The Breakdown: Getting pretty batty
Normally, the NBA is a bit of an afterthought to me. When there are other sports to follow – like the World Series or college or pro football – I don’t pay much attention to it besides highlights on Sportscenter.I feel like I should change this, though, and it has nothing to do with wanting to watch amazingly gifted pro athletes jog back and forth while forgetting that they have teammates.You see, the NBA – for no reasons that are obvious to me – usually provides one or two of the best moments in sports for the whole year. Again, this pretty much has nothing to do with them playing. Two years ago, we got to see all 6-foot-8 of Carmelo Anthony slap a player that’s only about 5-foot-9, only to run away. This summer, we had the wonderfully bizarre Delonte West situation where he re-enacted scenes from Desperado by zipping along the highway with three loaded guns – one strapped to his back in a guitar case.And Saturday night, we saw Manu and the bat.If you haven’t seen a clip of this yet, you definitely need to. I’ll sum it up, though, in case you’re too lazy to look it up on Youtube: After a bat got loose in the AT&T Center in San Antonio during the Kings-Spurs game Saturday, workers stopped play to try to get it away from the court. Guys with nets ran around the hardwood trying to snag the little bugger while giant athletes ran in panic. (That was actually a pretty funny part of it by itself, but it still gets better.) Then the bat made a crucial mistake – flying toward Spurs’ guard Manu Ginobli. The Argentinean Batman didn’t hesitate and took a calculated swing in the bat’s direction. Knocking the bat out of midair, it appeared that Manu stunned it. He quickly picked it up and escorted it off the court.Ginobli, a dozen or so rabies shots later, is doing fine, and the bat was released to the wild (so no lawsuits needed, PETA).I really can’t stress enough how spectacular this play was. This easily surpassed any of Ginobli’s fierce drives to the basket or one of his flailing flops.It was one of the best plays I’ve seen in the NBA in a while and certainly in this early stage of the season.I’d argue that it might have been the best moment of the entire sports weekend.Let’s recap a bit.All the top-ranked college football teams played virtually meaningless games that they won easily. (That is, except Iowa. But no one would’ve watched that game anyway, so it doesn’t count.) The only game that was supposed to be any good – USC vs. Oregon – wound up being a surprising blowout. Florida played another over-hyped game against a lousy team and even had a severely dirty play when linebacker Brandon Spikes attempted to gouge the eye of a Georgia running back.Beyond that dirty play, Saturday was very forgettable. (Tangent: Spikes should have definitely been suspended for more than the first half against Vanderbilt Saturday. It was an obvious attempt to injure another player, and I’m incredibly disappointed in Urban Meyer’s lack of character on this.)The NFL had a few good games, but most weren’t all that close – as has been the case all season. Watching Favre play in Green Bay again was nice, but it feels like that story is getting pretty worn, at least to me.And unless Pedro Martinez finds another 70-year-old to beat up at Yankee Stadium tonight, that series has gone pretty much as expected: a couple good outings by Cliff Lee, and the Yankees showing they have just too much firepower to handle.Well, unless the Phillies force a Game 7. That would be pretty batty.
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