Tuesday , Dec , 20 , 2005 C.Y. Ellis

The Day in Quotes: Allen Iverson, Larry Brown, Yao Ming, and more…

What’s good, basketball fans?

As promised, we’re back with another edition of The Day in Quotes. If the emails I received yesterday are anything to go by, the new format has gone down well with you all, so we’ll be sticking with it for the moment. If you haven’t already, let me know what you think of the set-up by emailing me at [email protected] or by commenting in the box at the bottom of the page.

Let’s get right to our first quote.

“He’s had it for a long time. It has to do with his toenail and having his toenail removed.” – Jeff Van Gundy on Yao Ming’s toenail problems

The Day in Quotes: Allen Iverson, Larry Brown, Yao Ming, and more...

I’m all for precise injury reports and in-depth coverage, but when I saw an article dedicated almost entirely to Yao’s nasty feet, I felt a line had been crossed. I have nasty feet of my own (two, to be precise) and damaged toenails, but you don’t see them being mentioned in the press. Well, not until now. My point is that I rarely, if ever, want to hear about anybody’s “dark and broken nail”, even if they happen to be the best basketball player from their continent. Can’t the Rockets save Yao’s dignity and list the injury as tendonitis like every other franchise does for an embarrassing ailment? If there are any Houston trainers out there, please make it happen.
"I guess I gotta look all GQ now." – Ike Diogu
The quote is a mild chuckler in itself, but the fact that he said it while wearing an “I like Ike” t-shirt had me squirting Kool-Aid out of my nose. For the record, that stuff doesn’t wash out of clothes.
"Lollipop can’t wear no turtlenecks." – Jason Richardson on Ike Diogu’s fashion options
I don’t think anything I could write would have a chance of making that any funnier. All I can say is that Jason Richardson must be some kind of badass to give a 6’8’’, 250-pound man the nickname “Lollipop”.
Fun fact: Diogu’s full name is Ikechukwa Somotochukwa Diogu. It’s no wonder we call him “Ike”.
"You’re good…Looks like you’re gonna sell Bibles door-to-door." – Jason Richardson on Aaron Miles and his outfit
What Jason Richardson lacks in one-footed jumping ability, he makes up for in wit. Did anybody know he had such a sense of humour? Perhaps he’s just coy with the media. Whatever it is, he’s been pumping out quality quotes like Shaq lately.
"There are players on the team he probably wouldn’t have wanted or wouldn’t have picked." – Isiah Thomas on Larry Brown
Really? I never would have known that Larry Brown was less than fond of certain players were it not that he implies it in every single interview. Of all the things Brown has done to invite criticism and hatred (among them team-jumping, untimely contract negotiations and constant line-up changes), the incessant criticism of his guys is the lowest of them all.
“Brown claims to be so embarrassed by the Knicks’ play he wants to wear ‘a hat and sunglasses’ to his son’s youth games.” – Marc Berman, NY Post
Hey, Larry, do you know who might be partially responsible for that? I would encourage you to look in the mirror for the answer, but you’d only blame it for making you look short, move it to the inactive list and ask Isiah if he could trade it.
"The goatee, the thickness of it, is a topic of discussion every night. It’s gotten more attention than I ever thought it would get." – Derek Fisher
Understand this: I’m a man who knows far too much about certain things. I can tell you what materials are used in each Air Jordan shoe, Shawn Kemp’s SAT score and the names of both of Hakeem Olajuwon’s parents. In short, I’m the dude that bores you with esoteric facts at every available opportunity. However, even I would be incapable of discussing a piece of facial hair on a daily basis. If Derek Fisher weren’t a millionaire, he sounds as if he’d be the same sort of nerd as I am, only with a goatee…although I have a goatee (ignore the old photo). Let’s just move on.
“Man, I was just in the NBA Finals last year. I just won three championships. And I’m sitting on the bench, watching our team get beat up.” – Derek Fisher
That’s because you won’t shut your yap about your chin fur. Have you noticed how there’s an inverse correlation between your court time and goatee thickness? That’s no coincidence, Derek.
"All he did was prove he doesn’t know anything about marketing." – Mark Cuban on comments made by Phil Jackson
I hate to disagree with Mark Cuban (spot the lie), but Phil Jackson is the man who left the Lakers in a shroud of mystery, criticised Kobe and made cryptic comments briefly prior to releasing a book, pocketing a pretty penny in the process (spot the alliteration). He may not be a billionaire like Cubes, but I think he knows a thing or two about pushing his product, be it a book, radio show or complicated offensive set.
"Of course, Mark would say that. He can’t stand any criticism at all."- Phil Jackson
You bitch, Phil. Those rings rate you highly in my eyes, but that sort of jibe is only a half-step up from calling him fat. Talking of which, Jax looks as if he’s carrying a little holiday weight right now. I’m just saying.
"One guy asked me, ‘How do I know the time [left on the shot clock]?’ Well, it’s on top of the backboard. I never thought I’d have to have that kind of response, but you can’t take anything for granted." – Larry Brown, commenting on the ignorance of one of his players
Either Larry is trying to imply that New York’s losses are due to the stupidity of his boys by relaying a fictional anecdote, or there really is a player one scoop short of a Knickerbocker Glory. I did see a guy with his shirt on backwards and Velcro shoes, but that turned out to be James Dolan.
(I should note that right after I wrote that, I took off my shoe to see why my foot was itching and realised that my left sock was inside-out. People in glass houses, huh?)
"Tell him to kiss my ass…Tell him to write the most devilish story he can write about me. If he says I did something, just tell him all those things are true. And say I hit somebody, too, and I cursed at a nun." – Allen Iverson after an incident with a poker dealer on a trip to an Atlantic City casino
A.I. may be a thirty-year-old in his athletic prime, but he already has the just don’t give a f**k attitude more commonly seen in senior citizens. What’s more, the use of words like “devilish” and talk of cursing at nuns are normally features of senility, not diatribes from the NBA’s leading scorer. I’m not saying he’s over the hill yet, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see him rolling up to games wearing shoulder-high slacks and smelling of BenGay in the near future.
"’I don’t know what my role is.’ Translation: ‘I don’t like my role. I don’t get to shoot enough.’ I never hear, ‘I don’t know what my role is’ from a good player. It’s always the players whose role is ‘sit your ass on the bench because you suck and we have a better chance of winning without you.’" – Jeff Van Gundy
This may be the greatest thing JVG has said or done since he humped Alonzo Mourning’s leg in the middle of the Knicks-Heat scrap back in the day. If only he’d spend more time churning out classics like this than discussing Yao’s toenails, he’d be a little more popular with the press.
"For some reason it has become a very negative society in a lot of ways. All we look for is the headline instead of the truth in everything. We could all be nicer to one another." – Pat Riley
You’re scaring me now, Riles. I was about to make a subtle accusation of drug use when I realised that it was probably the years of inhaling the fumes from your hair gel that got to you. When you start staring into space and making analogies involving sandwiches during press conferences, I’ll really be concerned.
“I’m cool.” – Marc Jackson
You keep telling yourself that, Marc.
"Definitely, if they got some money out there for me." – Al Harrington, on whether he’d consider joining the Nuggets in the summer
In an age of clichés and prevarication, it’s nice to hear someone keeping it real. Unfortunately, making an honest statement in a public space is now a violation of several clauses in the new Collective Bargaining Agreement, punishable by a $10,000-dollar fine and a paddling from David Stern.
That’s all for today, folks. As always, I encourage you to get in touch with me at [email protected] with your comments, questions and suggestions. Unless there’s a barrage of negative feedback, I’ll be back tomorrow with another edition of The Day in Quotes. Until then, take it easy.