For A Certain State of Mind...

While we're waiting for Brewhoop's pick in the SBNation Mock Draft (due to issues caused by myself), I figured I'd keep you entertained with something witty and awesome.  But then I wrote this.  Sorry.

Last night I was catching up on some Google Alert reading I hadn't got around to in my email.  I had been ignoring it because, really, it seemed a bit cheesy and not about the D-League, coming from the Las Vegas Sun and titled "For a Certain State of Mind."  However, after reading the subtitle, North Dakota a great place to live, but you wouldn't want to vacation there, I became hooked - I live in North Dakota and I'm going to Vegas soon to intern at the NBA Summer League.  This article will be perfect to break down! 

By now, everyone should know I live in North Dakota, where we've had flooding for the past four months - blizzards and flooding are not sweet.  Well, we have flooding again - as of my writing this, 11 pm Monday night, we've had about 7ish inches of rain and Wizards PR guru Mike Offerdahl is sandbagging his windows. Awesome.

The sportswriter of the Certain State of Mind article, Ron Kantowski, brings up the film Fargo (filmed in Minnesota, not NoDak) before getting into what the story actually was originally meant to be about: Romel Beck.  He goes on to say Romel averaged some points and rebounds and stuff with the Dakota Wizards before getting back into the heart of his article - move to North Dakota. 

Well, unfortunately, he doesn't get very far into the heart of North Dakota - the Dakota Wizards.  I know this sounds lame since I'm newly employed with the Wizards, but minor league basketball is the sole reason I live in North Dakota.  My dad and I have been going to WIzards games since 95ish.  I've watched them win four championships in three different leagues in 14 seasons.  I idolized Kevin Beard, a 6'10" lanky center out of Miami Ohio that's never had a look in the NBA, but back then, I didn't know/care.  When coach Ticknor moved up here as a four time Coach of the Year, I thought he was probably just a rung below Phil Jackson (who is also from North Dakota).

The beauty of North Dakota is that we're in North Dakota - the big leagues don't matter because they're not here.  I don't want to say we live in a bubble (the majority of us don't), but minor league basketball is important.

Anyway, since he's a sportswriter and the majority of his article is about why people should move to North Dakota, I'm going to tell you why you should move to Vegas:

  • It probably doesn't flood and blizzard at the same time.  Or even not at the same time.
  • Romel Beck played his college ball there, and now he twitters.  I know of zero North Dakota ballers that now play in Vegas that Twitter.
  • Vegas Summer League - a balmy 105 degrees and watching D-League players amongst other guys you hadn't hear of from five years (Tractor Traylor, what up!?) shoot for the stars and an NBA contract.
  • Terrible's Casino - last year I played blackjack at the same table as Anaheim assistant coach Paul Mokeski at Terrible's, and then paid $2 for 2:30 am breakfast.  Does life really get better than that?

I didn't have enough time to explore the other aspects of Vegas last Summer, but in 2 1/2 weeks, I'll explore the uncharted territory, meet up with some blogging brethren (I sincerely hope more than just Phoenix Stan shows up, as our H1N1 conversations may get too heated without a moderator) and catch up with all of my old friends from around the D-League before sweating off my remaining 30 pounds of fat and looking like a huge, sweaty beluga whale that can run 2.3 miles in 22 minutes (BOOM BABY!) with a farmer's tan and agape mouth while viewing all of the beautiful people, myself feeling just a bit out of place (and by a bit, I mean a word meaning "a lot more than a bit.")

Thinking about it, Kantowski was right - North Dakota is a great place to live, but I certainly wouldn't mind vacationing in Vegas for more than two weeks during Summer League.

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