By Matt Richardson
Couple of quick reflections following Wednesday night’s game:
In my post from earlier this week, I talked about Kendrick Perkins making tough hoops around the basket. On Wednesday night, he only had 2 field goals but they were both beauties. On the first one, he had a mismatch down on the block but immediately got doubled. In response, he spun baseline and away from the double team for an easy basket. As it happened, I remember thinking, “Wow, nice move”. Then, early in the third quarter, he corralled an offensive rebound off a Rajon Rondo miss (one of those tough little in-the-lane floaters that he recently purchased from the Sherman Douglas catalogue) and then muscled up to the hoop while getting fouled (and subsequently knocking down the free throw). Very nice work on that one as well. Checking the box score, I see Perkins complemented those two hoops, along with 4 of 5 free throws and 9 boards. Perkins also teamed up with Kevin Garnett to scare all of the Hawks bigs away from the paint (Yes, Josh Smith and Al Horford, I’m talking about your combined 7-22 shooting). Having said all of this, I promise to never again submit a post about a guy who made 2 baskets. Now please excuse me while I hand-wash my #43 jersey and gently fold it up until Saturday.
Also, a few thoughts on our just-recognized Defensive Player of the Year: Before I get there, though, a quick aside. The Defensive Player of the Year Award is sponsored by Kia Motors. Did you happen to see the video of Garnett checking out the Kia SUV that was presented to him for winning the award? In a word: Hysterical. He was looking at it as if to figure out whether or not it would fit into the back seat of his S 600. Couldn’t Kia have designed some sort of massive luxury SUV just for this purpose? If you know you are sponsoring an award that will result in you giving a vehicle to an NBA player, do you really want that vehicle to be a compact SUV? Were they secretly hoping that either Nate Robinson or Earl Boykins would win the award? Anyway, to avoid further potential embarrassment, Garnett graciously donated his pocket SUV to charity.
Anyway, back on point, after Perkins hit that second hoop off the offensive rebound, he was pretty fired up. Garnett, however, was equally amped, to the point of bear-hugging and lifting Perkins off the ground (Note to KG: Take it easy on the back there, big fella). Garnett then followed Perkins around the floor, yelling at him, slapping him on the head, etc. etc. It was absolutely fantastic. The next time I make a big play at work I want my boss to follow me around for five minutes whooping it up, holding his tie away from his chest and yelling “Now that’s what I’m talking about!!!”
In other developments, I’ve temporarily been handed the responsibility of sifting through our mailbag and, curiously enough, we’ve had a couple of mistaken deliveries that were intended for some other sports writer named Bill. Anyway, I’ve taken it upon myself to meet the expectations of the readers by filling in for this “Bill” and answering these questions to him to the best of my ability. Onto the questions…
Reader: Bill, my buddies and I were watching the season finale of “One Tree Hill” last week and noted the important role that Peyton’s Mercury Comet played in the story line. It got us to thinking about the most important car in TV history. After much debate and several drinking games centered around ED medication ads, we came up with the greatest car in TV history: Magnum’s Ferrari. It was easily the coolest car on TV on one of the coolest shows, but also was important to many of the plots, like the time he had to race the GTO, or the time it got scratched and Higgins was pissed. Your thoughts?
Matt: Great question. I admittedly don’t know a ton about cars as I drive a Prius and the best car I’ve ever owned was a green Chrysler Cordoba with rich Corinthian leather. My buddy Footprint threw up in it after a Marathon Monday drinking binge and I had to sell it to Joe the Alcoholic Counter Guy, who, ummm, didn’t seem to notice the smell. As for the Top TV car, Magnum’s Ferrari is definitely in the Top 5. I’d also add in BA Barracus’ van from the A-Team, KITT from Knight Rider (the first metro-sexual car) and that race car thing from Hardcastle and McCormick. But the number one TV car in history, and I will not debate this, is the General Lee. First of all, it was a rolling homage to the Confederacy, with the flag on the roof, the Dixie horn (da na na na na da na na na na nah), and the “01” number representing the supremacy of the Aryan race (Okay, I made that last part up). It was also a timeless classic muscle car (a ’69 Dodge Charger), and the most indestructible car since the Trans Am in Smokey and the Bandit. Add in the fact that the doors didn’t open (Magnum didn’t always use the doors, but at least they opened) and we have our winner. In fact, I just named my Prius “Daisy” in honor of the Dukes. By the way, can somebody pass me a beer? A Levitra add just came on.
Reader: Bill, I loved your what-if column on Chris Webber. I especially loved how you said he didn’t get derailed by injuries like other players, yet went on to quote a litany of injuries and missed games. I also liked that you panned the Webber for the Penny trade, yet ignored the fact that injuries derailed Penny too. And I had to giggle at your throwaway line “you can always find guards”… Once-in-a-generation super athletic big point guards with court savvy and shooting range to pair with a franchise big man are easy to come by? Really? Can you point me in the right direction so that my team can pick up a couple? But enough fawning. Onto my question: Isn’t AC Green an interesting what-if? Would he really have been a virgin well into his thirties if his career had gone differently?
Matt: This might be the greatest “what if” question of all time. The Lakers team that AC played for was an unbelievably bad scenario for him. Clearly, Magic had the chops with the ladies, much to his wife’s chagrin, but the rest of that team did not give AC the support he needed to be a player. Let’s start with Kareem. It’s well known that he was a closet case and couldn’t close the deal. Women obviously flocked to him, but he would inevitably bore them to death by bringing up his stalled acting career and complaining about the lack of Best Supporting Actor consideration for his role in Airplane! Every time a prospect ran away as soon as he turned his back to order another drink, he became increasingly bitter. Then you had Kurt Rambis, who, umm, actually let’s just move on. Michael Cooper was quietly gay (notice how he loved playing really tight, physical defense? And don’t think people haven’t noticed, Bruce Bowen), and Byron Scott had game, but as Tupac famously said, he didn’t like to pack his &*^% on a business trip.
But what if AC had been drafted five years later by Seattle? He could’ve partnered up with Shawn Kemp and Gary Payton, two legendary carousers with plenty of wealth to share. And what if Travis Henry was older and decided to play basketball and ended up in Seattle ? And you know the X-Man was hanging around the periphery, showing up at the clubs, etc… Clearly, under that plausible scenario, AC would’ve had many positive role models. Finally it’s a little known fact that AC is the illegitimate son of Joe Namath, so it wouldn’t have taken much to activate the most potent philandering gene ever. In retrospect, it’s a good thing AC didn’t drink or he might have tried to kiss Cheryl Miller.
Yup, these are someone else’s readers.