by Bethlehem Shoals
• Flip Saunders on Chauncey Billups’ desire to play more meaningful regular season games:
“What Chauncey doesn’t understand is, doing that every night can wear on you mentally. I think what those teams (in the West) wonder about is, having to expend all this energy now just to survive the conference and get a home playoff seed, what’s going to be left?”
Translation: Leave it to the West to generate ratings and crank out quality regular season product. Back in the East, in a no-nonsense town like Detroit, we’re fine strolling through a scorched earth while fans flip right by half of our telecasts. The season’s too long, the Playoffs are too long, and if Billups doesn’t get that he should spend more time reading the papers. Or he can pay the fine Stern slaps me with for this not-subtle-enough criticism of the league.
• Chris Andersen, on his struggles with addiction:
“I always had control over [drinking]. It was just when everything hit me all at once it was just like, ‘What do I do? I’ll find the answer at the bottom of a bottle. That one didn’t have the answer. Maybe I’ll go to the next one. That wasn’t there, try cans.’ There wasn’t no answers at the bottom of no cans.”
Translation: Still trying to figure out my drug of choice? I’ll keep you guessing: It didn’t come in a bottle or can, which rules out liquid crank and PCP vodka shooters.
• Bruce Bowen on his suspension:
“I’m a Christian. Sometimes when we feel like we’re wrongfully accused, you have to look at it as people we try to emulate our lives after were wrongfully accused. It’s about how you handle that, more than anything else.”
Translation: I am such a sanctimonious prick that nothing can hurt me. Sometimes, I cut in line at the grocery store because I know what’s in other shoppers’ hearts.
• Herb Brown on his brother Larry’s need to get back in the game:
“It is his life. He’s spent the past year just going to colleges and NBA practices.”
Translation: Someone, please, give the man a coaching job. He’s showing up in any gym without a padlock, muttering to himself in the corner and polishing his championship ring for everyone to see. When anyone recognizes him, he runs out through the fire exit, shouting something about how real teachers do. The Sixers let him in the facilities once a month, and all he does is try to tie Dalembert’s shoelaces together. I’m worried he’s going to rob the local Costco with a rubber knife just so he can get a shot at coaching prison ball.
• Tyson Chandler on his feelings toward the Bulls:
“Last season, I’d sit by the TV and wish all my negative vibes on them. But the team they have now is a team I’m not familiar with.”
Translation: I had this Scott Skiles voodoo doll—one of the advantages of life in New Orleans—but I stuck so many pins in that the whole torso fell apart. So it’s good that they fired him, because that old lady might be hard to track down again. Sometimes, when I sit up at night thinking, I wonder if that funny-looking doll helped get Skiles fired. I mean, it really didn’t look like him, apart from being bald and white. But people pay good money for bobbleheads that look nothing like us players, so who knows?
• Shaq on Amare’s relative lack of recognition:
“I’ve been telling him that he needs to take it as a sign of disrespect when you, the media people, don’t mention his name like you do the Garnetts and the Dwight Howards. In any basic karate movie or any Mafia movie, in order for you to get to the top, you have to take out the top guy. You have to go after what they do… He has to let the world know who Amare Stoudemire is.”
Translation: Remember that bus I had made for LSU tailgating? It had a mural of me of me, The Don, with the Corleone family, Tony Montana, and Tony Soprano all sitting at a table awaiting my orders. You’re quicker, more athletic, kind of like me if I did martial arts for real, like on the court. Shut the fuck up Raja, no one wants to hear your Shaq-Fu jokes. So get yourself some large vehicle, and do that same shit, but throw in Bruce Lee and Jet Li. Don’t put them in tuxedos, though, or else no one will recognize them. Then put yourself on there, rocking a suit jacket with no shirt under it, and a fedora with a headband around it. And look, I already read your mind: No need to put my likeness in the picture, since that’ll just confuse folks.
• Josh Boone on the Nets at this point:
“Every game is the biggest game of the year at this point.”
Translation: I’m this close to completing my collection of Metallica memorabilia.
• Arenas on his return:
“When I come back, it’s just an assist game. They don’t want me jumping and being acrobatic.”
Translation: Like I haven’t heard this “Wizards better without Arenas” talk. Watch me: I’ll come back on one leg, have the offense humming like crazy, average ten dimes a day, and only shoot when it’s a game-winning situation. And when we win a first round series, I’ll be so high off vengeance that I’ll forget I’ve locked up a max deal.
• Paul Pierce on his relationship with Gerald Green:
“I tried to take him under my wing. I tried to work with him. There were days when I’d come in and play some one-on-one with him and show him some stuff that I do to get better. But you’ve got to have the work ethic.”
Translation: It’s hard to help someone when they won’t stop jumping over you. He did when we went one-on-one, and then in sprints, he just jumped across the whole court. It’s really kind of a curse, and makes me glad that I’m a little doughy and am, at best, “deceptively athletic.”
• Garnett on accusations of tanking:
“I thank them for the opportunity they gave me when I was younger and not only being able to explore my dream, but to be able to make it to where I’m at today. That’s all I’m going to say about that.”
Translation: McHale drafted me out of high school without reservations, I got to see the floor, and I ended up with the biggest contract this side of A-Rod. I earned a rep as one of the best players ever, had everyone in basketball feeling my pain, and then, was able to gracefully demand a trade to a contender with time left on the meter. Glen Taylor can say whatever the fuck he wants, since his franchise wasted one of his generation’s best players and I’ve still landed on my feet. That’s the definition of sour grapes—if anyone’s even listening to news out of Minny anymore.
• Earl Watson after that Denver game:
“I’ve been saying all year that this season is about humiliation. After humiliation comes success.”
Translation: I know it sounds weird, and you probably wouldn’t get it unless you lived in this city, but I’ve been driven to Buddhism. My moms is little confused, but it’s helped me a lot and I’ve got Chris Wilcox going to my study group.
• Cassell on KG in Minny:
“The good things that Kevin did for that community was outrageous.”
Translation: When I speak, people are liable to start parades.
• LeBron on DeShawn Stevenson’s disrespect:
“With DeShawn Stevenson, it is kind of funny. It’s almost like Jay-Z saying something bad about Soulja Boy. There’s no comparison. Enough said.”
Translation: Damn, Delonte really fucked up writing out that cue card.