By Toney Blare
Situated in a sea of parking lots, Handsome Willy’s is that bar you and your boys might open if you got it together and took the risk. The joint has only asphalt and hospitals as its neighbors, some of the hospitals open, some closed, all of it conducive to doing whatever the f you feel. If you sit at the bar, you can look out the front door and see the small village of homeless (where Sam had his freedom march), the I-10 overpass, and, in ironic tragedy, and closed-down hotel where all those poor folks could stay. Probably my favorite spot in New Orleans, and tonight is free crawfish Friday.
-No trap on CP3.
-Dirk is averaging 29 a game and is apparently the source of the 2 game deficit? Really?
-We’re in a bar, my girl and I, and the close captioning seems to say something about Josh Howard, reefer, and 5 years ago. What? Close captioning always reveals how dumb talk gets.
-I hear the potatoes are ready, but the crawfish not yet. Some advice: only eat the bugs in March and April. Also: check out Handsome Willy’s when you come down. Professor Longhair comes through the big speakers, and my girl says she thinks CP3 is the next MJ. Which is pretty much what Lang said after Game 2. Is she Linkstigating behind my back? What’s up with that, Lang?!
-Stack misses. Stack is calling out suckers? I mean, I’m not in the Byron fan club, but Stack? If Stack was luckier, he would’ve had Byron’s career. Think about it.
-Quarter ends 23-16 Dallas. Word is it’ll be an hour til crawfish, i.e. sometime in the 3rd.
-Getting to be Pargo Time, cuts the lead to 27-26. My man the DJ compares Pargo to John Starks. Actually…?
-Bonzi tosses up an airball but Julian Wright catches it and slams it home. “Wanna Be Startin Somethin’” comes on.
-The Bees get the lead, Kidd throws it thru Dirk’s legs, and CP3 wrestles in a lay-up. One reason he’s so good like that: great upper body strength. Like a piston or a Dave Megget-type.
-Timeout Avery. “Summertime, and the livin is easy…” There’s dusk outside, maybe the setting of the Dallas sun, and the gambling machines glow in the corner. Them’s for you, Cubes.
-Dallas pulls it even with a fast break. The real irony is that they should play like the Nash Mavs now that Kidd is there, but it’s too late for both, and how was it all worth it for Avery to change the team’s style?
-Man, it must be the playoffs. I just took a sip of the Bud Light to my left, and heard a dude say, “Thanks, man.” It was his beer, I’m with High Life. Luckily he hadn’t sipped it himself. Sorry, fella, let me get another Bud Lite for you. Where beer-jacking happens.
-Lead gets to 7. DWest cuts it to 45-40 and with 22.1 seconds left, Avery calls timeout. Managing, or shook? Dirk buries a nice fadeway to end the half 47-40.
-J Kidd looks absolutely nuts in the sideline interview. Perhaps because, unlike his last run involving B-Scott, we haven’t been blessed with one TJ cameo. Why?
-You know how weird it is down here right now? Lenny Kravitz is in the commercials for the local waste management company. Really—he’s a buddy of the owner. The company is making the French Quarter squeaky clean, and Lenny is the symbol of that effort. For real.
-Starts with “Award Tour.” CP3 drops a 3. Alright.
-Dallas has the energy right now. David West keeps short-arming shots, which is what he did at the beginning of the year, which is not now. J-Kidd is on the verge of his dimestore triple double, and Pac is saying “I Get Around.”
-Don’t know how much the Hornets complained post-game, but the refs are awful.
-JT on the fast break, and “CRAWFISH” rings out over the microphone. People make their move to the back deck, but I figure there’ll be time for that between quarters. Fool.
-Lead cut to 6, place smelling like crab oil.
-I’m amped when the Sixers score flashes. Speaking of Khalid, Dirk gets a sneak punch on the baseline from Pargo.
-Put Knight Rider comes back with a nasty fade away, extends the lead to 68-59. My girl decides that she’ll go get the crawfish. Check me out. Alas, the feeding frenzy beat us to this batch.
-“Lean on Me.” Byron. Joe Clark.
-Donde esta Bonzi?
-Pargo catches an inbounds and hits 30 points on the night. Still, the lead is 87-74. Behind us, the dancefloor is populated. People dig the Hornets and all, but Curtis Mayfield is playing and it’s Friday night. Maybe that’s a 13 point deficit, but New Orleans is New Orleans.
-Why is some 12 year old who resembles Devin Harris sitting courtside?
-Peja drops a 3, cutting it to 9. Commercial. There’s a big man ahead of me in the bathroom line. A little woman walks out of one of the bathrooms and exhales, “Wooooo.” I ask the dude if he wants to go, but he insists. “Big Pimpin’” comes on.
-Quarter ends with Jason Terry flashing 3 fingers a hand at the crowd. For what, 3 consecutive playoff disasters?
-A soul slow jam comes on the radio. Turn away from the screen a minute.
-Dallas isn’t slowing down. The lead is 79-63 after Dirk buries a 3. No timeout? Not now?
-Kidd gets whacked in the face by Pargo. The cut to commercial shows a Dallas highlight, than a Cubanorgasm.
-Is it me, or does the Manu/Nash split screen just smack of some potential Ali G hijinks?
-The lead is 15 with less than 9:00 to go when ESPN shows a clip of the last Hornets win in Dallas, led by ’98 Glen Rice in pinstripes. On the Mavs’ squad at the time? Dennis Scott.
-Pargo hits a 3 and we get a shot of Kidd with ice on his eye.
-First TCP3 oop of the evening cuts it to 90-83, but a JT 3 basically ends it with 2 minutes left. Dirk buries a 2, and that’s game.
-When the BS starts with CP3’s frustration foul on Terry and some attempt at a shove from Damp, the DJ cues up Mystikal, “Danger.” Word. When the game ends, we get “Dirt Off Your Shoulder.” I call back over my own shoulder. “Nice choice.” My girl and I, we wait around for the next batch of crawfish.