November 13, 2010
Every hero needs a villain and every comedian needs a straight man. It's the way of the world, kids — yins, yangs, ins, outs, what-have-yous. The brilliant colors only truly stand out when there's a drab, static canvas behind them, a plain backdrop from which they can explode toward us and assault our senses.
While Iguodala's amazing athleticism and stylish finish will (rightly) dominate our attention, it's important to note that Cardinal plays his role perfectly here.
He gets in position nice and early, giving Iggy a great big target to topple on his rise to the rack. He puts his right foot just inside the half-circle, ensuring that the play can't be redeemed with an offensive foul call. (Savvy veteran move.)
He snaps his head back just as Iguodala's left thigh makes contact with his arms, giving the game photographers a prime opportunity to snag the perfect poster shot. And to cap it off, he absorbs the soaring swingman's momentum, all of it, and goes sailing out of bounds. Front to back, a stunning profile in sublimation.
The next time some bro tells you that Brian Cardinal stinks and doesn't matter (which happens all the time to everyone, obviously), just snicker condescendingly. Philistine probably doesn't dig William H. Macy and thinks John Cazale whined too much as Fredo.