Two neat basketball stories today. First, Chuck Klosterman wrote a neat piece on ESPN’s Page2 about how Phil Jackson will become a much better story once he’s gone through the abject failure of coaching the Lakers this year.

Americans don’t read very much, mostly because they don’t have to. But we still live in a staunchly literary world. We understand almost everything (and everyone) within the context of a narrative that’s written by circumstance and reality; each person’s history is a little story where they are the main character. As such, historical figures are remembered for the things they accomplish and the victories they win — if life were a movie, the collection of those achievements would comprise the plot. But people are always defined by their greatest failure. You learn very little about a man’s character from his success; truth exists only within adversity. And adversity is what Jackson needs to define himself as A Great Man; without it, he’s just a tall dude from Williston High School who won a lot of games with a lot of talent.

The other neat story? Why, it’s that Seattle Sonics center Reggie Evans missed a piece of the 3rd quarter of last night’s game against the Knicks because he was taking his drug test at halftime.

“I’ve been clean since I’ve been in the league, I’ve been clean since I’ve been in college, I’ve been clean since I’ve been in high school, middle school, elementary school,” Evans said. “I’m just cleaner than clean. I’m cleaner than Pine-Sol.”

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