The NBA lies at the forefront of quantifying player traits and production with cutting edge math and science models. Many long hours go into data mining contested or uncontested shots, player efficiency ratings, and other statistical effluvia designed to boil player production down to a metric or formula more than a person. However, basketball is an art, not a science. A dark matter exists between the Xs & Os and the analytics that’s simply unquantifiable. We’ll never have all the answers. But one man may have his finger on the forces that alter the undefinable in the basketball realm. Enter: Lil B the Based God.
Bay Area rapper Lil B, also known as the Based God and formerly known as Brandon McCartney, made his way onto the NBA scene in 2011. Kevin Durant made the grave mistake of disparaging Lil B in a tweet.
Lil B may not top the charts, but the rapper has amassed over a million followers on Twitter. The Based God responded to KD’s tweet by placing an everlasting curse over Durant and the Thunder.
The following year, Kevin Durant and the Thunder lost in the NBA Finals to the Miami Heat. Lil B, the benevolent deity that he is, lifted the curse against KD after the finals.
The Based God may not fully comprehend the dark magic he dishes out. There are no backsies for the BASED GOD. Shortly after he appeared to lift the curse, the Thunder inexplicably traded James Harden for Jeremy Lamb, one year of the Kevin Martin experience, and a first-round draft pick that turned into Steven Adams. As we all know, Harden went to Houston and morphed into the MVP candidate battling it out in the Western Conference Finals today.
Even after the Harden trade, the Thunder still entered the 2013 playoffs poised for another run at the title. Lil B’s jinx had other ideas. Russell Westbrook, who had never missed a game in his entire basketball life, went down with a knee injury and missed the rest of the playoffs. This would be the first in a string of bizarre and untimely Thunder injuries.
Fast forward to the 2014 season when Kevin Durant was playing the best basketball of his life. Clearly the Based God had not moved past his feud with Durant, because during the 2014 All-Star Game he tweeted this:
One tweet wasn’t enough. Lil B made an entire diss track dedicated to Kevin Durant with a beautiful music video shot inside a gym.
Up until that point, Durant and the Thunder looked like an unstoppable force. Unfortunately, another mysterious injury popped up during their playoff run. Serge Ibaka suffered a calf injury that caused him to miss the first two games of the Western Conference Finals, which gave the Spurs enough of an edge to eliminate the Thunder.
That brings us to a 2015 Thunder season filled with a litany of injuries. Durant missed all but 27 uncomfortable games with complications arising from the Jones fracture in his right foot. Westbrook broke his hand and his face at one point, and Ibaka missed the last segment of the season with a knee injury. In 2011, the pre-Based God curse Thunder looked poised to make several runs at the title. Now, three seasons of strewn playoff potential lay in the wake of the Based God hex.
Lil B only wants acknowledgement for his original dance. The Hawks and Warriors have already taken a proactive approach. In the Conference Finals, nothing can be left to chance.
The arc of the basketball universe is long but it bends towards the Based God. You’ve been warned, Bearded one.