October 20, 2022, 5:56 pm
About a week after the world shut down because of the pandemic, I found myself doing what everyone else was at that time. Filling the hours with endless scrolling on the internet and doing everything to distract myself from feeling like the world was going to hell.
I was on Twitter when someone shared a video titled, Timelapse of the Future: A Journey to the End of Time. The concept of astrophysics, space and time has always fascinated me, very much like a dog trying and struggling to interpret his human’s commands. So, I figured why not, after all what else did I have to do. Of all the tweets I’ve ignored, this one regrettably slipped through into my consciousness.
The video itself is a stunning representation of how scientists believe the universe will end. The production quality is magnificent and watching jarring scenes of Earth, Space, and the Cosmos evolve so rapidly is on par with any thriller I’ve ever seen. Commentary is mixed in featuring the voices of several astronomers, physicists, authors, and historians like Neil DeGrasse Tyson, Dr. Michelle Thaller, David Attenborough and Dr. Stephen Hawking.
The video explains that initially, when the present is established, each second of the video that passes represents one year of time that also passes. Then after five seconds, that amount of time elapsed is doubled to two years, then doubled again after another five seconds and so on and so forth. Only about a minute and a half after our journey through space and time has begun do we learn that millions of years have passed and Earth becomes inhospitable, life no longer exists on our planet. The full video is 29 minutes long.
About halfway through the video we see that matter no longer exists. The stars and planets that made up the galaxies are gone. All that’s left are black holes and light particles struggling to resist the impossible pull of gravity. This continues until all the black holes in the universe also finally die out and the universe can no longer expand, change or demonstrate any sort of entropy. There is just the still of nothingness. The time that has elapsed in the video is 4 Thousand Trillion Trillion Trillion Trillion Trillion Trillion Trillion Trillion Years. (That is 4000 X 1T^8, I think, math was never my strong suit.)
It is a mind-blowing concept to think about. All of that time to pass after we’ve long gone. After an half hour’s worth of video on YouTube, death no longer scares me, time does. And then the final words of the video appeared and pierced me like nothing else has and haunted me ever since: Time Becomes Meaningless.
But it’s also paradoxical when you think about it. Time is either finite or infinite. But either way, it still has meaning. If time is finite, then it has a beginning and an end. Just as at some point the universe as we know it began, it can also end no matter how long it takes to get there. But even in nothingness, time conceptually still exists and would be infinite. There just isn’t anything happening in that void.
Our own existence is so infinitesimally small and yet we are bound by the same paradox that governs the laws of the universe. We have so many minutes and hours to do the things we want to do in a day and only so many months and years to enjoy the best things in our lives. Our time is finite. And yet every day that the sun rises and sets it is a reminder that time is an abstract concept and just as infinite here at it is amongst our stars. As long as we are here, we have all of the time in the world.
This is the problem I have found myself in for the last couple of years. My time is both limited and unlimited. I am limited by the bounds of the life I have chosen for myself, my family, my work, my interests. I also know that my time remains infinite to watch my kids grow, to become a healthier person, to find joy wherever it may be.
One such joy was writing on this site. It’s always odd to compare the concept of astrophysics to fantasy basketball but here we are. I wrote the High Mileage report on an annual basis for the SportsEthos Draft Guide. I loved every word of it. At first, it was a way to deliver a few gags and goof on some old guys in the NBA. As the years progressed, I still found myself performing those hijinks, but also appreciative for the gifts that Steph Curry, Kevin Durant, Chris Paul and LeBron James have given us. That article was a reminder that time is finite for these great athletes. But then again, we’ll continue to have new ones to think about as the years press on.
Knowing that there is still so much more basketball to be played, so many more games to watch, players to evaluate and leagues to win, I could continue doing this indefinitely. But I also know that would be a disservice to myself and to SportsEthos at large. To be a great fantasy analyst you could watch and dissect a ton of game film and that could be a full-time job of its own. Or you could become a statistical wizard and build tons of data models with predictive capabilities and that would be a full-time job of its own. You could continue to produce content, articles, podcasts, videos, social posts, Tweets and TikToks and that would be a full-time job of its own. I came to a difficult realization several months ago that the time I could invest in those things were finite and so my time here would be as well.
When I started, I wanted to see if I could stack up to so many great fantasy analysts and be a part of the fantasy community at large. I am proud to say I accomplished those things. I’ve been in leagues against the best of the very best and did more than hold my own. I won. I got to get better at something that has long brought me joy, the passion and competition of fantasy sports.
I have so enjoyed the five years that Aaron, Panda, and Dan have allowed me to be a part of this group, this site, this business, and this community. I came in the same way so many others have, with a love of basketball and writing and the hopes that I could be accepted into the group. It finishes with the same love of basketball and writing and so many lasting friendships. The guys gave me the space to grow and use my voice and I am forever grateful to have been a part of this experience.
My time at SportsEthos is done. My affection for this site and the games we play will remain infinite. I will leave you with some fantasy goodies through my original Hoob baby, the Fantasy Facepalm, on my way out.
THE KAWHI LEONARD MEMORIAL PLAYER OF THE WEEK WHO HAS A PERSONAL VENDETTA AGAINST ME
This happens to me every draft season. I’ll evaluate every NBA player, different projections, rankings, you name it. Despite doing the research, there’s always that one player who I have a mental block with when it comes to drafting. I just can’t do it. Not because of a poor ranking or red flags or some type of bust risk. Just didn’t have an opportunity to draft him. Wasn’t anything personal.
And every year, that guy torches me. Every year I get at least one NBA player who gives me the old ‘oh I kept a list of everyone who passed on drafting me and I’m going to treat that as disrespect.’ I’ll try to say something like, ‘there’s no bad blood, nothing but respect for that guy’ and it will only make him declare a holy war against my squad.
SO DAMN YOU TERRY ROZIER. I know you’re underrated. I know you’re going to light it up with LaMelo out. I know you’re going to help someone win a fantasy championship. BUT FOR THE LOVE OF GOD I’M PLAYING AGAINST YOU IN TWO DIFFERENT LEAGUES AND THIS ISN’T OHIO STATE VS. MICHIGAN HERE. There’s no bulletin board material. I’m just a fantasy basketball dummy so go easy on me please.
YOU’RE PROBABLY THINKING THAT IT NEARLY KILLED ME BUT THE WORK IS DONE. IT ALWAYS WILL BE. I AM INEVITABLE.
Since we’ve only just begun the season, instead of basing these on actual results, I’m going to go through who I have been targeting in each round and who I think will deliver and more at their ADPs.
Round 1 – Kevin Durant
Round 2 – Anthony Davis
Round 3 – Chris Paul
Round 4 – Evan Mobley
Round 5 – Scottie Barnes
Round 6 – Jordan Poole
Round 7 – Devin Vassell
Round 8 – Lauri Markkanen
Round 9 – Jalen Smith
Round 10 – Cam Johnson
Round 11 – Malcolm Brogdon
Round 12 – Nic Claxton
Round 13 – Bruce Brown
Durant and Davis have top-5 per game talent that comes with a lot of injury and rest risk. If they can avoid major issues and clear 65 games, they’ll be worth it. Mobley and Barnes are my two favorite breakout candidates. Barnes could take more control of the Raptors offense throughout the season and if Mobley gets more scoring opportunities there could be top-10 upside in his very near future. After all the summer madness, it was easy to forget all the praise that was heaped on Brad Stevens and the Celtics front office for landing Malcolm Brogdon and his fit with an already established contender. Brogdon brings a lot of strong fantasy traits, especially in percentages, that are very difficult to come by late in drafts.
YOU’RE PROBABLY THINKING THAT YOU COULD NOT LIVE WITH YOUR OWN FAILURE. WHERE DID THAT BRING YOU? RIGHT BACK TO ME.
And here is the group that I’ve been fading and think they won’t deliver value at their ADP this draft season.
Round 1 – Karl-Anthony Towns
Round 2 – Ja Morant
Round 3 – Jimmy Butler
Round 4 – Zach LaVine
Round 5 – C.J. McCollum
Round 6 – Christian Wood
Round 7 – D’Angelo Russell
Round 8 – Paolo Banchero
Round 9 – R.J. Barrett
Round 10 – Anfernee Simons
Round 11 – Robert Covington
Round 12 – Brook Lopez
Round 13 – Ayo Dosunmu
Jimmy Butler has played in at least 60 regular season games only once since leaving Chicago. Miami now wants to run more of the offense though Bam. No, I’m good, thanks. Zach LaVine isn’t a bad player at all, but it seems that he’s reached his fantasy ceiling and the knee issue plus the Bulls issues are worrisome. The 6th man role makes sense for Wood but the moment he has any mental lapses Kidd could start to play with his minutes. The Blazers reloaded around Dame so it’s hard to see how Simons hits fantasy value as merely a pure scorer when he could be on average a 3rd option for the team.
ROCK, PAPER, SCISSORS
This is the game where we look at some mid to late-tier players who you should be keeping an eye on throughout the season on a rolling basis. Based on how their past few and upcoming few games go, we can decide whether or not we will be confidently holding and feeling strongly about (rock) or feeling a little bit flimsy or unsure of (paper) or will just be cutting altogether (scissors, obviously). These are the players we either drafted or picked up who can make or break our seasons and will be dissected most when we try to make moves to the top of the standings. Here are some more players in my thought process.
Ivica Zubac – Zubac has finished the last two seasons at a top-100 player. When the Clippers finally freed up 25 mpg for him, he turned into a top-100 per game player. He’s the only center left on the Clips. He’s being drafted outside the top-100 on all the sites. What are we doing here people? Not every pick needs to be flashy.
Dorian Finney-Smith – DFS finished in the top-50 of 9-cat leagues last season. Yes, five-zero. Fitty. He found an offensive rhythm and was clearing top-80 per game over the last two months of last season. Jason Kidd loves him. He’s not going to leave the floor because of his defense. He’s going practically undrafted. Again, what are we doing here people? Not every pick needs to be flashy.
Bones Hyland – Ok fine, here’s something flashy. I’ve been in on the Bones hype train for a while and I believe Denver is the team to beat in the NBA this season. However, they aren’t what I would consider an explosive team. What they are is ruthlessly disciplined, unselfish, and efficient, but explosive doesn’t come to mind. Bones gives them that heat check element that they lacked with Jamal Murray injured. Even with Murray back, I think Bones will have plenty of opportunity to detonate.
Onyeka Okungwu – I think we all believe he has the talent to overtake Clint Capela but the question I have is when. The Hawks have said they want to give him more minutes but how much more beyond 20 can they find him with Capela as the incumbent and the Hawks moving into win-now mode? At 20 mpg, he was outside the top-125 per game. If the best the Hawks can do is a true platoon until the trade deadline, we may not see the full breakout we hoped for.
Bennedict Mathurin – There’s a blanket ‘fade rookies’ in here with Mathurin in addition to Rick Carlisle being the head coach of the Indiana Pacers. Until Buddy Hield is gone I doubt there will be enough scoring volume for Mathurin to make up for what will likely be rough percentages and growing pains.
Mike Conley – The Jazz are in full blown tank mode and Conley shouldn’t plan on extending his mortgage in Utah. As of right now though, Conley might be the only sure thing on this Jazz team. A fast start could be likely, just be prepared to cut bait the minute the losses become insurmountable.
Jaden McDaniels – McDaniels enters the Wolves season at the starting small forward but that will only make him the 5th option on offense when he’s on the floor. I also think that we’re underestimating Kyle Anderson’s role on this team. SloMo can fill a lot of holes depending on the Wolves matchup needs and that could cut into McDaniels time despite his starting position. He’s probably worth holding for roto, but H2H players won’t get enough volume from him.
Caris LeVert – LeVert was already a volume dependent fantasy player and now here comes Donovan Mitchell to suck all that air out of the room. I think LeVert will be an excellent 6th man but not someone who has the upside of a Tyler Herro or Jordan Poole. It probably takes an injury to one of the Cavs starters for LeVert to be standard league relevant.
Aleksej Pokusevski – I think we all want to see what a fully unleashed Poku can do before we get to Silly Season. Technically October is already Silly Season for the Thunder but I don’t trust the Thunder to have a regular rotation because of that. This team will probably go through a million lineup iterations to see what they have for the 23-24 season. That means one night Poku will break DFS slates. Another night he might go 3-for-20 with 5 turnovers. The next night he could be a DNP-CD. I’m fine letting that be someone else’s problem.
THE MAGIC JOHNSON FANTASY UPDATE
Straight from the 280-character mind of the legend himself, the one and only Earvin “Magic” Johnson will be providing a fantasy basketball update exclusively in this space before it hits Twitter. Take it away Magic!
“I think the MVP of the NBA this season will be Luka Doncic of the Dallas Mavericks. Last season, Luka averaged over 28 points, 9 rebounds and 8 assists as a 23-year old. Those are some big numbers for such a young player!”
Right you are Magic. I will truly miss Magic and his one-of-a-kind insight into the NBA.
It feels like a Bloody Sunday to have to say goodbye. If you’ve read anything of mine or listened to any pod I’ve been on and have gotten even the slightest nugget of information or just laughed a little bit, then I’ve done my job and I am eternally grateful to have played a small role in your sports lives.
Be well and keep on winning my Etholytes. You remain in the best fantasy sports hands in the universe.