The NBA Dribbled Out

Brief, often inadvertent, glimpses into the lives of NBA players are a joy which helmeted and hatted players will never provide. We, the NBA fan, are given these little vignetttes into a player’s emotions during their professional work day over the 48 minutes we watch on a semi-nightly basis. It’s always entertaining if you watch closely enough, or even after cursory inspection because overtime is never far.

One such play produced the montaellisface. The montaellisface is mutable. It begins in the imagination where Ellis’ eyebrows curl in concentration as he tersely follows the center mass of Dwyane Wade. Then, his facial gymnastics evoke in the viewer a premeditated, reptilian move toward dispute. This is quickly followed by surprise and relief at the negation of any such disagreement. Then—ever-so-rapidly—a void. This blank page, the tabula rasa of the highest athletic achievement, represents stasis, it (probably) resembles a lamb hanging, by a pulley the referee controls, from the edge of a cliff. The truth almost breaks over Ellis’ brow. But finally, the montaellisface returns to the earlier and omnipresent “game face.”

The Bucks would go on to lose in overtime, but for that brief moment, Monta Ellis transcended the petty troubles of this mortal coil. 


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