Donnie Walsh on the task before him:
“I don’t want anyone to be fooled. There’s no magic wand here.”
Translation: I know you may have heard some things. But just in case you liked working under Isiah, I want to make it clear: I will not be taking my pants off at work. And I do not believe that you can save a franchise with your libido alone.
Walsh on Zeke’s future:
“I need to sit down with Isiah and have a meaningful basketball conversation,”
Translation 1: I just need to see if he can give me that much. Then at least we’ll have a starting point. Otherwise, I might as well have Captain Crunch on the payroll.
Translation 2: You know how psychologists always want to go and interview the worst serial killer they can find? They want to see how a truly deviant human mind works. Partly for the cause of knowledge, but also for the f–king rush of it. Did you see The Cell? They made a whole movie out of stepping inside the head of a lunatic, and it sold a lot of DVDs. That’s why I need to have the aforementioned “meaningful” conversation. I want to sit across the table from him and get deep.
I hope for the sake of the people of New York that I can find my way back, and am not permanently scarred by the experience. But as a lifelong basketball man, I owe it to the sport. It could save thousands of franchises in the future. Lives, even.
Big Boss Dolan on Walsh’s gig:
“His mandate is clear. Do whatever is necessary to turn this team around. Our fans have been patient and loyal and deserve to have hope.”
Translation: Holy sh*t. I just realized that I am the George W. Bush of the NBA world. I guess I can live with that.
Michael Jordan, speaking publicly for the first time in months, on Sam Vincent’s job security:
“Looking at what Sam has done, it’s a good job. But I won’t say he hasn’t made mistakes.”
Translation: Every single one of you, you know my steez. I am the perfectionist to end all perfectionists. One time, Luc Longley f*cked up my order when we were getting drive-through at Burger King. I pushed his kid down the stairs. Kwame’s left eye is lazy because I spit in it every time he missed a rebound. I still call Jared Jeffries to tell him that his ears are uneven.
So what do you think? That I really believe Sam’s done “a good job”? That there’s not resounding emphasis on that second sentence? There ain’t no mistakes in “good.” Not as long as I’m still in this league, hovering on the periphery. Or maybe I’m like God, coming down from Heaven and freeing the Israelites just by looking their way. Damn I feel alive, for the first time in months. Maybe I should sign myself and get in a couple of games.
Kobe, when asked if he could guard himself:
“This season’s more difficult than ever if I had to guard myself.”
Translation: God would have a hard time moving that unmovable rock he made.
James Posey, after a mascot accidentally assaulted him with a bunch of cloth:
“Two T-shirts were thrown at me and KG. I don’t feel safe.”
Translation: Maybe if I implicate one of the most bad-ass guys in the league in that sentence, I won’t sound like such a coward when I say it. If KG steps up and says he felt threatened, he’s really that MVP who brings a team together.
The Boston Globe on the investigation:
“The Bulls then said a referee approached Benny to see what had happened, but Benny doesn’t speak.”
Translation: Never. Not ever. Either he’ll lose his job if he breaks character, or these days mascots are into some serious method acting, where to play the role they have to live it 24/7. These are seriously professional performers in a highly competitive market.
Larry Brown checks in with the world:
“I’ve got to figure out if I can get a coaching job. I want to get back so bad. I’m so bored.”
Translation: It’s entirely possible that, with that one horrendous seasons, I blew an entire lifetime’s worth of credibility. I’m not quite sure how that works, but whatever. The other day my doctor told me that sharks die if they stop moving. That’s how I feel right about now, except I’m a shark for coaching. Wait, that totally came out wrong.
If I’m bored, basketball must ache for me, right? Even if she doesn’t, I just need to scratch this itch. Maybe I’m more like a coaching junkie, if that analogy were taken far too literally. Lord I wish that I could sleep.