Ja Morant’s dunk and game-winner, Jason Robertson’s goal and Tigers ineptitude

Ja Morant, Destroyer of Worlds

Ja Morant, Destroyer of Worlds
picture: Getty Images

This time of year is far and away the most frantic for a sports fan. Usually both the NBA and NHL are in their playoffs, with three or four games per night each. This year, the NHL is dragging ass a bit, and there really is only one playoff race, but it still means one has to keep tabs on it. The NBA is now deep into the first round, when things get serious for teams that haven’t put their series away yet. And of course, baseball has started, and as we know, the gods at any moment at any ballpark in the country can just decide to shake the snowglobe simply to entertain themselves by seeing what chaos results.

To sum up, with so much on the line and players locked in (or not locked in as we’ll soon see), sometimes there’s a night where dudes are just getting their shit wrecked on an epic scale.

There’s no point in holding off on the night’s biggest highlight in the Grizzlies’ 111-109 win over the T-Wolves, and one that generations of Malik Beasley’s family will have to carry with them like a genetic disorder. If it in fact doesn’t cause that genetic disorder:

Give you another angle on this one:

Beasley probably thought he had things under control, or at least had done everything correctly, by getting out in front of the restricted area and getting set. That didn’t account for Morant’s ability to turn into air when he needs to. This dunk is its own mosh pit, filled with a cathartic anger that few can understand. Even though the Grizzlies were still losing at the end of the third when Morant’s personal tsunami went in, you kind of had a feeling they couldn’t lose after that. There is a violent righteousness to this dunk that makes you think true change in society is still possible.

And of course, Minnesota didn’t when Anthony Edwards decided the last possession was the best time for the trail technique while half-heartedly and brain-deadingly went for the steal on the wrong side of Morant, opening up the lane like Wonka’s Chocolate Factory to a golden ticket holder:

Ah, but the wrecked shit wasn’t exclusive to the NBA last night. The Stars and Golden Knights were playing just about the only meaningful game on the NHL slate, with a smattering of others concerning seeding within the playoffs. But Dallas and Vegas had the only one close to a do-or-die bent. A Stars win in regulation would have clinched their spot and ended the Knights’ season. A Knights’ regulation win would have kept their hopes barely clinging to reasonable. Any Knights win would have at least kept them on life support. Sadly for them, gloriously for the rest of us, the Knights ate it in a shootout, 3-2, which means that the Stars only need to collect one point out of their last two games, which are at home to the Coyotes and Ducks. And that’s if the Knights win both of their remaining games. Any slip up and they’re toast.

It was on such a stage that Brayden McNabb caused anyone watching to start reflexively singing, “Show me the way to go home, I’m tired and I want to go to bed!”

That’s McNabb, wearing No. 3, watching Jason Robertson pass him like Paddington when he first arrived in London, and then getting corkscrewed right on his ample duff in the perfect representation of a controlled implosion. Demolition experts had to wipe a tear away from their eyes, marveling at the straight drop McNabb achieved on his journey to have ass meet ice.

Ah, but we’re not finished yet, friends. Not so much in the category of being a victim of a true star’s excellence as both Morant and Robertson bestowed on Beasley and McNabb, respectively, but in the fashion of simply being a rare collection of people barfing out of their noses.

The Twins are contributors to this grade school interpretation of The Ice Storm, as first Trevor Larnach on second gets caught up by the Tigers’ Robbie Grossman not catching this ball and can’t score even though it goes to the wall. Given how far Grossman had to run, Larnach could have been a few steps off second and still gotten back and tagged while Grossman regained his balance if he had caught it, while making himself available to score. Alas…but without the initial brain-lock, we wouldn’t have gotten the series of falling dominoes of stupidity (they’re in the next aisle over from the frayed ends of sanity) that would follow.

Then Miguel Sano just started running because the mood struck him, which caused chaos on the bases as the Twins were either going to have two runners on second or two on third.

Perhaps being a witness to all this idiocy, and in fact being immersed in it, caused Tigers catcher Tucker Barnhardt’s nervous system to disconnect and his arms to act independent of committee oversight. Because the lower and upper parts of his right arm he definitely disagreed on a course of action halfway through this throw, forcing the ball to head somewhere near the Target Center. Where was Auston Meadows, the left fielder, to back up the throw? I can’t find him. I’m assuming the level of play on display caused him to have a flashback to a simpler time and he just put the glove on his head and was looking for dandelions to pick and/or eat somewhere out by the warning track.

Sometimes there’s a full moon. Sometimes there’s just charged ions in the air. Sometimes… well, as Bukowski once said, “The gods await to delight in you.” Sometimes they don’t wait.


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