver's Mix Of Raw Doubt, Raw Hope

by John Wilmes

Apr 16, 2018 11:00 AM

Denver missing the playoffs by one year again isn't the sort of disappointment that begs for start-over or vast structural change; it is the kind that promises to be transformative as motivator. Read more »

Tags: Denver Nuggets, NBA

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Kawhi, Isaiah, Kyrie, And The New Superstar Body Plan

by John Wilmes

Mar 31, 2018 6:17 PM

Industries of their own, superstars have begun to more fully appraise where their money is coming from, and they are increasingly disabusing themselves of older definitions of success and glory. Read more »

Tags: Kawhi Leonard, Isaiah Thomas, Kyrie Irving, Boston Celtics, Los Angeles Lakers, San Antonio Spurs, NBA

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Kawhi And Pop, Kyrie And LeBron, And The Challenging Of NBA Patriarchs

by John Wilmes

Two young men talented enough, and bold enough in their vision, have exercise their indifference to the traditions that each of these legends have wrought. Read more »
The Referee Negative Feedback Loop

by John Wilmes

The more we are able to scrutinize referees, the larger our inventory of their flaws will become, and the messiness of human emotion that results. Read more »
Joel Embiid's Punk Rock Ascendancy

by John Wilmes

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

by John Wilmes

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

by John Wilmes

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 »
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 »