by Bethlehem Shoals

Stan Van Gundy on the pain of J.J. Redick:

“Him asking for a trade…that’s a pretty frequent thing in this league. J.J. is a guy who works as hard at the game as anybody I’ve been around. He’s got great confidence in himself and he wants to play. I never took it [trade request] as—and I still don’t think it’s the case—that J.J. is dissatisfied with anything other than playing time.”

Translation: See, if J.J. Redick actually played, and did jack shit for this team, then his trade demand would be a threat. Instead, it’s the generic way of expressing dissatisfaction. Like a little kids threatening to run away from home, or crashing your parents’ car to get attention. They’ll still come back for dinner and ask for a ride the next day.

Joe Johnson on Mario West’s future with the team:

“That’s why Mario is grinding the way he always does. He knows nothing is guaranteed. So he’s been going like crazy since the first day of camp. That’s just who he is. And hard work usually pays off.”

Translation: We have this great symbiotic relationship going. He teaches me about shit like the grind, each day being your last, going crazy, and having to work for everything. In return, he comes by my locker to bask in the ominous calm I exude, even in my most red-hot moments.

New Mavs coach Rick Carlisle, on how the embattled Josh Howard fits in:

“I said this a couple of weeks ago. He’s probably not considered our best player, but I think he’s probably our most important player because of the abilities that he has. He’s a major part of it.”

Translation: If you really think I’m ditching Josh because of some off-court bullshit, you obviously haven’t ever heard of the Brawl, or the Pistons that nearly mutinied on me. I’ve coached Artest, and like I said then, I’m here to win games. Not cast off young, near All-Stars because he’s ruffled a few feathers. Unless you’ve got another Josh Howard on ice that I can thaw out, plug in, and get production from without the personality.

TMac, on missing the preseason and beyond:

“I don’t have to play any games, but we’ll take it game by game. I don’t know how many games I’m going to play. I don’t know when I’m going to play.”

Translation: This would be yet another sad-ified banger from the annals of TMac melancholy, if not for the fact that we’re locked and loaded for the 2008-09. Instead, I almost sound cocky about missing time. I can afford to sit back, rest, and jump in when the tension’s unbearabale. For once, I’ll bring the drama, not find myself getting chewed up alive by it.

Lakers assistant coach Kurt Rambis on Andrew Bynum’s camp:

“We keep impressing upon him that he’s got to do a much better job of running the floor to both ends and that he’s got to do a much better job of anchoring our defense. It’s a big man’s responsibility to not only control his man but be the support man and the help man whenever people are driving to the basket.”

Translation: No, we haven’t been at all affected by everything the media’s been saying about Bynum since he went down, or the fact that he’s going be looking for max money next summer.

Lamar Odom, after Rambis criticized his first minutes at point guard:

“It’s the first game of the year, ain’t nobody want to score a career high the first game of the year.”

Translation: One of us has no f*cking idea what we’re talking about here.

Kobe, on getting sucked into the beef with Shaq:

“The biggest mistake I made was [always] coming up with a rebuttal [to O’Neal]. My philosophy had always been to keep quiet and not to say anything. And by me responding, that drew me into it. If I had to do it over again, I would’ve just let people talk and say what they had to say.”

Translation: I defend this country by winning us a gold. Shaq tells us he’s “the Black Michael Phelps,” probably because his fat ass floats so easily. It’s pretty embarrassing that I’m only now realizing how far apart we are, in terms of actually mattering as anything other than someone you rent for birthday parties.

LaMarcus Aldridge, after his teammate Greg Oden played well:

“I’m going on record and saying that Greg is a man-child.”

Translation: First!

Mikki Moore, on the perils of being skinny:

“I can’t worry about gaining weight anymore. My frame ain’t going to change. My best bet is to beat (his defender) down the floor and beat him that way anyways.”

Translation: I’m a decent stop-gap big man, but my main goal is to make every vet entering middle age jealous of my figure. I’m the anti-Jerome James.

Sheed, talking smack to Kwame Brown in practice:

“There is no way on God’s green earth that you can lock me up, ever, ever, everr. You couldn’t lock me up in when you were in D.C. or L.A., nowhere. You’re lucky you never had to face me in high school.”

Translation: Here’s how far I’ve come in the eyes of the public: A few years ago, you would’ve said I was quoting a Redman verse and accused me of making the NBA silly and dangerous. Now, I come off like an old head having some fun at a family reunion. No one’s even pointed out that Kwame’s psyche is about as sound as a mountain of rice paper.

Roger Mason, Jr., on his real passion:

“I light up when I talk about architecture.”

Translation: See, you can say this kind of thing when you’re a Spur.

The Clippers, on firing longtime GM Elgin Baylor:

“We greatly appreciate Elgin’s efforts during his time with the Clippers and we wish him the very best.”

Translation: When will you Hall of Famers learn? If you hang out in front offices too long, people forget you were once a legend, and you just become that wrinkled tall guy who fucks up the contracts and only shows his face at the lottery. Who cares that you invented jumping and scoring a lot? I hope Jordan’s paying attention to this one. Or maybe that’s why he insist on still showing up at practice every now and then, or calling out Kobe.

Nets CEO Brett Yormark, on the team’s new marketing strategy:

“I don’t want to say we are re-branding, but we are re-communicating who we are.”

Translation: With Yi around, we had to hire a bunch of Chinese-American outreach employees, contract some translators, and change up our concessions. It’s either that or try and get Brook Lopez in the next Judd Apatow joint.

Richard Jefferson’s feelings on changing team:

“I think people get a little paranoid thinking that ‘Oh, a big-city guy who won’t like it here and is going to say something negative and is going to try and be a big fish in a small (pond)’. That was never the case. I am looking forward to this opportunity.”

Translation: I’ve really covered my ass here, because there’s no way I can go for “big fish in small pond” while bitching non-stop about the city. It’s physically, logically, and mathematically impossible. Then again, I’m already crying a lot, and going for a Nobel Prize would be a nice hobby.

Tyrus Thomas, on how this year will be different:

“My biggest thing this year, I came into camp in the best shape I’ve ever been in.”

Translation: I’m sorry, did you just say you’ve been out of shape these first few years? Has anyone once complained that “Tyrus Thomas gets winded, doesn’t get up and down the floor, isn’t active, and doesn’t often look his body’s about to spotanteously go flying off in six-hundred different direections?” If so, right on, you’re doing the right thing for yourself and your family.

D’Antoni, when the press asked about Marbury latest commitment to coming off the bench:

“To do the right thing should never make the news.”

Translation: They said I’d be stressed-out, overwhelmed, and already losing it with this team, this city, this job. Instead, I’m finding it kind of boring and outlandish at the same time, like the factory work in Modern Times. You assholes ever heard of that? Go home, read a book, and I’ll call you when there’s anything other than a crazy guy changing his mind every other day to report on.

Luke Walton on his stalker:

“She was telling me how she was going to start dating Jordan, because Jordan says she’s pretty and supports her music career, so I’d better get used to having her around. I was like, ‘Listen, I just came from Jordan’s house. I know he has a girlfriend.'”

Translation: At least one of you has to get that we’re just talking about an aggressive groupie, who gets a different title and more ink because she’s white, I’m white, and it would’ve ruined my rep if I’d ever touched her.

More Luke:

“When she pulled up to my house and started yelling at me after she fired a fake gun at me, I couldn’t help but to start yelling back at her…But when we were interacting, I could tell by the stuff she was saying that she’s not all there in the head–which makes me feel bad for her.”

Translation: If Bill taught me anything, it’s to have some dim awareness of social issues in this country, and I bet you this is the first time ever an NBA-related story has gone out of its way to stress that the gun was fake. On the other hand, she is ugly as sin, so maybe she deserves a little bit of slack. It would be different if she were a stripper or something. They have everything in life.

Jason Terry, explaining the Mavs’ new offense:

“We have no half-court sets. There is a base and a method to our madness, but it’s all creative madness. It’s a little bit of the Princeton offense. A little bit of run and gun. Can you call it the West Coast offense of basketball? I don’t know.”

Translation: Rick Carlisle’s had some problems with players, and clearly, this time around he’s taking a cue from the political season. Say everything and anything and just pray it takes a while for them to realize what’s really going on.

Ray Allen, on how this season will be different:

“I have to really pick and choose where my shots are going to be because I’m not going to get them that often. I think the more we run (on the break) the more I’m going to score, but mostly I have to pick my spots. I learned last year that I wasn’t here for Doc to cater the offense to me. As opposed to years past and what I was able to contribute to the teams I played on, here I was just a guy here to fill in the gaps to make my teammates better.”

Translation: You guys have not seen the last of Ray Ray the Destroyer. Pierce went toe-to-toe with LeBron and Kobe and won, Garnett made that bugged-out speech for the ages. Now it’s my turn to get my official Celtics Glamour Shot.

Larry Bird discusses his wine collecting hobby:

NBA.com: What are some of your favorites?
Larry Bird: Well, I can sit here and say I like them all. The cabernet is good. Meritage. The chardonnay I like as well as any of them. It’s been good. I like a different variety and that’s what it gives you.
NBA.com: Don’t you have a wine cellar in your house?
Larry Bird: Yes, I have one. It’s pretty neat going down there and seeing all the different styles and having friends over and have them pick out what they want. It’s pretty big–I don’t have it completely full–but it will hold a couple thousand bottles.

Translation: Larry Bird could be our next Vice-President.

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