“ALL RISE!!! Court is now in session. The honorable Bucket Hat King LJ tha Fiasco presiding. Please be seated and come to order”

I dont want to be sad anymore, so I will just say this:

I hated Kobe because he was so good, it was almost unfair. I loved Kobe because he was one of the most competitive basketball players I have ever seen.

Hated how he never passed the ball, but loved how clutch he was when it mattered.

Hated how smug he was on the court, but loved how selfless he was off of it.

There are only a few celebrity deaths that have absolutely destroyed me. None like Nipsey and Kobe. NONE.

So like most, I went through all the stages. Shock, disbelief, sadness, playing the what-if game over and over again. With tears in my eyes I just sat there talking to my wife and saying “it’s Nipsey all over again, just worse”.

It is gut wrenching to think about the final moments of the nine victims who lost their lives last week. So I choose not to. I don’t know what God’s plan is for myself or mankind, but I know that one tragic event had me reaching out to family and friends I normally wouldn’t just to say “hello” and “I love you”. I have heard it millions of times, yet it is still sobering to think that each time you leave the house, there are no guarantees you will return home.

Every time I complain about traffic, gripe about gas prices, argue with a troll online, or piss and moan about having to work in the morning, I hope that I remember that there are millions of people who wish they were still here to do that. In the grand scheme of things, all of life’s inconveniences are irrelevant. None of this matters; enjoy the things that do.

To the notes –

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I am retiring the “BucketHatology” title and just sticking with BucketHatism. Mike Rutherford included my last column on Card Chronicle and referred to it as BucketHatism, and it made me think I don’t need two names, just one. It’s the same format, just the Dollar General brand. So there’s that…..

  • I don’t mind the late games that start at 9pm. We have another one on Wednesday at home against Wake Forest. I just want ESPN to start staggering games in a way they don’t bleed over. I have not even looked and I bet the game before us goes to overtime. I have tickets for the game, but I have to look out for CardNation. This is the life I chose.
  • The theme this season has been “Finish,” and, so far, the Cards have done that. The great thing about these close games is that the Cards are destined to run into these scenarios in March at some point. When the Cards are down, we all feel confident that they will go on a run to get back in the game.
  • Speaking of which, it is good to see Louisville taking care of business using someone new each game. A few weeks ago, it was not known what type of team Louisville had – one that would thrive as long as Jordan Nwora is on, or one that would be lost as soon as the leading scorer had an off night. So far, we have seen Nwora have a few games that are lackluster, but a teammate has stepped up big time. It also helps that David Johnson continues to be a huge addition off the bench.
  • We need to have a floor counter for Malik Williams. I don’t know if we track this stat, but I would love to see how many times Malik ends up on the floor each game. Right now, the all-time leader is Peyton Siva. No Cardinal fell down more than Peyton, but as long as we keep winning, I don’t care if Malik swan dives off the scorer’s table. Just keep winning.
  • The Cards are in prime position to win the ACC. With nine games remaining, I think the Cards should could at least win 7-8 of those. FSU’s length advantage is insane, and UVA is starting to do UVA type shit again. UNC got Cole Anthony back over the weekend and still lost to a team Louisville destroyed. Syracuse could cause us problems if we are having an off shooting night, and we still have road games to Georgia Tech who almost pulled an upset in The YUM! I believe the Cards can do it, but there is a ton of basketball left to be played.
  • David Johnson, Samuel Williamson, and Darius Perry are making me feel a lot better about next season. If Jay Scrubb does in fact make it to campus, there is a shot Louisville can be even better next season.
  • How dare you disrespect Ryan McMahon by matching him up with a less talented white guy?! Ryan has the swag of Jason Williams. Don’t disrespect White Chocolate again.

NC State had to learn the hard way – now look at them, losing by 20 at home and sh*t…..

Ry Van Damn.
  • Fresh Kimble keeps making huge baskets when we need him to. That is the craziest thing. We heard about how talented the team is, but now we are really seeing it. Kimble is going to be a key asset heading into the tournament.

  • The David Johnson lovefest continues. His vision and court awareness has really helped Louisville. He does have a few terrible turnovers each game, but that will get better over time. I am really, really glad we called him.
  • I am not going to lie to you – I love that fact that Quinn Slazinski is a part of the team, but I am dreading next season when he is getting more clock and I am forced to say his name on the podcast. Took me damn near six months to pronounce Igiehon. Don’t laugh at me. Some of you are still pronouncing Montrezl with the “L” on the end, and a ton of you still refer to him as Jordan Nora… He has been here damn near 10 years. We should all know the “N” is silent by now. Come on, folks.
  • I love to see Dwayne Sutton enforce his will on guys he knows for a fact are not able to defend him. Remember all the times we yelled and screamed at two certain individuals to attack the basket and they never did?? Dwayne, is not those guys.
  • Malik Williams is out here playing like he may test the draft process after this season. (Just my opinion)
  • It happened. Steven Enoch passed the ball out of a double team. Baby steps, folks. We will get there.
  • I am done complaining about the under 4 minute fan exodus that happens at nearly every home game. If fans want to go sit in the parking garage and breathe exhaust fumes for 20-30 minutes, who am I to stop them?
  • This is random, but please don’t feel the need to authenticate your life for the sake of fitting in with others. Twitter is a free app where you can be exactly who you want to be, although some fabricate things to make themselves appear cooler. Make the best decision. You don’t want to be up all night Photoshopping yourself into pics with a famous rapper because you got sauced up and gave life to a meaningless lie. Again, random I know.
  • Louisville’s bench celebrations may be starting to approach Monmouth levels. Darius Perry was in a horrid shooting slump at one point, as was Ryan. Both never missed the chance to celebrate their teammates. Makes moments like the one below even more worth it:

Not that one, THIS one:

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Person(s) or things that earned a shot of top shelf liquor this week:

  • Jordan Nwora late night in Massachusetts
  • Ryan McMahon mid-afternoon in Raleigh
  • David Johnson
  • Fresh Kimble
  • Darius Perry’s three point shooting
  • Enoch passing the ball back out
  • Whoever was defending Jordan and Ryan the last two games
  • Snickers SuperBowl commercial
  • Auburn basketball
  • Lamar winning the MVP award

Person(s) or things that must sit between Bill Walton and Jimmy Dykes during a 8 hour flight, with no headphones:

  • Ari Shaffir. Really hard to do a comedy set when everyone is trying to do physical harm to you. Good luck traveling to LA, as well. I am sure the Lakers fans out there are itching to see your performance.

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And in closing:

  • Louisville vs. Wake Forest Wednesday at 9pm on the ACC network. Take a nap or drink a 5 hour energy.
  • Cards can match their win total of last year with a win on Wednesday.
  • UVA is winning again. Thank Chrissy Banta for that.
  • Tell someone you love them today, even if it’s a text. Also, keep shooting paper wads into trash cans and saying “Kobe.” Legends don’t die.
  • Football schedule was released. Not a fan of getting Clemson that early, but hey, what can you do?

Only one way to cap this off……

Be cool in this hot city……

Court adjourned (bangs gavel)

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LJ Nesbitt

The BHK. Writer for thecrunchzone.com , 1/2 of the TCZ Podcast. Surviving in the great city of Louisville, in the not so great state of KY. Loui$ville KY thecrunchzone.com

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