We continue our discussion about the symphony in four quarters commonly known as basketball with a new BasketBeats, featuring Dirk Nowitzki and the Avett Brothers.
Co-fronted by (surprise) brothers Tim and Scott Avett, the Avett Brothers defy genres. They recently won the CMT Artist of the Year award, but they’re not really a country band. Some might call them a folk band, other may categorize them as bluegrass, and a third group may say they’re a rock band. The truth is, it doesn’t matter what they are; it just matters that they’re damn good.
So what does a seven-foot tall German have in common with a folk-country-rock-bluegrass-indie band? Quite a bit, actually. Like the Avett Brothers, Dirk transcends labels and stereotypes. He’s European, but he’s not soft. He’s got great range on his jumper, but that doesn’t stop him from banging in the post. His ridiculous turnaround, off-balanced, off one foot jump shot shouldn’t go in, but it does.
As I said, the singing duties for the Avett Brothers are shared by Tim and Scott.
Tim’s is an airy, lighter voice. It’s gentle, but there’s an undeniable strength to be found in it as well. There’s a definite hint of a country twang present in his voice on some songs.
Scott’s voice is a stark contrast to his brothers. It’s deeper, much more resonant and coarser than Tim’s. Scott also has that rare ability to shout yet still sing at the same time, which never fails to send goosebumps up your spine.
Tim’s voice represents the, for lack of a better word, “pretty” side of Nowitzki’s game; namely, his jump shot. Dirk sports one of the most beautiful jump shots in the league today. He’s honed that skill to such a point that it’s a surprise when it doesn’t go in. European bigs are often stereotyped as having good jump shots, but there’s a difference between good and this:
As for Scott, his voice represents the other side of Nowitzki: the previously mentioned impossible turn around and his seemingly uncoordinated yet deceptively graceful drives to the rim and his. They’re not quite ugly, but at least at first, they’re not the easiest thing to watch. Once you realize the beauty behind those moves however, you can’t bear to look away.
The final parallel to be drawn between the Avett Brothers and Dirk Nowitzki is the perception of their career. The Avett Brothers’ popularity has grown exponentially in the past few years, thanks to their album “I and Love and You,” their performance with Bob Dylan and Mumford and Sons, and the CMT award. Their music is reaching new audiences, which is fantastic; the world needs more music like theirs. But it’s not as if they’re an overnight sensation. These guys have making incredible music since 2000, and while I’m sure they appreciate the awards, they don’t need them to justify the quality of their music.
Those claiming that the Mavericks title run last summer justified Nowitzki’s career numbers, his MVP award and All-Star selections are mistaken. It certainly helped his credentials, but not winning a title wouldn’t have wiped away those prior accomplishments. He’s been one of the greats for more than a few seasons, and he didn’t need a title to justify that position.
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