He Got Game II: South Beach
HD, Ray Allen, Michael Douglas (2013) — After stabbing his old teammates from Boston in the back with a 15-inch butcher’s knife, Jesus Shuttlesworth (Ray Allen) finds redemption as a clutch 3-point specialist on a loaded Miami team that’s talented enough to cover up his shitty defense. Directed 70 minutes too long by Spike Lee.
Q: So I was preparing for my first sexual experience this weekend and I encountered something more nerve-wracking than the experience itself … buying the condom. How does one go about it? Do you go to a convenience store far away so no one recognizes you? Do you buy other things with it so it looks like you haven’t been dreading this moment all day? Do you look the cashier in the eye like “Yeah … you know what’s up.” No sports question here, just an important life question.
SG: Two tips: Always buy a few other things and ALWAYS make eye contact. And make the eye contact with one of those “That’s right, I’m getting laid tonight” looks on your face.
"When my AOL-only page launched on Digital City Boston in May of ‘97, I was especially excited for three ideas: I wanted to write a running diary of watching the NBA draft at my dad’s house, I wanted to write about the 30 Worst Sports Movies of all time, and I wanted to write a "Viewer Mail" column. But I needed enough decent e-mails to pull it off. I posted my first four columns and stuck my AOL e-mail underneath every one of them, hoping I’d get enough e-mails for an entire "Viewer Mail." But in 1997 the Internet was a bizarre cross between the Wild Wild West and a maximum-security prison. There were no rules, no accountability, and more incoherent, typo-infested, all-caps e-mails than you can possibly imagine. I remember being shocked by how vicious people were. One time, I called Karl Malone "The Mail Fraud" in a column and someone from Utah (who somehow found the piece) sent me a legitimate death threat while also describing various ways I could have coitus with myself. Knives and axes were included. Not just knives — knives AND axes. So that was interesting."
When the NBA awarded Buffalo an expansion franchise starting in the 1970-71 season, the team named itself the “Braves” to recognize Buffalo’s Native American history. That’s when the trouble began, Blake. For Native Americans, there was no more important animal than the buffalo. They depended on it for survival. They wore its fur as clothes. They revered the “white buffalo” — a rare type of buffalo, almost as though it was albino — and considered it to be sacred. By linking the word “Buffalo” with “Braves,” a commonly known term to describe Native American warriors, the team’s owners were basically announcing, “We are embracing the Indians and representing them in an honorable way.”
For God’s sake, look at their first logo. It’s an Indian headdress on top of a basketball face; instead of facial features, we see a blue buffalo. In their second season, they changed the logo to a fancy “B” with a feather sticking out of it. The message remained clear: We are embracing the Native Americans. —
Simmons, two years ago, in his open letter to Blake Griffin
Also, a link to the original logo of the Buffalo Braves
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.