The high in Phoenix today is 111 degrees, right around tip off for Game 2 of the NBA Finals.
For those of you who have never been to Arizona before, that seems … ridiculous. Outrageous. Unlivable.
Despite what Perk says, the reality is it’s not nearly as bad as it sounds. I mean it’s not ideal, but having lived in Phoenix for three years back in the day, I can tell you I’d MUCH rather have the dry desert heat than the swamp ass humidity other places get on a regular basis.
With a few precautions (sunscreen, hydration, hats) you can survive just fine. The biggest problem is that having to use sunscreen regularly means the wind blows dust and sand particles and after a couple hours outside you end up feeling gritty. But that’s what showers are for.
The mornings and evenings are incredible in Phoenix, though. Nothing I like better than getting up early, heading outside and drinking a coffee while my brain wakes up. The desert mornings are just so peaceful; doves cooing, sprinklers hissing and today, the sound of light enjoyable moaning… outside of my front door. As I walked out to sit on the stoop, what did I find but a homeless woman using the cement planter (just outside my door) as her bathtub while the water of the outdoor faucet ran down her body.
Oh hello. Good morning.
A little backstory is warranted.
The pictures online of this Airbnb were awesome. A cute little renovated bungalow near the arena so I could take a short uber to Suns games was exactly what I was looking for. It was ridiculously cheap too, which given how much I love a bargain was also pretty ideal, even though Downtown Phoenix has notoriously been a little… I don’t know… rough? The last time I lived here in 2010 it was not a place to go, but hey that was a decade ago. I was assured this place had upscaled. And all the photos led me to believe it had.
When I first got here, I realized … I’d been led astray. Fine. Ok. I’m not the first person taken in by photoshop. There was no closet, no dresser, no place to hang your clothes. The backyard was filled with debris like metal scraps, chicken bones and a pair of alley cats who went at it like UFC fighters. It also smelled like raw sewage. Not ideal. Still, it was location that mattered, and I knew I’d be spending a ton of time away going to the games. Really only needed a place to sleep and to gather my thoughts in the morning and record the podcast a couple of times a week in the living room.
But things got a little strange a couple of days ago when I saw a homeless woman who looked quite out of it walking barefooted (did I mention it was 110 degrees out?) and wandering into the driveway of my little bungalow, roaming around the yard until I made eye contact for her to leave. I picked up REALLY sketch vibes.
I was just a tad concerned.
I definitely try to be as accepting about these circumstances as possible. Maybe she doesn’t want to wear shoes despite the fact the concrete gets so hot you can literally fry an egg on it? Who knows. Was I deterred at that point? No sir! NYC is filled with every known kind of homeless wanderer who I run across every day on the way to Barstool HQ, so who knows, maybe this was just a one off circumstance.
Later that night, I was awakened by the handle to my front door turning over and over again, like in a horror movie. I was freaking out even though I knew the doors had industrial strength dead bolts and chain latches on them. Fortunately it stopped after about five minutes. But you think I got any shuteye? That’s a big fucking no.
After a HORRIBLE night’s sleep, I got up very early (as I like to do) to go get some coffee, I walk out my front door, and guess what I see? It was the same homeless woman from before. Only this time, she was bathing in an empty garden planter right in front of my AirBNB. I repeat. A homeless woman. Bathing. On my front doorstep. Using the house faucet. And when she saw me? She was not in ANY hurry to get dressed and be on her way. She actually explained what she was doing and asked for some more time.
I mean, I get that it’s hot out. I get that you got to hose down. But damn, I think it’s fair to say that this isn’t remotely what I signed up for. My best guess? This Airbnb is largely empty in the summer and this woman is a regular at her own little private watering hole.
That’s when I knew two things. One, I wanted no part of a toothless, shoeless, soaking wet Waltrina White high as a kite on Blue Sky anywhere near me. And two, I had to get the fuck out of there ASAP.
But even that place is still a million times better than NYC right now.
Airbnb was great. They found me a new place nearby in no time flat.
Now that I’m safe and sound, just want to say I’ll be live again from Phoenix Suns Arena tonight, where I fully expect more of the same from Game One. I’m not sure the Bucks have an answer for Chris Paul. In the opener, the #1 defender on CP3 was P.J. Tucker, who got cooked. Seth Partnow at the Athletic wrote “it was either a miscalculation or a gamble that didn’t pay off.” I’m going with the latter; P.J. is a dawg and a tough defender, but asking him to guard someone with handles like Chris Paul is always going to end badly. So that means Jrue gets CP3 duty, and that means … who the fuck is guarding Devin Booker?
Not Tucker. Not Middleton. Neither of them are fast enough to handle Book. Jeff Teague? Bryn Forbes? This is the match-up problem I talked about. Hard enough to deal with one elite guard, but two of them? And with Cam Payne coming off the bench to boot? Just a horrible match up for the Bucks. Jrue can’t guard everyone. I think the Suns will continue to try and target Brook Lopez on the pick and roll and the Bucks will get COOKED.
The Valley was rocking as hard as any Finals game I’ve been to over the past five years, so I’m really looking forward to tonight.
Follow us on social at @ThisLeague and @Trysta_Krick on Twitter, IG, and TikTok for all the updates from the stadium.