Great article on Mike D’Antoni’s Seven Seconds Or Less and Dark Knight!
Now, conversely, Simmons’ article also is a good reference point because it speaks to the prevailing counter-argument. The tenets of rational order, you might say. The tenets are that defense wins championship, toughness always wins over flash, and that you can’t play basketball like that and expect to win. And just like in the Dark Knight, the end seems to justify that train of thought. The Joker got caught, the Spurs won the title, and all is right with the world (don’t even get me started on the similarities between Batman accepting the responsibility of being hunted by the police and criticized for his good intentions and the Spurs being constantly dogged as “boring”). But there’s also something telling in what the Joker tells Batman, hanging there, laughing at him.
“I think you and I are destined to do this forever.”
Just because SSOL failed in the desert doesn’t mean it will always fail, and it didn’t mean the end of the movement. Because tonight, when the Knicks, with Al Harrington firing threes and Nate Robinson splitting defenders, beat the Celtics, with all their defense, all their fundamentals, all their strength, you saw a glimpse of it. The battle’s eternal, and necessary between the two. Chaotic, freewheeling mania versus controlled, disciplined order.
Now, of course, this isn’t meant to idolize the violent murder the joker takes as whimsy, nor to link D’Antoni to that kind of behavior. But there’s a reason that no one goes around quoting any of Christian Bale’s lines from that film, a reason that Ledger is posthumously up for an Oscar and was spoken of a nomination before his passing, a reason that when you think of that film, you think of the Joker. And it’s the same reason kids love to dunk, that we like the fastbreak more than the halfcourt, and why Gilbert Arenas is on the All-Star ballot despite not playing a tick and Bruce Bowen has never been a serious DPOY of the year candidate. It’s human nature, and it plays out every night on the court.
The best part is that there will never be an answer to the question. The fundamentalists will respond with “Who’s got the rings?” and the other side will respond with a cackle and just a simple…
“You’ll see. I’ll show you.”