Unrelated: Anyone I’ve brought to a Clipper game this season wants to know what’s on the sheet of paper that Vinny is constantly staring at. Does the sheet have plays? Does it have basic reminders, like, “EACH QUARTER LASTS FOR 12 MINUTES”? Is it a fast-food menu? Is it a Dilbert cartoon? What’s on there? — Simmons in a footnote about the bewildering habit of VDN carrying around a piece of paper at all points on his clipboard.
And maybe assigning too much blame to basketball coaches is one of my default weaknesses, right up there with accidentally swearing in front of little kids and forgetting to purchase gifts until the last possible minute. — Bill Simmons, on his weaknesses
“Sorry, I can’t call someone “World Peace” after he concusses James Harden and his beard with a deliberate/intentional/vicious elbow. You could tell the difference between “people who have never played basketball” and “people who actually play basketball” by the way they reacted to this story — if your argument was, “He didn’t see Harden, he didn’t realize what happened,” then you’ve never played basketball. There are no accidents on a basketball court, save for two guys colliding because they were looking up at a rebound or something. It’s not hockey. You know where you are and what you’re doing pretty much all the time. If a normal person accidentally ripped an elbow into someone’s head and knocked him out on a basketball court, he would immediately stop running, feel horrified, hope the injured guy got up, then crouch over him to make sure he was OK. This would happen every time — repeat: every time — unless either (a) the guy totally meant to throw that elbow, and (b) the guy was a full-fledged fucking lunatic. In that case, the guy would glance at the victim’s fallen body in disdain and keep running the other way, then raise his hands to fight whoever came charging at him. That’s exactly what Ronmetta did. Which means he should have been suspended for 15 games, not seven.
And before you throw the whole “of course you’re saying that, you hate the Lakers” line at me, please understand, I’m delighted that Ronmetta came back early. Here’s the thing about Ronmetta: He’s only good when he’s playing physical, hard-nosed, passionate, occasionally insane basketball. He struggled early this season (and all of last season) because he was playing, for lack of a better word, soft. Kobe kept working on him and working on him, and finally, the old Artest came back during a game in Boston. Gradually, he played himself into shape and found the right physical/passionate/crazy balance; by April, he had evolved into a genuine asset. But that’s the thing … he only got there by unleashing Artest and turning his back on World Peace, which is what eventually led to the indefensible Harden elbow (and his even more indefensible reaction afterward).
You know what it reminds me of, actually? Mike Tyson. Iron Mike needed to embrace his inner crazy to succeed at boxing. That inner crazy eventually led to jail time and part of Evander Holyfield’s ear being bitten off, followed by Tyson overmedicating himself with pills and pot just to feel like a decent human being again. Even if it murdered his boxing career, he didn’t care. He didn’t want to see Iron Mike unleashed any more. My prediction is that the Harden elbow pushed Ronmetta to the same point. If he comes back in these playoffs, he’s going to play soft and end up being more of a liability than anything — that’s worse for the Lakers than suspending him for an extra eight games. If anyone can play them out of a Finals spot, it’s an overly tentative Ronmetta Artestpeace.”
Q: My buddy and I are currently playing a game called “I’m 22, unemployed, and living at home.” He sent me this text: “Highlight of my day: the girl with the big plugs from my local pizza place recognized me.” My response crushed his: “I’m emotionally invested in the red-blue bachelor baseball game. Jennifer the ginger struck out swinging to lose the game, typical. The next scene, model Courtney says “there’s no crying in baseball, rub some dirt in it,” and i had a hard time concealing my partial erection from my mom. Also, I have yet to take off my house shoes all day. I’m 22, unemployed, and living at home.” Our next endeavor is to try to buy jet skis and recreate the last scene of the first season of Kenny Powers, and send the pictures to our dads. We wanna start a new game called “disappointed looks of our fathers.” Can’t we start a club where all recently graduated males in a town can get together wearing their slippers and robes and share their experiences? We can’t be the only ones right? It’ll be like a loser AA.
— James G, Santa Cruz
SG: Yup, these are my readers.
That looks nothing like LeBron.
Lebron, Wade, Bosh as Kids
Creature doppelganger day is in full swing now.
I tried to tell ya… espn.go.com/boston/nba/sto…— Bill Simmons (@sportsguy33) March 13, 2012
I have been following the NBA since I was 4 years old — if the Clippers’ 2012 destiny isn’t losing a Round 1 or Round 2 playoff series in the most excruciating way possible, then I don’t know anything.