So- have you ever been to the Battle of California blog?
It's devoted to the rivalries between the Ducks, Sharks and Kings, and is a fun read. Anyway, this kid James, who's one of the authors of that site, left a comment yesterday saying I'm hilarious, so I immediately visited his site to see what else this man of obvious wisdom and good taste had to offer.
He had some good stuff today about what San Jose got out of the Havlat deal, which they were involved in along with Chicago and Ottawa. But before I knew it, thanks to a link he had in another post that mentioned Chris Pronger, I found myself back on the site where pretty much anybody who fancies themselves a humorous sportswriter ends up eventually, the Bill Simmons page at ESPN's Page 2. As far as cracking wise about sports goes, it seems his career is pretty much the pinnacle, in that he's funny, knows his shit, and people actually read him.
Anyway, he had a column up there about the 40 best valued players in the NBA, which to me, was sobering, as I am so willfully ignorant about basketball that reading the boldface names listed on the front page of the article was an experience somewhat akin to perusing an online generator of baby names. I mean, they were perfectly nice names, I guess, but they meant absolutely nothing to me.
Here are the first few names I saw:
You know who that is? I sure don't. He sounds like a plumber to me. Like the kind of guy who would answer his phone at work by saying "Jeffersons, this is Al. "
Again, a total fucking blank. If I was pressed on this name in say, a quiz show environment, I might say that he was the actor who played the lead in Gremlins. OK I just looked it up on IMBD, and that was Zach Galligan. The point I'm making is, basketball is not my game.
Still, as Bill Simmons is pretty much the man when it comes to this online funny sports writing thing I'm doing, I thought It might behoove me to at least try to test my ability to do what he does. Of course, I don't know anything about basketball, so I thought I'd be upfront about it.
And so, without any further ado:
THE AMERICAN HOCKEY FAN PRESENTS:
The Top 40 players in the NBA (in that that I have heard of them):
(NOTE: this list is being done without googling these guys or referring back to Simmons or any column. I'm going from memory here, and will do my damndest to get all the way to 40. Let's see how it goes!)
1) Allen Iverson- I liked him. I like the small guys. His nickname is A.I. which is also an awful Steven Spielberg movie. If there were a guy in the NBA whose nickname was "Hook" I'd probably remember him too.
2)Ben Wallace-Huge dude, huge afro. Can you dig it? I can.
3)Paul Pierce- He's on the Celtics and is good, but not good enough right?
4)Antoine Walker-He was on the Celtics, and then wasn't, then was again, then wasn't. Where is he now? I dunno. Eating something, is my guess. He was a heavy man.
5)Vince Carter- He was on the Raptors, and then maybe the Knicks? I dunno. He used to be pretty good at dunking.
6)Shaquille O Neal- Duh. Shaq Fu. I don't believe it took me this long to come up with this one.
7)Dwayne Wade- yeah, little guy on Shaq's team, kinda awesome I think. Did he play with a cold? I think so.
8) Bill Bradley- Presidential candidate. Was on the Knicks once. Can you tell we're getting near the bottom of my knowledge? (Ok- I'll admit, guys who have retired don't count.) I'll do 8 again.
8) Isn't there a European guy named "Shinobly" or something? Yeah- it's like "Chertoff Chinobly?" Something like that. Well, that guy. You know who I mean.
9) Does Vlade Divac (pronounced Dee-Vatch) still play? How about him? Fuck it, I'm counting him.
10) Tim Duncan! Has my last name. Almost forgot about that guy. Looks like the Snuggle bear. You know, from the commercials? I'm right about that.
11) How about David Robinson- he still in the league? I know him too.
12) Alright, now I'm just trying to run through the cast of the movie Space Jam, and I think those dudes are all retired. Lemme see. Uh- fuck. 40 is a lot of guys. I'm tempted to ask my girlfriend. No- no I won't, I'm standing firm. Think, Duncan, think. Who else is in the NBA? WAIT! What's that dude in Minnesota? Kevin Garnett? Is that right? Cool. Kevin Garnett. He's tall.
13) OK- There's Kevin Garnett, and that made me think there might be a guy who has a segmented nickname, like A-rod. Wait- that just made me think of a long name. Stodimeire? There's a guy named Stodimire, right? Is first name is exotic, I'm pretty pure, something like "Amare." Yeah- Amare Stodimeyer. Maybe. I'm going with that.
14) OK- only 27 more. Only 27 more, and the only thing I can think of is Manute Bol. Fuck. I'm out.
Lemme restate the premise, clean up and republish- here goes:
THE AMERICAN HOCKEY FAN PRESENTS:
THE TOP 13 PLAYERS IN THE NBA!
1) Allen Iverson
2) Ben Wallace
3) Paul Pierce
4) Antoine Walker
5) Vince Carter
6) Shaquille O Neal
7) Dwayne Wade
8) Chertoff Shinobly
9) Vlade Divac
10) Tim Duncan
11) David Robinson
12) Kevin Garnett.
13) Amare Stodimeyer.
Fuck it, I'm sticking to hockey.
And don't even get me started on this World Cup bullshit.