Chuck Daly on Isiah’s trials and tribulations:
“I know you’re supposed to win but where do you draw the line on criticism and stuff and when is enough, enough. This guy is the toughest guy I know to survive everything that’s been thrown at him.”
Translation: Like Zeke, I don’t believe in sexual harassment and was unaware of the modern day salary cap. Also, they tried to kill Jesus and look what happened to him!
(Exits with the C&C Music Factory blaring, dances a little.)
Isiah, reaching out to the one Pistons All-Timer who didn’t show up:
“Worm, wherever you are, you’ve got to come home.”
Translation: Old friend, it’s finally time. Let us join hands and remake Easy Rider one day at a time.
Maurice Lucas on today’s players:
“What can you say? They’re spoiled as hell. It’s a reflection of our whole culture. You travel on your own plane. You stay at the Four Seasons. You don’t get to meet people; they usher you to your hotel room. (Security) guards are around. You never get to express yourself or learn other people’s opinions. It’s a self-contained world.”
Translation: One time, Walton convinced me to write a letter to our local paper. It got published, and I felt good. The next day, he invited me to his hotel room to just rap about the world today. There were four hairy white chicks in there, and a bunch of mescaline in champagne flutes. I didn’t touch the stuff, but every now and then I catch myself mid-sentence and have to wonder—did the blond one, Cloudburst, dose my bathrobe?
Ron Artest on other people:
“If I’m going to be in Sacramento, I want to know what the community is thinking about me.”
“I don’t care what people think. I want to play. I want to play right now. I play my butt off. I play when my daughter’s sick. For people to question me … it’s frustrating explaining it, and I don’t need to explain it all the time.”
Translation: For serious, if this town would just give me a parade, let me run ads for my daycare center before 11PM, and allow me my God-given right to pay for my own sandwiches, I’d sign for the veteran’s minimum. You people have got me all mixed up.
Sebastian Telfair on his progress this year:
“For myself personally, I feel like I established myself as a point guard this year. I take a lot of pride in that because I was consistently getting guys open shots and being a point guard every game. I take pride in that and have to give myself a little pat on the back for that, but as a team, the way we’ve matured as a team from the beginning of the season to right now, we’re a completely different team.”
Translation: This is about the corniest thing I could possibly say to a reporter about my season, and the T-Wolves as a whole. And that’s not me. I’m so real they named a sex position after my crossover. But I mean every word of this, and at this point in my chaotic career, that feels f*cking fantastic. This is my very own “Star Spangled Banner.”
Phil Jackson on Gasol’s lackluster Sunday:
“He was soft to the ball, he was soft on the rebounds. He acknowledged that he wasn’t quite ready to play in that game. He came back in the second half and played well.”
Translation: Pau’s totally ESL, so maybe I can get a little lazy with the mind games here. Take this as a lesson in the ways of Phil: Throw a player’s biggest insecurity back at him, then absolve him of it. But keep him wondering whether he worked through it himself, or an authoritarian figure with a funny beard did it on a whim.
A peak inside the Mavs locker room:
Tonight was not different, except he called out “What’s up ladies – hey HoopsHype.” Brandon Bass immediately corrected him saying, “That’s HOOPSWORLD, fool.” Dirk shrugged at him and said, “I know – I’m just giving them (crap).”
Translation: All the crap Dirk gets for being soft, it’s Mark Cuban who really poisoned the team with those laptops, hi-def towels, and blue tooth toilet seats.
T.J. Ford on a season-ticket holder meet and greet:
“Season-ticket holder are pretty nice people. It’s not like regular fans where you have to sign autographs and get harassed.”
Translation: Congratulations, I just became a total a-hole millionaire.
Mike Dunleavy on Chris Kaman’s injury:
“Why would I ask him? He doesn’t know what he’s talking about.”
Translation: And while I’m at it, I’ll fire that broker of mine who eats possum and collects World War I memorabilia.
Pat Riley on the Heat’s plans for their high draft pick:
“If there’s someone we all agree on . . . then we will do that. If we can’t get a consensus, or if I don’t feel real good about it, or if he doesn’t really fit because of the position, then maybe we go in another direction.”
Translation: I haven’t been to the team offices in weeks, and spent the NCAA’s on a yacht in the Mediterranean. What, you thought I took time off to hit up Omaha, Tampa, and San Antonio? If we don’t get a top two pick, I’ll sell it for cash and take off for Morocco. Number one, I leave Dwyane in charge and visit Tahiti. If we end up second overall, I hire Mark Penn and spend all summer trying to ensure that Rose falls to us.
“I don’t know much about Oklahoma City but I’m sure there’s nice people there.”
Translation: Did I mention I’m from Iowa? And that my biting sarcasm is legendary throughout the league?
Kobe on all types of age limit:
“Picking up a gun and fighting for your country is a little more dangerous than playing in the NBA. Just a little. It’s a choice. I think they should definitely have their options and have their choice if they want to do it or if they don’t. It can’t hurt.”
Translation: Why am I smirking? Because I know multiple foreign languages, am absolutely fearless, and scored better on my SAT’s than any of you. I’d be starring in the real life Mission Impossible before the other kids even got out of boot camp. Me making this analogy is about as appropriate as you comparing me to any old preps-to-be wannabe.
Damon Jones on being cut out of the Cavs post-season plans:
“Hard is not the word. I don’t think there’s a word for it that can explain the feelings you go through knowing that you’re capable of being positive and helping the team win in any way, shape or form, and at this point in time my name’s not being called. It’s three years in a row for me, and every time I’ve been called upon, hopefully I’ve been able to be positive toward the team winning.”
Translation: In my career, I’ve been almost every single Wizard of Oz character there is. Some multiple times. Somehow, though, I’m only now getting around to the one that people actually feel for. You know, the one that isn’t just a silly costume vaguely related to the pain inside each and every one of us. This is me. And this is my story.
Nellie on missing the Hall of Fame cut:
“I don’t disagree with the people that didn’t vote for me. I don’t think I’m a Hall of Fame guy, either. That’s for Pat Riley and (Phil) Jackson and those other guys. I’m just a hog farmer from Illinois who’s been lucky to be in this great league for a long period of time.”
Translation: Those are small-time punks who don’t have their own militia in Iraq, thousands of looted antiquities, or a couch made of pure amber. I’ll get by.