Will the NBA training camps just start already?! These fluff pieces are seriously killing my mojo. Lebron's photo shootery, Michael Jordan's Ryder Cup watchery, Kobe's non-prediction...ery. Being a basketball fan now is just plain boring. I imagine this is a lot like being a competitive chess fan, but without the hot chicks (see below).
The latest crap to be pooped out of the media's collective backside is an article from the Whittier Daily News titled Jackson a positive influence on Brown. It's basically a story about how Phil Jackson bravely stood by Kwame Brown last year, despite the fact that Brown
sucked failed to live up to expectations.
"No matter how low Kwame Brown got last season, Lakers coach Phil Jackson refused to introduce any more negativity into Brown's basketball mindset. When Brown was struggling with the triangle offense - struggling sometimes just to catch the ball in the post - Jackson tried to break down the game to its basics. All he asked of Brown was to run the floor, rebound and play defense."They left out how once, when it was raining, Phil drew Kwame a little picture of a sunny day, where the sun was actually a big smiley face, and there were two little stick figures holding hands. And then they went to the mall, and Phil bought Kwame a kitten, and the Zen Master named him "Little Stoney Paws Can't Catch A Goddamn Ball," which I know sounds like a funny name, but it was just a motivational ploy to make Kwame a better basketball player.
See, this is the problem with grand statements. Jackson "refused to introduce any more negativity into Brown's mindset"? See that's funny, because I seem to remember Phil questioning Kwame's toughness and dedication. But he didn't say something like, "I question Kwame's toughness and dedication." Instead, he called Kwame a pussy after a hamstring injury sidelined the big fella for three weeks. When it got out, Jackson denied it of course, saying that he didn't use the "p" word, saying that "The thing I do is that I meow when I go by him." Which is a decidedly not positive thing to say when you're such a positive coach talking to a guy who's ego was repeatedly crushed into oblivion by Michael Jordan a few years ago.
Of course, all this was lost in the hustle and bustle of last season's real NBA news, which most typically involves the title contenders. So now, Mr. Ross Siler of the Whittier News gets to talk about how positive and nurturing Jackson is, and how Phil is "Mr. No Negativity Here." But that isn't the case. People love to say that Jackson is a "master motivator," but in truth he's a master manipulator. He dispenses support and encouragement when it suits his purposes, and he also uses sarcasm and mockery when he wants to light a fire under one of his players. Does anyone remember how he alienated Horace Grant in Chicago? Or how he sometimes enraged the otherwise docile Scottie Pippen? Life with Phil isn't all sunshine and puppy dogs. I'm not saying that it doesn't work. I'm not even saying it's wrong. But portraying him as a surrogate father figure who's cuddling and loving Kwame to greater heights is patently ridiculous.
Photo-tastic Extra: Here's my favorite picture of Phil Jackson. There are two big reasons why I love it. Can you guess why? Okay it's because 1) the Lakers are losing, and 2) because you can see Jackson's hair is thinning (hair loss just amuses me). What, you thought it was the tits? Pervert.
One of these things is not like the others,one of these things just doesn't belong...Competitive Chess Hotties: Okay, that line is a little misleading, because as far as I know there's only one competitive chess hottie in the world, and that's Grandmaster Alexandra Kosteniuk. Just as Tiger Woods is known as "The Michael Jordan of Golf," Kosteniuk is known as "The Anna Kournikova of Chess." Only unlike Kournikova, Alexandra is actually good at what she does. At least, I assume you have to be good at chess to get the title "Grandmaster." But what do I know? Maybe she just traded an old Russian warhead for the title. Her existence is yet another reminder that if you're a relatively attractive women who does anything remotely sports-related, you've got it made for life. Cough(DanicaPatrick), cough(NatalieGulbis), cough (MariaSharapova)."Hello dahlink. Vould you like to take my pawn en passant?"