I was able to interview the devilish Matt Moore @HPBasketball Senior NBA Blogger for CBSSports.com, Author of Hardwood Paroxysm, among writing for a bevy of other places including NBC Sports. Moore is infamous for his ability to rile up a multitude of fan bases on my social media drug of choice, twitter; he was gracious enough to answer a plethora of questions.
NBA Mistress: In five words sum up the 2011-2012 NBA season?
Matt Moore: God the lockout sucked…. man.
NBAM: You’re a Grizzlies fan, is that anything like being a Nuggets fan? You know, rooting for mediocrity and all?
MM: I started pulling for Memphis (I try and stay away from fan because there have been people who are actually fans so long) because I wanted to attach myself with a team that would endlessly be terrible. Then they got good. It’s so confusing.
NBAM: Were you shocked that Steve Nash signed with the Los Angeles Lakers?
MM: I really was. Nash has always seemed like a really genuine guy, so when he said it would be “hard” to put on the Lakers jersey, I figured that was out. Kids are kids, though.
NBAM: One word to describe how you felt when you heard Dwight Howard was a Laker?
NBAM: Heat, Thunder, or Lakers?
MM: Heat. I think it’s going to be an epic battle, though.
NBAM: Is there one team, despite the media scrutiny — good or bad — that may defy expectations in the 2012-2013 season?
MM: Atlanta could be sneaky good this year. Playoff Teague, Horford, Josh Smith, shooters, they’ve got a good recipe there. If it works, it could be very good. If it doesn’t, throw the soup out.
NBAM: You seemed pretty high on the Knicks last week, are you drinking that Amar’e Stoudemire-Carmelo Anthony-J.R. Smith-Tyson Chandler kool-aid?
MM: Nah, I was just floating an intellectual exercise on NBC about how Melo COULD work. And I don’t want to go so far with my criticisms of the organization’s decisions that I ignore the fact that they’re a really good team. They’re just not elite. And they’re badly constructed. And this offense is going to be a total disaster again.
NBAM: Any overrated moves this off-season that comes to mind?
MM: How about everything the Nets did.
NBAM: Name a current NBA player that drives you bat shit crazy because he hasn’t lived up to expectations?
MM: Tyrus Thomas. No guy should be better than he is more than Thomas. So much athleticism, a nice mid-range J, and just the worst attitude. Sad.
NBAM: Do you hate every NBA fan base?
MM: I love almost all of them, because I love people with passion. I hate idiots, and I dislike being accused of bias or being an idiot because I don’t prop up a weakly constructed reason why a team is/will-be awesome. I’m sarcastic and acerbic, and that combination of factors leads everyone to think I’m a hater. I love this league and have a ton of respect for the amount of work that goes into the players, the teams, their organizations, and the league.
NBAM: To prepare for your daily hatred of a certain team, do you have a dartboard and wherever the dart lands that’s your target?
MM: I think a lot about the NBA (OBVS), and I’ll share something, and I often try to ask myself “What haven’t I thought of a lot?” and then it’s someone new. The second part of that answer is that I find the sociology and social psychology of NBA fanbases FASCINATING. They’re all different, all have different approaches and ways that they express cynicism and optimism. It’s a really great sociological dynamic. But if you piss me off, yeah, I’ll start poking the bear in the bum with the spoon, as my wife always says.
NBAM: What fanbase drives you absolutely insane? Are they also the most delusional?
MM: Lakers fans were the top of this list until last offseason. Their big problem is that they always want to get another star, no matter how good their team is. Mostly because that’s what their team does. But even after this summer, I had guys talking about getting Kevin Love. They’re a crappy arena crowd and have the most bandwagoners of any team in any sport, anywhere. But their best fans are also some of the most thoughtful and insightful. Most of that comes from having the most fans.
But now? Now it’s Nets fans. Without question. No team overestimates their importance, their players, their front-office, their team like Nets fans. I’ve called Jazz fans zealots and Blazers fans maniacs, but at least those two fanbases have realistic and accurate perceptions at times hidden. Instead we live in a world where I am constantly berated because I didn’t think Brook Lopez deserved $13 million-plus a year. The team is going to be great. The fans are incorrigible.
NBAM: Are you ready for the twitter fights between Nets and Knicks fans?
MM: I’m so excited. IT’s going to be so amazing. I cannot wait. Seriously.
NBAM: Are you ready to instigate such fights?
MM: I have no idea what you’re talking about. (KNICKS FANS, NETS FANS SAID CARMELO’S NOT EVEN THE THIRD BEST SMALL FORWARD IN THE LEAGUE. ARE YOU GOING TO TAKE THAT?!)
NBAM: You now reside in my neck of the woods, how has the new environment been for you?
MM: I am in LURVE with Colorado. The clean air, the clean streets, the lack of crime where I live, coming from KC and with a little one, that’s huge. Everyone’s been really nice and Denver is such a kickass city. It’s great to be here.
NBAM: Obviously, you’ll be able to see the Denver Nuggets live this season, is that exciting?
MM: One of the biggest reasons I came to Denver was out of wanting to cover this team once Melo was traded for the guys they got. An exciting, fast-paced, versatile team with tons of athleticism and a great coach. I could not be more thrilled about covering that team this season.
NBAM: You have the blur in Ty Lawson, the powerfulness in Kenneth Faried, the surliness in Andre Miller, the goofiness in JaVale McGee, the jacking-of-all-trades in Andre Iguodala……I’m pretty excited. Any expectations for this team?
MM: Ceiling is the WCF with a massive upset in round two, their floor is finishing 9th. They’re going to be fun to watch no matter what.
NBAM: What comes to mind when you see the new San Antonio Spurs Alternates?
MM: OH, COOL, THE SPURS GOT NEW PRACTICE JERSE…. WHAT THOSE ARE ACTUAL WHAT?
NBAM: You’re writing for SB Nation, correct? How do you manage to sleep, not to mention eat and enjoy your family, with all of your various writing opportunities?
MM: It’s just time management, honestly. It’s hard a lot of the time, and I’m lucky to have a wife that’s supportive, but I figure if I’ve got this great gig, while I’ve got it, I should do as much as I can because I’ve been in that dead-end 9-5 that sucks, and I feel like I owe it to those stuck in those gigs to bust my ass at something I love.
NBAM: One final question: any advice for rookie sports bloggers from a seasoned vet?
MM: Read everything, talk to everyone, and write every day.
Be sure to follow Matt Moore at @HPBasketball and once again, I’d like to thank him for being so generous with his time.