by Lang Whitaker

My friend Sally who works here alongside SLAM at XXL magazine approached me yesterday to say she was pretty sure she’d seen me on the train on her way in to work from her place in Brooklyn yesterday morning. She said that she was pretty sure it was me, until she realized the guy she saw had more facial hair. And, she added, the other guy was thinner. (Thanks!)

After I got over the affront, I pointed out that it couldn’t have been me on that train because unlike many New Yorkers, I actually live in New York City. Yes, it costs a bit more to live in NYC than to live in Brooklyn or Jersey or Long Island or Queens or wherever. But when I moved to New York, I wanted to move to New York. What I didn’t realize was that living in New York meant I’d have to spar with Time Warner Cable for the last decade. I’ve had TWC technicians in my apartment so often that I know them by name.

And now my League Pass has been taken away from me. This is partially related to the reason I’ve been AWOL the past week or so. After 7 years living in the same apartment, Wifey and I are moving this week. We’re only moving about three blocks from where we live now, but we might as well be moving to a new country, as much coordinating and packing as this is taking. Organizing this move is like coordinating the opening ceremonies of the Beijing Games. I got a frantic call this morning at 9 a.m. from our new building’s Super that a rogue couch delivery was occurring before the floors were finished being varnished or something, so I had to run over to the new place and cajole them into storing the couch for two days in a back hallway. The super noted the hallway was unsecured, and I pointed out if someone could steal a huge sleeper sofa they probably deserved to keep it.

In the meantime, I had to call my good friends at Time Warner Cable yesterday to get my cable and internet service moved to my new crib. The conversation went something like this:

ME: Hi, I’m moving this week and need to get my service transferred.

TIME WARNER CABLE REP: OK, great. Let me put you on hold.

(a few minutes later)

TWCR: Hello?

ME: Hi, I’m calling because I’m moving this week and I need to get my service transferred.

TWCR: OK, let me help you with that.

(after five minutes of me giving them my old and new addresses)

TWCR: I see here that you also subscribe to NBA League Pass.

ME: That’s right, I do.

TWCR: OK, well, since that is an ongoing event, I’m going to have to go ahead and cancel that today. Once you move and we re-connect your service you can call and have the League Pass turned back on.

ME: Let’s talk about that for a second. What will reconnecting my service entail? You don’t have to send a guy to my place, do you? It’s a big building, can’t someone just flip a switch there at your headquarters?

TWCR: No sir, we have to do it in person. And looking at our schedule, the soonest we can have someone there is…Saturday.

ME: Maybe you didn’t catch what I said earlier, that I’m moving on Thursday.

TWCR: I understand, sir, but the soonest I can have someone there to activate your cable is on Saturday.

ME: Whatever. OK. So that means I can’t get the League Pass turned back on until Saturday?

TWCR: Right. After our technician leaves, give us a call and we’ll turn it back on.

ME: So you can turn my League Pass on and off from there at your computer but you can’t do anything about turning my cable on and off from the same computer?

TWCR: Uh, yes, sir.

ME: Nice. And you said you already turned off my League Pass?

TWCR: Yes, I just turned it off. It’s an ongoing event, sir.

ME: (laughs) I got that. But I told you I’m not moving until Thursday, right?

TWCR: Right.

ME: So why can’t you turn off the League Pass on Thursday?

TWCR: I could do that, sir, but once you schedule your change of service, I have to go ahead and cancel it. It’s an ongoing event.

ME: No kidding. And you’re keeping me from ongoing with it if you turn it off today.

TWCR: Right. But that’s the way the system is set up.

ME: I understand, and I’m not blaming you, sir. So let me get this straight: If I waited until Thursday morning and then called and said I was moving that day to a new address, I could watch my League Pass for the next three nights, until I move on Thursday. But if I called on Thursday, I probably wouldn’t be able to get anyone to come out and turn on my cable until like the middle of next week. Right?

TWCR: Um…yeah, that sounds about right.

ME: So I can either have the ability to do my job for the next three nights yet run the risk of then being unable to do my job for a week or so afterward, or I can not do my job the next five nights but definitely be able to do my job after those five nights.

TWCR: Well, it’s an ongoing event, sir, and…

ME: Yeah, I got it. Awesome.

bullbrookSo that is where things stand as of today. I’m hoping that David Stern will intervene and yell at Time Warner Cable like he did the Blazers front office. In the meantime, I’m League Pass-less (and I won’t be able to watch online at the new place until they come turn on my cable — and internet. The only good thing is that I get Knicks and Nets games on my local cable, so I was able to watch two NBA games last night. And I came up with a Separated At Birth for ya: Brook Lopez (with the newly shaved head) and Bull from “Night Court.”

I don’t know about you, but to me Bull Lopez sounds way cooler than Brook Lopez. Sussman needs to incorporate this into the lexicon out at the Izod Center.

Alright, let’s run these teams down. Last week’s Dirty 30 is here.

And yes, this is an ongoing event…

RANKPREVIOUSTEAMRECORDCOMMENT
11Los Angeles Lakers30-6I know the Lakers are struggling with injuries and had a few underwhelming wins lately, but they’re still the best team in the L.
22Cleveland Cavaliers29-6OK, so how long before LeBron turns this whole “crab dribble” thing into an endorsement deal with Red Lobster?
34Orlando Magic30-8How has Marcin Gortat escaped our attention for this long? The Marcin Gortat experience is coming your way, soon.
45San Antonio Spurs24-12The Spurs finally lost a game in January, though it was against the mighty O(rlando).
53Boston Celtics31-9Remember, it’s not a slump. We got it, Rajon, not a slump.
67Denver Nuggets25-13Forget Chris Andersen, here’s the real Birdman. Brrrrrrrr!
710Portland Trailblazers23-14They aren’t going to win the NBA’s friendliest franchise award, that’s for sure. When Darius Miles was briefly a free agent last week, someone here in the SLAM Dome suggested the Blazers sign him and keep him on the bench. I thought it was a clever idea but there was no way the Blazers would be willing to look like a bunch of jerks. Turns out I was wrong. Classy franchise, those Blazers.
88Detroit Pistons22-13Michael Curry is hanging on to his team by a thread. Whatever happens in the next month dictates their season.
99New Orleans Hornets22-12Shoutout to Peja Stojakovic for winning the NBA’s Community Assist Award for December. Keep up the good work, Peja.
106Atlanta Hawks22-14The Hawks have lost three straight, Al Horford is hurt, Josh Smith still looks banged up, and now the Hawks go out West for three games. Hard times.
1114Houston Rockets24-15According to Yahoo!!!!!!!!!!!!!: “A bone scan performed on Ron Artest’s sore right ankle showed some stress, but nothing definitive.” Isn’t that sorta emblematic of his entire career?
1212Phoenix Suns21-13Shaq has hit 77 of his last 113 free throws. Hack-a-what!?
1315Utah Jazz23-15AK47 on Memo Okur dropping 43 on Indy: “I know what he’s capable of. He’s my neighbor.”
1411Dallas Mavericks22-15Because you know what the Mavs really need to become a better team? Another point guard.
1513Miami Heat19-17I know he’s a rookie coach and all, but seriously, how can Eric Spoelstra get away with forgetting Shawn Marion was on the bench in overtime of a close game? And if you forgot something like that, wouldn’t you try to keep that quiet?
1617Milwaukee Bucks19-21Zzzzzzzzz…
1716New Jersey Nets19-19Watching the homecoming of former Net center Nenad Krstic last night, I came to the conclusion that Nenad must’ve found some hair growth formula over in Russia. Just saying…
1821Philadelphia 76ers17-20Four straight wins by the Sixers is almost enough to make us forget about Sammy Dalembert finally getting his first assist of January. Almost, I said.
1920Chicago Bulls16-22Funny story Drew Gooden told me recently: When the Bulls were in Miami in December, Drew missed the game with a sprained ankle. He was sitting on the bench and when someone called a timeout, the ball bounced over to Drew. He picked up the ball, stepped onto the court and fired up a three-pointer from the corner. Only problem was that his suit jacket was too tight and his arm didn’t follow through, so he ended up shooting the ball up into the 24-second clock, which then drew a cascade of boos and catcalls from the fans seated nearby. Ladies and gentlemen, your Chicago Bulls!
2019Toronto Raptors16-23Coach Jay Triano summed up the Raptors by saying, “It’s not in our nature to be aggressive.” No kidding.
2122Charlotte BETcats14-24Totally random, but I love this commercial.
2218New York Knicks14-22Maybe Eddy Curry’s chauffeur would sound more believable if he accused a player other than Eddy Curry. After all, any NBA fan knows Eddy Curry hasn’t put a move on anyone since he got drafted in 2001.
2323Indiana Pacers13-25In case you missed it, here’s the highlight of the Golden Globe Awards the other night.
2429Minnesota L-Wolves11-25Right now, McHale is in the lead for my vote for Coach of the Year.
2525Memphis Grizzlies11-26In honor of the Grizzly bears, I just want to say that even though his show may have some parts which aren’t quite truthy enough for everyone, I’ve come to love “Man vs. Wild.” Bear Grylls is gangsta. Period. (Check out his shoulder X-ray here.) And I’ll excerpt his blog, also: “It made fighting a big pit viper rattlesnake interesting! (Although I did eventually get it. I then could eat it, and then use its skin to store my urine in whilst in the burning hot salt pan desert. The cocktail of snake innards and pee was truly terrible!)”
2624Golden State Warriors11-28Since he played in the Bay Area, this seems like the perfect place to shout out to Rickey Henderson for being elected to the baseball Hall of Fame. Here are some amazing Rickey moments. Before there was Manny being Manny, there was Rickey being Rickey.
2728Sacramento Kings9-29When my book comes out, I just pray this guy doesn’t review it. I wonder why ESPN.com hasn’t linked to that yet?
2827Washington Wizards7-30And now Etan Thomas is out. Maybe the Wiz should sign my man Jake Lee?
2930Oklahoma City Thunder6-33Their last two losses were by a combined 6 points. The Thunder are still losing, but they’re improving, and their next 3 games are at home.
3026Los Angeles Clippers8-29Sorry, Clipper Darrell. You are my man and all, but when your team loses 11 in a row, you get the bottom spot in the Dirty 30.