(*Author’s note: my friend Ben is in a dead heat with me for most NBA-Obsessed Man in Nebraska: 2012. When he bought NBA League Pass I, in turn, pirated NBA League pass from him. He received, in return, my undying respect as a human being and a flood of angry “Why won’t Andrew Bynum stop playing like he just got done chugging the entirety of whatever is in Lil Wayne’s Solo cup??” texts.
Most of the time we pose ludicrous NBA questions to one another along the lines of, “Which mascot would win in a Hunger Games style fight to death” or “Who has the second honkiest fan base behind Oklahoma City?”
The latest topic, and one that I felt needed to be shared with the world was our search to figure out who would be the antithesis to Bill Russell. Russell was one of the greatest basketball players of all time and even guided the Celtics as a legendary player-coach. He coached the team, played for the team, and was able to consistently win. Ben’s answers to my questions were concise, coherent, and smart. Mine were rambling, overly poetic, and cathartic rants at their manic worst. So, naturally, I decided to share my thoughts on this topic with you, who would expect nothing less.)
The Anti-Russell, Player-Coach First Team:
1. Boogie Cousins (*Author’s note : Sacramento Kings forward, DeMarcus Cousins, referred to by his Twitter handle and alleged nickname)
I’m sure we’ll both have this one (Author’s note: we did). It’s kind of obvious. But can’t you just imagine him sitting in a director’s chair, with the name “Boogie” inscribed on the back in gold stitching, shouting through a megaphone while he’s pounding down a “5 Buck Box” with his other hand and the team runs windsprints? I sure can.
2. Javale McGee
I’m sure you saw this one coming too. Not exactly a big reveal, here. About as anti-climactic as Wednesday night’s American Idol finale.
McGee’s mom would be the biggest factor to overcome here. You know she would meddle in the coaching of the team, totally undermine his presence as the leader and he would constantly be trying to establish dominance, a la a silverback in the wild, by challenging people to free-throw line dunk contests. Since he now plays for the Nuggets any/all press conferences he would do would be must-watch TV and I can only imagine that all the stoned hippies would come wandering down out of their mountain cabins to worship at the Altar of McGee. The more I write about this idea, the more I like it.
3. The Russell West-B in Apt. 23 (*Author’s note: Oklahoma City Thunder guard, Russell Westbrook, whom I will only call ”The Russell West-B in Apt. 23″, a nickname supplied by Ben, from now until the world ends December 21st, 2012)
I’m now 3-3 on being completely predictable. I can see him now, aimlessly starting to doodle a play on the clipboard than just snapping it over his knee and saying, “You know what? I’m just gonna f-ing shoot a 20-foot pull up jumper. Every play. You don’t like it? You can go sit by Nick Collison.” Do you think he would even let Durant touch the ball? Durant would be standing, wide open, in the corner calling for the ball and The Russell West-B in apt. 23 would be going 1-on-5 in his latest attempt to drop 60 a night.
I bet within the first 15 games of the season this scenario would play out: Westbrook’s sitting on the bench after shooting 23-60 on the night and playing 47 minutes. He’s exhausted and chugging water. Durant has the ball and is looking over at his coach to try to see what play he wants to run. The cameras zoom in and Westbrook’s busy downloading Doodle Jump instead of signaling in the play. The clock hits zero. End game.
4. Swaggy P (*Author’s note: Los Angeles Clippers guard, Nick Young, whose twitter handle is “Swaggy P”)
This one speaks for itself. He’s already the fashion coordinator of the entire league, has the second best Twitter handle in the NBA and has a completely incomprehensible nickname. I’m fairly certain that he’d have a full size mirror installed on the bench so that he could check out his swaggage mid-game. (*A secondary rant: can we declare a moratorium on the term “swag”? It’s rapidly outpaced other terms like “hipster”, “yolo” (you only live once) and “awkward” for the completely obnoxious phrase that needs immediate euthanization title belt.)
5. Andrew Bynum
He’s clearly an idiot. He’s clearly apathetic to anything going on on the court, unless he randomly decides to flip a switch and become the 2nd most dominant man in the league. Most of the time I see him I can’t help but wonder, did Swaggy P teach him how to tuck in his shirt? Why is it always somehow untucked? Was the only size they had in the Lakers’ lockerroom a smedium? He’s the only player-coach on this list who I feel like would bench himself for long periods of time. I think he’d end up wandering into the stands just so he could try to find more lint to put in his psuedo-fro.
Honorable Mention: Metta World Peace
He’s clearly about one good dunk away from another psychotic break from reality. The players would be scared of him. Would he Latrell Sprewell himself just to prove a point? Here’s an interesting question that I’m not sure I’ve ever heard discussed with player/coaches and we’ll have to call the Rhetorical Ron-Ron Question. If a player coach gets T’d up while he’s on the sidelines. . .is that a Tech on the player? Or the coach? Do they get FOUR technicals? Because how awesome would that be. Would Artest sub himself out just to cuss out the refs, pick up a T and then sub himself back in as Ron-Ron the player? My head’s about to explode. And I like it.