Stylish Prose

“So much is wrong with this team. Let’s start by taking match and kerosene to straw men. Zen Phil and his triangle offense have nothing to do with this. You could try an isosceles, scalene or equilateral triangle offense. You could toss in a rectangle, a trapezoid and the underappreciated rhombus. You could make the Knicks run the break by skipping down the court single file. None of it would make a difference.” Michael Powell, NYT, on the NBA’s New York Knicks (“Zen Phil” refers to Phil Jackson, new President of Knicks and guru of “triangle offense” he made famous while winning 9 NBA titles as coach of Chicago Bulls and LA Lakers) Comment:  Though I have mixed feelings about sports in general these days — the corrosive romanticizing of “heroes” and ethical corruptions of victory at all costs — I still enjoy good sports writing, which lends itself to dramatic narratives and a puckish sarcasm and satire of the kind so adroitly voiced by Michael Powell, who, no typical jock-junkie-journalist, honed his craft as cultural and political commentator before moving to sports page of NYT.

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