Today we’ll be test-driving a new format for our daily coverage of the NBA’s big news. The plan is to look at the world of hoops through the best and worst quotes from the players, coaches and media, with commentary from your favourite writer…assuming that’s me. If it works nicely and goes down well with you good folks, we’ll stick with it.
With the grand introduction out of the way, let’s get right to our first quote.
There may have been talk of Ron-Ron staying on the I.L. all year, but who can really see that happening? Whether or not he wants to return, the simple truth is that a trade taking him out of Indiana is not a possibility, but an inevitability.
"I respect everything Donnie does. I respect how he runs the organisation, his decision-making, and he’s one of the guys who says something, and his word is good.” – Jermaine O’Neal on Pacers’ G.M. Donnie Walsh
Did he really say “and his word is good”? I may have caught the wrong scent here, but the last time I read that phrase was in a book you may know: The Bible. There’s such a thing as respect for upper management, but Jermaine may be overcooking it when he refers to Donnie Walsh with religious language. That said, if he can trade Ron for a player of equal value, I’ll consider him a basketball god.
"We can never play together…If he came back somehow, it would be him or me.” – Jermaine O’Neal
That’s cold, J.O. Ronnie may have said and done some stupid things, lost you millions of dollars and crapped all over the team that stood by him through thick and thin, but…hell, I can’t defend him any longer. From here, his antics are cute, but I’m certain that if I were playing for Indiana, I’d be saying much the same as Jermaine is now, only with a great deal more cursing.
"I should have been a man and spoken with coach (Rick Carlisle) about my differences with him…Yes, I would like to return to the team." – Ron Artest
Of all the Ron Artest quotes we’ve seen over the years, this might be the craziest.
"We’ve been put in a difficult situation, but it looks like the Pacers are a better team when they’re dealing with adversity. Things are much better now in Pacerland." – Sarunas Jasikevicius
I’ve never heard him talk before, so I ask this question: Is Jasikevicius’ English really that good or was he speaking through an interpreter? I know he spent a few years in the U.S. for high school and college, but when Andrei Kirilenko still sounds very much the foreigner after five years, I find it hard to believe that Sarunas could achieve not only fluency but eloquence in roughly the same time. If he was, in fact, talking via a translator, I’d very much like to know what “Pacerland” is in Lithuanian. You never know when these things can come in handy.
"I feel like 50-years-old man." – Andrei Kirilenko
That’s what I was talking about. Either AK47 is still omitting the indefinite article (I never thought I’d see that phrase in a basketball column either), or he’s referring to a Russian superhero called “Fifty-years-old Man”. I sincerely hope it’s the latter.
"When you win the game, it always makes you feel happy. It makes you feel happy, and it makes you feel good. I think everybody wants to feel good.” – Andrei Kirilenko
It’s good that you’re happy, Andrei, and I feel happy that you’re good. You know what would be good and make you happy? A thesaurus. Two adjectives won’t cut it in this league, homeboy.
“Jackson still is issuing books on road trips for his players to read. Guard Kobe Bryant already has discarded five books, but decided to keep "Blink" by Malcolm Gladwell. The topic is trusting the first two seconds of thought that enter one’s mind.” – John Reid of the New Orleans Times-Picayune
The problem is that Kobe’s first two seconds of thought on receiving a pass probably go a little something like this: “Shoot it, shoot it, shoot it, shoot it, shoot it. Damn, these tights are itchy.” It’s not normally until second three that he considers passing, which is why reading Blink would result in some horrible percentages and a lot of Laker losses. Besides which, if you’re going to read anything by Gladwell, it should be The Tipping Point.
"When you look at other buildings, like Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, they have amenities there that generate revenues when there is not an event in the building. A restaurant there might be open six days a week. At the Bradley Center, we’ve got some months when we’re only open one or two days a month."– Ulice Payne Jr., the chairman of the Bradley Center board of directors, on the problems the arena faces.
Right here, I was planning to make a disparaging comment about Wisconsin when I realised that my knowledge of the place was limited to what I’d seen on reruns of Happy Days and That ’70s Show, both of which would leave me years behind. Instead, I’ll say that, having read a lot concerning the Bradley Center, it looks as if the Bucks will have a new home in the next few years, possibly in a new city. If they are moved, the odds are that David Stern will make sure that it’s to Oklahoma, who have impressed him with their treatment of the Hornets.
"Everybody knows what that is really about. He had to make a choice: the young guy or the old guy. He made his choice, and good luck with his choice."– Shaq on Mitch Kupchak
I normally roll my eyes at anything even vaguely related to the Kobe-Shaq feud, but this one caught my interest as it came only a week before the Christmas Day match-up between the Lakers and Heat. Every quote is fuel on the competitive fire, and that can only mean a more exciting game for us, the fans. Here’s to more media sniping.
“He lost thirty-five pounds and then he put back on thirty-five pounds, so that’s got to mess with your body a little bit, so we don’t know what to expect." – Mitch Kupchak on Ronny Turiaf
While reports of weight fluctuations may not be the best news for Ronny Turiaf, what’s promising is that we’re discussing him at all. With ‘Zo and T.J. Ford’s comebacks still fresh in our minds and a possible Fred Hoiberg return being spoken of, Ronny has to be encouraged about his future in the NBA. Here’s hoping he can build on his success in college as a Laker at some point in the near future.
“At the end of last season, I weighed 235. This year I started the season at 260. I think I overdid it. I just needed to add 10 pounds and that should have been solid muscle. What I did was eat and eat, and I didn’t do my cardio exercises."– Chris Andersen
Brrrrrrr…what happened to that boy? Apparently, he followed the example set by the other Birdman and grew fat. I’m as big a Chris Andersen fan as anyone (I stuck by him even after his dunk contest showing, which we’ll never mention again), but I have to question the mind of someone who only retrospectively made the connection between an excessive weight gain and the fact that he ate without exercising. I know the Hornets essentially brought him in to fill Tractor Traylor’s spot, but I don’t think they wanted him to fill it all the way.
“[Going from a starting spot in Miami to a reserve role in Cleveland was like going from being] the lead singer for The Beatles to a backup, doo-wop guy for the Isley Brothers.”– Damon Jones
I normally pay about as much attention to Damon Jones as the WNBA, but this quote is pure gold. If he can keep coming up with material like this, I’ll have to start caring a little more that he exists. It’s funny not only because of the novelty of the analogy, but also because Damon Jones, the man who has been waived five times in his career, compared himself to a member of The Beatles.
"I hate rap! Can I say that?" – Chris Kaman
Can you say that? Only if you’re Chris Kaman.
"It’s, like, a rule. You can’t have Christmas without snow." – Chris Kaman
With his unruly mop-top, awkward gait and quotes like that, I don’t know what Chris Kaman would have to do to make me hate him. He could let down the tyres on my car, rob my house and pee in the fish tank, and I’d still give him dap if we met.
Well, that’s all there is for today. Let us know how you like the new format by commenting in the box at the bottom of the page or by emailing me directly at [email protected]. Check back in tomorrow for another look at the latest basketball news. Until then, take it easy.