Ground beef and beans: Let Marion play

Once again, we call on a commenter to speak to the group. You may recognize the name Ryne Nelson from the comments in SLAMonline posts. He also posts thousands of basketball videos here. Ryne has the floor…
By Ryne Nelson

It’s amazing how much time writers’ block can waste.

I’ve literally sat here on my bed, pillows propped up, legs outstretched on my deep ocean blue comforter, for hours. I’m waiting for my fingers to start typing magical characters onto the screen. I look up at my Gilbert Arenas poster like churchgoers might half-mindedly look up at stained glass windows. I’m saying a prayer.

Gilbert, please deliver me some words.

So I wait for a sign from Gilbert. In the meantime, I put on some socks. It’s getting cold. Phone rings. It’s my guy at St. Louis U. Nice words, exchange pleasantries. We’re off the line again. I’m here again. He’s there again. Still, staring at an blank screen. Damn. I watch Breaking Bad. Get sorta hype. Shoot some emails. What?! Dad’s in town! Visit. Watch The Onion news. Laugh, finally. Sit back down on the blue comforter.

Writers. Block. Four hours. Post-game.

And then I hear a voice (vaguely like Gil’s, mind you): “Watch the f*ckin’ game, dumb*ss.” Now, either I’m hearing voices or waxing prophetic like Eli Stone. I prefer the latter because who doesn’t want random George Michael hallucinations (don’t ask…just watch)? Yet, watching the game seems like a decent plan. I’ve been known to watch hoops every now and then. My eyes are tired and red. I can’t see the computer screen. It’s a blurred fuzz And I heard watching a cursor blink more than 1,239,340 times results in automatic early onset Alzheimer’s Disease. Just check the blogs.

I flip on a Pistons shellacking of a team that doesn’t deserve mention. (If you know which team I’m talking about, don’t even try to argue about injuries, they were broken beyond repair). In the words of the great American journalist Hunter S., those filthy swines had this coming from the moment they were born onto this sorry, ugly, putrid planet. But I digress. Point being, the announcer informs me that Rasheed Wallace is going to New Orleans this weekend to hoop in the All-Star Game!

Okay, pause. Let’s paint a quick picture here. I’m sitting on my old couch, slouchin’ real low, chin on the chest, scruff pricking the cotton of my blue faux Banana Rep. sweater (mom’s got it from Kohl’s a couple Christmases ago). One sock on, one sock across the room. Hair not just disheveled…it’s everywhere. Into my mouth, I fork beans out of a cereal bowl, four or five at a time. Yes, I pretty much live on a peasant’s diet of ground beef and garbanzos…and buttered noodles, but that’s for another time and place (I’m laughing…like crazy!).

Play. Beans go everywhere. The hair stays disheveled. My face looks like your grandfather’s the first time he sees that you’ve grown 2004 Ricky Davis chops. First off, those beans…R.I.P. Second off, WTF!

Don’t get me wrong. Sheed is the man – the glue guy on my 8th place fantasy basketball squad. He deserves to be an All-Star, of course. But if the man clearly said he doesn’t want to play, listen to his request! David Stern knows Bald Spot would do anything to skip these mid-season glamour shows and chill with his fam. Sheed has been vocal this season and in the past about using the break as a mini-vacation.

I was happy for Sheed this season. Dude was playing well and rest was on the way. His cake, and eating it too. Yet, Stern took it away only a week after reserves were announced. This is cruel, Mr. Stern.

I survey my surroundings – beans sparkled on the floor like a game of marbles, a faint smell of hamburger still wafting I the air – and I wonder if there’s still time to fix this. To make the situation better for Rasheed Wallace. To get word to David Stern, and to excuse Sheed of the terrible, grueling agony of being an NBA All-Star.

Now listen up: Miami Heatian Shawn Marion should replace Kevin Garnett in the contest! It’s not as if this isn’t without precedent. Last season, Allen Iverson rocked the Red and White only weeks after fans elected him as Philly’s representative in the East. It’s strange, folks, but it works and actually makes sense. I know it’s tough at this point but if we mentally transplant Marion into the East, there’s no doubt he deserves to be the guy replacing the Ticket.

As a matter of fact, Marion’s been downright lava this season. He’s out-hooped Gerald Wallace, Ray Allen, Jose Calderon and Rasheed. I understand Rasheed’s a big like Garnett, but Marion, as you recall, has locked down power forwards all year while playing D’Antoni small ball.

So now, I’m yelling at the television screen, furiously trying to bring up a fresh Word Document, and tip-toeing over – as best I can – miniature land mine clusters of starchy, gas-inducing, dusty, beans. Screw it. Just get me a vacuum. I have a serious case of writer’s block to kick in the *ss. We all know The Commish (the millionaire) reads SLAM. Here’s to hoping this ends up among Stern’s morning-wire-tap-and-cup-o-tea.

And, Mr. Stern, if you disagree, don’t chew me out. Direct your anger to that cat on my wall, Gilbert. He told me to watch.