Previous installments: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4.

The following week with Mat was more of the same: casual hookups, late-night conversations with Shelly, and a schedule that regularly kept him up until around 5 a.m. He also developed the troubling habit of leaving the door to our room open all night (unless he was having sex), which meant everybody who walked by got an unobstructed view of our living quarters. And that happened a lot, by the way, since we were located directly across the hall from the bathroom. We were only a few weeks into the semester and Mat's lifestyle was already starting to get to me. It seemed as if I never got a full night's sleep, and I hardly ever felt completely comfortable in my own room. The situation was made even worse by a new item that arrived for Mat in the mail.

Mat's favorite beer was Heineken. He raved about that flavorless dreck, claiming it was the best beer in the world. That, of course, is scientifically impossible, since we all know that Guinness is the world's best beer. But if beauty is in the eye of the beholder, then drinkability is entirely in the taste buds of the beer drinker, so Mat maintained his delusion about Heineken for the duration of our time together. And that was fine. However, the way he was now able to express that delusion was not.

Mat had ordered a neon Heineken sign. The evil thing immediately went up on the wall over our phone, and that's where it stayed until he moved out of the room. I quickly learned to hate that sign with every last molecule of my being. It was actually pretty cool, as far as neon signs go, and it was a pretty sweet decorative accent to a dorm room. was also as bright as the noon sun, and Mat never turned it off. Never. It was like having a spotlight shining in the room 24 hours a day.

I couldn't escape that dreaded light. Even when I wrapped a pillow around my head, I could detect a faint glow through the cheap foam. This made it even more difficult to get any sleep. Mind you, I turned the light off any time Mat left the room, even if he was only going across the hall to pee, but he'd simply turn it back on when he returned.

I didn't know what to do. Mat was intimidating. I must once again stress that he was almost unbelievably enormous. How enormous exactly? Let me put it this way. Early in the semester, the athletic director asked the basketball players for measurements so a warm-up suit could be ordered or, if necessary, custom-made. When it came time for Mat to measure himself, he asked me to write down the results while he wrapped a measuring tape up, over and around his vast girth. The only measurement I still remember is the one for his thighs. They were 34 inches around. For some perspective, that was (and still is) my waist size.

And as if that wasn't disturbing enough, I couldn't help but notice a huge, jagged scar on one of those mammoth legs. It was truly grisly, and I was being entirely serious when I asked him, "How'd that happen? Did you get attacked by a shark or something?"

"No," he said. "I got in a knife fight. The other guys got worse, though"

Guys, as in plural? And they got worse?! Oh God.

He was also a black belt in Judo and claimed to have once been the Dutch National Judo Champion of his age group. (For whatever reason, I never asked what age that was.) He even had a picture on his desk that was taken after he had won some kind of martial arts tournament (or at least that's what he told me it was a picture of.) So here was a gigantic man who was a black belt and got into (and presumably emerged victorious from) brutal knife fights. And I was going to tell him to turn off his damn beer sign?

Since I didn't know what to do, I went to my R.A., Brett, for advice. I hadn't really spoken to Brett after the first weekend. This was partly because he had written me a disciplinary report for something I hadn't done, and partly because my roommate had had sex with his hotty cousin, Shelly. But R.A.'s were supposed to deal with roommate conflicts, so I figured it was time to make Brett earn his free room and board.

Mind you, the Heineken sign wasn't The Problem. It was simply the latest problem. Mat's hours, the rampant sex in the room, the violations of my personal space, and my general lack of sleep because of it all...that combination of things was making me nervous and on edge. Worse, it was making me absolutely hate my life at college. And that's exactly what I told Brett.

Brett's "solution" was pretty much the last thing I wanted to hear. "You have to talk to him," Brett explained. "Sit down with him, explain your position, and ask him to make some changes. He's a great guy, the situation with my cousin notwithstanding. I bet he'll listen to you, and things will work themselves out. If they don't, let me know. But I really think they will."

It was like I'd told Brett there was a lion in my room, and he sent me back to tame the beast without a chair or whip. I figured I'd give it a try, though, but only because I didn't have any other choice. I just hoped the lion wouldn't bite off my head. Or anything else, for that matter.

I spent my evening shift at the dorm's food service rehearsing what I was going to say. In my mind, the speech was powerful and compelling, the kind of oration that no man could ignore. Unfortunately, it ended up being a complete waste of three hours worth of mental speechwriting. My mind went blank as soon as Mat walked in the door from his nightly wanderings. All I could do was improvise.

"Look, Mat," I started, "we need to talk."

He sat down on his bed and stared at me with quiet interest. At least he looked sort of receptive. I continued.

"This, uh, roommate relationship isn't working for me. Some of the things you do, like, you know, having sex in the room, staying up all night, leaving the door open all the time, keeping the Heineken light on, all those things are making me really uncomfortable. I'm not saying, you know, don't do them or whatever. It's just, like, could you not do them all the time? I mean, if you could just, you know, pull back a little, it would be me out. So, uh, like, is that cool with you?"

He nodded slowly. "Yeah," he said. "Sure."

I know now I was being incredibly naive to believe it would be that easy, but relief washed over me in an awesome wave. "Wow. Thanks, Mat. I really appreciate it."

"No problem," he said. "Hey, while we talking, I was thinkin' we should bunk our beds."

One thing I haven't yet mentioned is that there was one seriously kickass benefit to rooming with Mat. Many student athletes, basketball and football players in particular, are simply too big for a standard dorm bed. For this reason, most dorms have special, extra-large beds for their special, extra-large residents. And since many residents bunk their beds to save room space, both beds had to be the same size. Therefore, my bed was eight feet long and wider than the standard dorm bed.

The downside, it seemed, was that Mat actually wanted to sleep either directly above or below me. I probably don't need to explain why the thought of that made me exceptionally uncomfortable.

My immediate reaction was, "Uh, why would you want to do that?"

"Well I was thinking," Mat replied, "it would be cool if we got some furniture. Like a couch or sumting."

Here was a dilemma. On the one hand, Mat had just seemingly agreed to some serious compromises in his lifestyle. On the other hand, I in no way wanted my bed coming into contact with his unless there was an explosion or natural disaster of some kind. However, in light of his apparent concessions, I didn't feel like I could say "no" without looking like a giant asshat. If only there was a way to say "no" but make it look like I was saying "yes"...

"Well," I began, mind racing, "I don't want to right now, but if we do get a couch or whatever, I'd probably do it."

That answer seemed to satisfy him. "Okay, cool," he said.

Whew. It seemed like a safe bet. I couldn't afford a couch, and Mat was always complaining that he had no money. It was like I'd perfected the art of fighting without fighting! I felt so like Bruce Lee. You know, except for the whole "not knowing martial arts" and "not being Asian" things.

"By the way," he said, "you got mail today. I put it on your desk."

Mail? Me?!

It turned out to be card from Aimee's roommate, Latrisse. I don't remember what the card said, exactly, but it was one of those noncommittal "thinking of you" cards, and it was filled with glitter and little pieces of confetti. It totally warmed my heart that somebody thought enough to send me something. It would have been even better if Aimee or maybe my mom had thought to do it, but beggars can't be choosers.

As I was looking over the card, Mat left the room and didn't come back for two days. It was weird. I actually got a little worried. At the time, I remember thinking, "Gosh, he gets drunk and uses drugs indiscriminately. He might be dead!" Shelly, who continued to call in Mat's absence, was sure he was fine. However, she let me know that I would have to be her substitute phone buddy until he got back. "You don't mind that, do you baby?" she cooed. Naturally, I couldn't say no to that. Then she said, "So, tell me what Mat does in his spare time? Is he seeing any other girls...?" Great. Now I was stuck lying for Mat, because there was no way I was going to face his wrath for telling Shelly the truth. I felt like such a sucker.

Anyway, this scenario would become a regular occurrence for the rest of my time with Mat: random, multi-day disappearances. Sometimes they happened during the week, sometimes they happened over the weekend. But they were never announced, and I never found out where he had been or what he had done. And I usually ended up covering for him with girls, teachers and coaches.

I did, however, find out at least one thing he'd done during this initial absence. It was around midnight. I was in bed, of course, and the room was mercifully dark and quiet. Suddenly, the door slammed open, and I saw Mat's huge silhouette framed in the light of the hallway. He had something with him. Something big.

He flipped on that damned Heineken sign and I saw what it was: a giant chair. I mean, this chair was so big it was practically a loveseat. Somehow, he had found a Mat-sized chair. I was stunned. Where the hell did he get that thing? Was "Big Chairs 'R Us" having a midnight liquidation sale or something?

Suddenly I noticed that Mat was sweaty and out of breath, two things I had never seen before. He forced the chair awkwardly through the door frame, scraping off paint and breaking off chunks of doorjamb in the process. Then he muscled the chair into the gap between our beds, after which he collapsed into it with a mighty sigh.

"What...where...?" I tried to ask.

"Oh, f*** me," he said with a laugh. "I just stole this chair from a sorority!"

"You did what?"

He let loose a rumbling belly laugh. "I was at a party at dis sorority, and I saw dis chair." He said. "I liked it. I mean, I really liked it. So I just picked it up and walked out with it."

I can only assume my eyes were popping out of my skull. "And...and they just let you leave with it?"

"Hell no, dey didn't let me!" he cracked. "A few girls came runnin' after me, yellin', 'Bring back our chair, bring back our chair!' But you tink sum girls are gonna stop me? Ha! I just kept walkin', and eventually dey stopped chasin' me."

"I...I can't believe it."

Mat just laughed. He was obviously very proud of himself. Then he flipped on the TV and said, "We'll have to bunk our beds tomorrow."

Uh oh.

Next time: Pictures of our room!

Part 6

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Anonymous TheFields said...

I'm a fan, and I'm pretty certain you stayed at Cary Quad or Harrison at a good engineering school that I happen to attend. But I gotta say you are one whiny ass college roommate.

Blogger AnacondaHL said...
... I don't even know what to write here. I had to close my office door, even while covering my mouth with both hands from the laughter. I mean, the best I did was stealing a fork I thought was amazing (drunk), but damn.

Also, be sure to e-mail me when this series is over, I made it through a large portion of Barkley Gaiden this weekend while watching prior/this year's hot dog eating contests.

Blogger Unknown said...
Haha! Yes! The saga continues!
I am loving these stories.

Blogger Unknown said...
Yes, the saga continues!
I am loving these stories. Keep up the good work!

Blogger Trev said...
Well that's just awesome.

Blogger Cortez said...
"But you tink sum girls are gonna stop me? Ha! I just kept walkin', and eventually dey stopped chasin' me."

Boss my man, fucking boss!

Anonymous Chris Q said...
Best. Blog. Ever. I do not miss reading about basketball (strangely enough). Keep up the good work man!

Blogger chris said...

We desperately need a Shut Up And Jam! Bawful's Roommate Gaiden. Now. With Shelly as a playable character.

CAPTCHA: "peling" as in "Mat was peling away at Matholomew's sanity through the UV rays of that Heineken sign."

Blogger Unknown said...
You have a way with words, my friend, and that's coming from an English major. This story is the best thing going on the internet right now.

Blogger Japes said...
This stuff is gold! Now I wish I lived with a giant student athlete in my dorm days just so I'd have an endless repository of stories.

Anonymous Axel Foley said...
Dammit I wanna see those pictures! This is so awesome man this really should be a movie or tv series on HBO or Showtime.
Some questions
1. How do you feel about the Celtics aquiring Sheed?
2. How great would the Celtics have been had The Admiral signed with them before his rookie season?
3. How angry would you have been had he signed with the Lakers instead?

Blogger Wild Yams said...
I'm with AnacondaHL, I don't know what to write here either. This story is going in so many fantastic directions I'm giddy with anticipation. I can't wait to see what disaster is lurking there with Latrisse. and Aimee. And Shelly. That description of Mat arriving with the chair in the middle of the night was priceless. Picturing this giant of a man walking across campus while carrying an enormous chair with a gaggle of sorority girls are nipping at his heels is such a fantastic image. Hurry up with Part 6!

PS - I hope you got the top bunk.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
You glossed over the fact that all of us in the Smoker's Club had to see Mat in his mostly-nude glory every time we exited the bathroom. We got a better deal than you though - you got the crapper waft in your door.

You know, despite his size and idiocy, Mat was a nothing on the floor. Unlike the future NFL player that lived on our floor. He was a problem.

Anonymous Dan B. said...
I'm gone for a week on vacation, and I come back to see five parts of this series to read in a row. Beautiful. I liked the way Wild Yams worded it: "I'm giddy with anticipation."

As much as this experience sucked at the time, at least you have interesting stories from college to tell. My college days were too boring to have any really interesting stories.

Blogger Wild Yams said...
BTW, seeing as how Sheed has now agreed to sign with the Celtics, something needs to be said for how pathetic the Craboilers front office is. Boston had a worse record than Cleveland this year and can't offer Sheed a starting spot, while the Crabs are desperate for a PF and they weren't even in the running for Sheed. Fail. Who exactly is Cleveland targeting with their MLE this summer? They better hope they can snag David Lee or something.

Anonymous reggyray said...
This story is pure gold.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
For some reason Mat's voice in my mind sounds like Bigfoot from the Howard Stern show. "I uh, got into a knife fight it is..."

Blogger Will said...
Anon.- It's funny you say that, because I was picturing the McKenzie brothers.
I'd be willing to put money down on that little bit of mail that Bawful received causing huge problems.

Blogger Nick Flynt said...
It's like a soap opera for men! Excitement abounds!

On the issue of the Crabs and D. Lee: I've heard that the Suns could be working some different things (sign and trades, etc. Chances are that there will be no more Grant Hill) to try and acquire a more agile big man (PF, C.)

My question is this: If BadDave has knowledge of Lil' Matt's/ His own escapades, how could he have held out this long? Dave, a rebuttal?

Blogger chris said...
Dan: Don't tell me that that one dormwide party with that special guest was boring... :p

Blogger chris said...
Bawful, a random request:

In your Mahoosive Video Collection, do you have any late-80s videos of the Lakers playing at LA Sports Arena for an ostensible "Clippers home game?" I want to see what the crowds and atmosphere were like for laughs, you know, like when the Clippers have "home games" against the Lakers at Staples.

(Man, that 2006 "hallway series" would have been epic...imagine the columns from CLIPS SEASON TICKET HOLDER BILL SPORTS GUY SIMMONS!!!1!!1!)

Blogger Fishy said...
This story is awesome, but it's also making me happy I stayed local so far!

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Yams, I totally agree. Considering Sheed not only set up camp from deep, but also bought furniture there (319 threes on the season versus 401 twos), you'd think he'd be the solution they were looking for to balance the court spacing with Shaq (hence going after Charlie V). Maybe Sheed is just pissed because the Crabbies sweeped the Pistons. Then again, he did look god awful in the playoffs...

I can't remember how Sheed looked against pick and rolls or just on defense in general. I remember some comments about him kinda disappearing on the court, but that could be because of the Pistons going nowhere. Anyone care to comment? If he's looking slow out there it might be a disastrous front court combo...though I suppose the Cavs are no strangers to that.

For the MLE, wouldn't the Knicks match Cleveland for David Lee? Regardless of what some people say about how "he's a product of D'Antoni's system" or "he's only good because the Knicks suck", he's still quite a productive player. There have been players that were signed to bigger contracts for far lesser performance. The Knicks have to keep something for the big Lebronski beyond Jared Jeffries, right?

What about Paul Millsap; do you think he's an option? The Thunder seem to be cooler on him than initially expected, and the Jazz certainly don't want to shell out the dough with Boozer and Okur both opting in. Maybe they'd be willing to go over the luxury tax for one year before the Booze is gone, but the Crabs might be able to pry him away? (Sidenote: How awesome is it that the team from Salt Lake City has a Booze-Brewer combo?) After that it's pretty slim pickings, unless the Crabs can get Drew Gooden back? That wouldn't be too bad of an acquisition, no?

Blogger Wild Yams said...
chris - I went to a Lakers-Clippers game at the LA Sports Arena back around 1990 or 1991 when Magic and Worthy were with the Lakers, so I can tell you what the crowd was like. It was a back and forth game with the Lakers being ahead for a while and then the Clippers coming back, and it sounded like the crowd was cheering just as hard for both teams, like they couldn't figure out who to root for. It was very weird.

NarSARSsist - I definitely think Sheed has lost a couple steps, no doubt about it. The guy is 35 years old so it shouldn't be too surprising. Disinterest or grumpiness on his part might account for some of his shockingly poor play last year, but clearly age has to factor in a bit.

As for Lee, the Knicks could offer Lee whatever they wanted up to the max, seeing as they've got his Bird Rights; but the question is really do they want to eat into next summer's cap space they have earmarked for LeBron just to retain Lee. That's why it's thought that he might split, particularly if someone out there offers him a decent contract. From what I've heard about Milsap the Jazz will probably match any offer for him unless it's a really insane offer in the $12+m/yr range. The thinking is that they'll sign Milsap and then look to trade Boozer during the season.

BTW, at some point we need to address the insane lack of interest there is for Allen Iverson. Supposedly Memphis is the only team who's possibly willing to give Iverson more than the LLE or vet minimum, and he might not even get a starting spot. To retain some dignity Iverson should have instead tried to spin it like he was going to a team with championship hopes for the vet minimum cause he wants to win, but I guess instead he's still trying to chase dollars. I can't wait to see where he ends up. Same goes for Shawn Marion. Who's gonna shell out money for him?

Blogger chris said...
WY: Thanks for your anecdote! Wasn't this when the Clippers were actually, you know, a 500 team or so? I know they made the playoffs a year or two later in Larry Brown's most impressive coaching stint of all time.

BTW, it'd be failarious if the not-Answer and Marion ended up on the Clippers, Z-bo style. I'd love to see it.

Blogger Victor said...
I hope you got the top bunk. I think I'd be too scared to sleep with a 300 lbs man having sex directly above me.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Buck Nasty - My rebuttal: well, it all starts back with the creation of Basketbawful. I played some tertiary role in its inception at bar conversations - Bawful and Statbuster are more responsible than I. However, whenever Bawful tried to solicit my participation, the best I could ever get was the shamefaced mumblewumble....I had a kid, too busy, blah, yadda, shmakety. Honestly, I like basketball, but I don't love it like Bawful and Statbuster. Partly because I really miss the team feel and loathe the man-on-man war of athleticism, referee-managing and traveling/wipe-off the game has turned into, but mostly because ball was really the starting point of Bawful and my friendship. When I watch ball without him, I long for the release death will bring, or something like that. And if that's too much bromance for you, that's alright. I'm secure, and it verifies that you've never had a friendship like ours. FYI - I'm the big spoon.

So, I pretty much stay out of putting a lot of fresh stuff in, because it's not fair to be a as-I-damn-feel-like-it contributor. I also knew Bawful was working on this. Furthermore, Bawful is a MUCH better storyteller than I. That's part of the reasons he tells both his and my stories at the bars. I'm more of a one-liner, put-downer kind of guy. Bawful=Garrison Kiellor. Bad Dave=John Stewart. (Well, humor me, damn it.)

Lastly, writing a coherent blog is a LOT of work. If you don't have the passion and the time for the subject, go home. You should all realize that Bawful pretty much functions on maybe 5 hours of sleep during basketball season. It's probably more like 4 or less, considering that he stays up nights watching games and commentary, makes notes, and then gets up EARLY to write and compile articles, again bringing in press articles into the fray. He's not getting paid, except out of satisfaction of the readers and commenters. It's an exceptional amount of work and dedication most folks don't have.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Yams - Of course the Knicks could offer Lee big money, but I was just referring to Cleveland's situation, where they could only offer the MLE, which I'm sure the Knicks would happily match. They project to have something like $40 mill free in 2010, not accounting for cap space adjustments and rookie contracts, so I'm sure they'd consider it a good $6 million well spent.

With the Jazz, any insight as to what kind of scenario it would be where the Jazz trade the Booze midseason? I'm not sure I see how they can save a significant chunk of money doing that unless they generate a huge trade exception sending him to the Thunder or something. Only they and the Grizzlies are sufficiently below the cap to absorb his contract, right? With other teams, they'd have to stay within 125% of each other, so the Jazz could save like $3 mill in salary and $3 mill in tax, but that's probably less than they're looking for, no?

With Marion, I could see the Blazers potentially swinging for it. After all, their $9 million cap space disappears next year, so even though a deal that's something like 3 years $25 million might be more than Marion's worth, they don't have too many alternatives.

As for AI, I'm not sure he's willing to swallow a pill like that. He did say he'd rather retire than be forced to play less than he wants to (which is a lot) on the bench.

Furthermore, that angle's pretty hard to spin. What championship contender would want to bother with him? The Spurs have a huge mass of guards (and I keep saying I want to see them trade Ginobili for Brand), including one Tony Langoria. The Lakers wouldn't see him as a fit (plus, him and Artest in one offseason? scary). The Celtics have Rondo and Allen (even though for whatever reason, they want to trade open up room for AI? I kid I kid). The Magic have Nelson, unless they want to go for broke and stick AI at the 2 and knock Carter to the 3 and keep Pietrus back on the bench. The Cavs sure do look like they need more help, but is AI what they need? He's not a jump shooter, and the Cavs are pretty reluctant to run Lebron off-ball. The Rockets are currently in a state of flux. Would the Nuggets even want AI back?

So short of the Magic deciding they want a piece of the Answer, I can't see how he could land with one of them.

Blogger Wild Yams said...
chris - From what I recall the Clippers were not a good team at all at this point when I saw them. I believe it was before Larry Brown was their coach. I remember that year going to see three Clipper games (because Laker games were way too expensive), so I went to see the Bulls (my first ever NBA game), then the Lakers and then finally the Jazz. I recall in that Bulls game the Bulls got absolutely trounced, and it was such a blowout that Jordan only played maybe the first 7 minutes of the second half. I was pissed since the main reason I'd wanted to go, of course, was to watch him play. Instead I was treated to a steady diet of Ron Harper highlights. The Lakers game was closer, but I believe the Clippers won that game as well. In the game against the Jazz I finally saw the Clips lose, proving that even back then, they were who we thought they were.

Blogger Caleb Smith said...
Re: Iverson. It's like the league has finally realized that the guy is just not a productive player and is probably not going to help your team win. It took 13 seasons... but its happened. Strangely I feel kind of bad for him. It might be cool to see him in Memphis though... there'd be no real pressure to win there next year and it could make for entertaining basketball.

Anonymous Barry said...
What kind of accent did Mat have? I'm getting some odd Jamaican vibes (?!) but that really doesn't correlate with reality.

Or was it just the slang-type teenage too-lazy-to-put-pronouce-every-syllable - kind of thing, if that makes any sense at all.

Blogger BJ said...
Knife fight.

Translation; tripped and fell while drunk.

Oh God, we get illustrations? You treat us nice!

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Think Andre the Giant. On shrooms and without smiling at all. His voice was that low and slurred.

Anybody want a peanut?!

Blogger chris said...
Wild Yams: Did they charge extra for tickets against the Bulls and Lakers at the Arena, or were those "road" games at Figueroa the opportunities for Laker fans to pack the place and not have to spend as much as the GDP of Lichenstein?

Blogger chris said...
BTW, given your .667 record that season as a fan, Donald Sterling would be well pressed to pay you to be a spectator. It can't do anything but help, right? :D

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Barry - "In case I hadn't mentioned this before, Mat sounded like a reggae version of Arnold Schwarzenegger." So you're not off with your vibes.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
TheFields -- I didn't live in either place. Was a whiny roommate? Depends on your perspective. In some ways, I would say (in retrospect) that I was. But I'd challenge you to live with the guy for a semester and see how you felt about it. Oh, and did I mention that he didn't shower with soap or use deodorant? The room did not smell nice.

AnacondaHL -- I desperately want you to post about SUaJG when I'm in Italy. I leave Thursday.

Axel Foley -- Replies:

1. I'm freakin' stoked about the C's getting 'Sheed...provided he behaves himself. I'd be even more stoked if the Lakers hadn't gotten Artest.

2. Well, you know, the Admiral would have helped, but that team still only would have gotten as far as Bird's back had carried them. And Bird just wasn't healthy enough at that point. He would have had to take the big shots nad control the action...and he just couldn't do that full time by the late 80s, early 90s. But even with 70-80 percent of Bird, that would have been a tough team.

3. Very.

BadDave -- Oh, man. I forgot about Future NFL Player. Yeah, things came to a head that night the chick was trying to beat down his door and threatening to kill him...until he opened the door, yanked her in and started whuppin' ass. Ugly, scary. We watched Brett barge in and shut the door behind him, and we honestly thought Brett was dead.

Wild Yams -- I think the Crabs were probably trying to avoid taking on ANY salary that might carry over into next season. Not only to they want to retain LeBron, for all we know they might have designs on one of the other big signees.

chris -- I actually never taped a Clippers game. Not once. For obvious reasons.

Barry -- Regarding Mat's accent, BadDave's right. His voice sounded a lot like Andre the Giant. However, your Spider Sense was tingling correctly. Mat LOVED reggae, so sometimes he sounded like a rastafarian version of Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Blogger Fishy said...
Wade said he'd only stay in Miami if they are a title contender... guess that should end talks about bringing "I in Iverson" on board!

Blogger Nick Flynt said...
Tune in to the summer league right now. The commentators are hilarious.

Link on Truehoop.

Blogger Wild Yams said...
BadDave - Having tackled a measly few Worst of the Nights myself, believe me I'm awed by the work Mr. Bawful puts in here. For me doing one of those on a typical night (approx 8-10 league games) took around 4-5 hours to do, and admittedly I'm nowhere near as humorous or as thorough as he is. I don't know how he does that 5 days a week while still having time to work a full time job, get a full night's sleep and actually have spare time to do anything else. Mr. Bawful is my hero.

NarSARSsist - It's definitely possible the Knicks would match any offers thrown Lee's way, though I've seen it speculated that teams might offer him a deal that could try to load as much of the deal's full worth into the 2010-2011 season, just to make the Knicks balk at matching it.

I know the Jazz just want Boozer gone and would prefer to build around Milsap, but they want to keep their salary down so they might just sign both and let Boozer walk next summer. I think they'd probably only trade him if they could get back a lot of future stuff while also getting an expiring contract or two. Supposedly they're really freaking out that as a small market team it's not really a good precedent for them to suddenly be way over the luxury tax, since it'll kill their position in owner negotiations for revenue sharing with small market teams.

With Marion and AI I'm just totally mystified as to what will happen with those guys, and I've felt that way for a good long while. If Memphis signed AI, wouldn't it have to be for a bench spot, or would they suddenly put OJ Mayo with the 2nd unit? Or would they try to once again have AI be a PG and sit Conley in favor of the Not Answer? The report I saw on ESPN this weekend said that the Grizzlies looked like the only team out there who would be willing to give Iverson more than the vet minimum. Pretty incredible for a former MVP who's in his early 30's.

And Marion, I don't know. If he signed with Portland for say, $8m/yr (which would be overpaying him, btw), is Marion going to play like a guy who is motivated and happy when he's suddenly making half what he was this season? Has his ego taken a sufficient pounding to produce some till-now missing humility? I doubt it. It's gonna be real interesting to see what happens with AI and The Matrix.

chris - I don't know what the tickets cost, since I was a young adolescent and my Dad took me to those games, but I would guess Clips-Bulls and Clips-Lakers were probably a little pricier than Clips-Bucks or something.

Mr. Bawful - But wouldn't you think the Crabs would want to go all in this season to try to win the title? You'd have to think if they win it this year that LeBron won't leave, right? If they don't use the MLE on somebody impressive, doesn't that kinda send a signal that they're assuming LeBron is gone next summer and as such they don't want to ruin their future any further with a long-term signing? In any event, Sheed only signed for 2 years, not exactly a scary commitment to make.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Wow, that was the longest weekend ever! ...waiting for the fifth installment of "The Greatest story ever told" keep them coming...great work!

Blogger Basketbawful said...
Yams -- I think the Crabs believe they DID go all in by obtaining Shaq. I'm sure Danny Ferry is thinking, "We won 66 games, we have the best player in the league, and now we added one of the best centers in the league while giving up NOTHING of worth." And, on top of all that, they maintained the financial flexibility going into next year...which is ultra important, in a behind-the-scenes, "the league is in bad, bad shape" kinda way.

And two years doesn't sound like a lot, but Danny Ainge refused to re-sign James Posey over one year and $5 million. So, you know.

Blogger chris said...
Wild Yams: If you have any photos of the bawful...well...I'd appreciate it. After all, my introduction to live NBA was even more underwhelming (Kings-Clippers at Arco), even providing a live trillion from Cedric Simmons...which means I am looking forward to the next time those two bawful squads meet up in a not-so-epic matchup!

Bawful: In that vein, why do I just get the sense that Donald Sterling wishes he could restrict all his deals to 10-day contracts!?

Blogger AK Dave said...
Buck Nasty-

I have a good friend from high school; a great friend in fact. This guy is 30 and still doesn't have a cell phone. Why? I don't know. Rage against society/authority/the system/common sense, who knows. In any case, it was OK back in 1995 if you didn't have a cell phone, as long as you weren't fully employed or still in college maybe... but in this day and age, when you're 30, work full time, and a responsible member of society, it's time to fucking man-up and get a damn phone. It's 2009, and the speed of life has increased dramatically since 1999. If you're not twittering from your FB on your iPhone about the mobile updates you received from (insert website here), then you might as well be living in a cave and banging rocks against each other while uttering monosyllabic grunts of frustration and confusion a la Brenden Frazier in "Encino Man". It's one thing to be patient and not over-use technology, it's another to cut off your nose to spite your face by "saving money" on something that is worthwhile, and frankly, completely necessary to function in the world today. I wish he'd just buy a damn phone and join modern civilization. Am I right or am I right or am I right?

Where am I going with this? Oh yeah. After thinking of my friend, I decided not to be "that guy", and, at your suggestion, I now have a blogger profile.

I just wanted to say "thanks" for holding up the mirror so I could see the error of my way.

(clears throat)

As you were gentlemen

Blogger Wild Yams said...
Mr. Bawful - If the Crabs think they've already gone all in, then they're sorely mistaken. From where I'm sitting they're still sporting a lineup that doesn't have a legit starting PF or SG, and they're going to feature a rather pitifully thin bench this year. I think they're going to have a hell of a time with Boston this year, especially if the Celtics get Grant Hill as they're reportedly about to, and I think they'll continue to have problems with the Lakers like they did last year. They might be better than Orlando now, but I think that still leaves them as only the 3rd or 4th best team in the league, and I don't see them getting back to The Finals next year unless Boston's aged stars have more injury issues.

chris - Sorry, no pics from any of those long-ago Clipper games. Speaking of the Clips though, and Donald Sterling, I do know that one year the Clips were in danger of triggering a little-known penalty in the league for not having a collective team salary that reached at least 80% of the salary cap. Before hearing that, I never knew that teams were required to meet a total minimum of money spent on players' salaries (presumably to prevent a Major League-esque tanking job with a bunch of guys named Willie Hayes or whatnot). Leave it to The Donald to come perilously close to not ponying up the bare minimum amount of money mandated by the league for something.

AK Dave - Kudos on the Hammerzeit photo :)

Blogger Basketbawful said...
AK Dave -- Okay, now, what the HELL is wrong with hornswogglars?! Them's fightin' words.

Wild Yams -- I dunno, I think Mo Williams is a decent SG, and I think that Sideshow Bob provides a lot of intangibles at the PF position. That said, they aren't utility players. Mo is basically a scorer, and Varejao is essentially a rebounder/annoyance.

Their bench will probably be the Z-Man, Boobie and Tarence Kinsey, which means you can expect the starters to log an awful lot of minutes (except Shaq, who will probably split with Ilgauskas).

Basically, what I'm saying in too many words is I believe you're right. They'll have to get an awful lot out of Shaq to go over the top.

Blogger Nick Flynt said...
I think we'd all like to see Kobe taste Shaq's ass.

What? I'm not gay. Oh, exception is Wild Yams, lover of Kobe.

Blogger chris said...
Wild Yams: the NHL has a much more public salary floor, so while it's not surprising the NBA does as well, it's funny that the Clips predictably would be the ONE team that would have that problem. (Thus they've been compensating since?!)

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Can anyone recommend a website that displays players' shot selection like For whatever reason a lot of teams don't have data.

Yams - How do you feel the Cavs stack up against the Magic? I'm not saying I necessarily think the Magic are better, but it seems like a lot of people are writing them off. The Cavs may have improved by forking over next to nothing for Shaq, but Orlando's PG situation is a lot better now with Nelson back healthy next year. For all of Alston's heroics last year in that one 26 point "I am the real Superman" explosion against the Cavs, he did also have games where he shot 1/7 and 1/10 (the former is Game 2, where Lebron hit that ridiculous shot to win it). Nelson should provide much better and consistent performance.

Losing the the Michael Jordan of Turkey hurts, but I suspect it's not as bad as people might think with Vinsanity onboard (unless he starts forgetting his paint allergy medicine again...hmm, I really should hedge my bet on this...). For all of Air Turk's clutchness, he never seemed to really step it up against...Delonte West. (This was particularly frustrating for me, since I was rooting for the Magic. That lack of a post move is just killer.)

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Speaking of the Cavs' bench, what the heck happened to Boobie? After that 25 point game against the Bobcats in the second game of the season, he just kinda disappeared and put the Witness Mo Boobie era on ice.

Blogger Wild Yams said...
Mr. Bawful - I might be mistaken, but isn't Mo Williams the Crabs's PG and isn't Varejao a free agent right now? Either way, I consider Delonte West & Anderson Varejao to both be far, far worse at the SG & PF positions than anything the Lakers & Celtics have (maybe Orlando & SA too, dunno). I think if Cleveland just assuming that LeBron, Shaq and Mo Williams is enough to win it all this year then they're pretty naive.

The thing is though, I don't think Cleveland plans to stand pat. Supposedly they were making contact/offers with Artest and Ariza, and also had interest in Villanueva. I think Cleveland's gonna use their MLE on somebody in the next week or two, I'm just confused as to who they're targeting. Why exactly would the Crabs be interested in Artest and Ariza instead of Sheed? Someone should point out to Danny Ferry that they already have a guy who plays SF for them (LeBron something or other), but they've got other significant holes to fill. So now Sheed will come off the bench in Boston rather than start between Shaq and LeBron in Cleveland. I think the Crabs just bungled that in a big way. It'll only be rectified if they can land someone like David Lee, IMO.

Anonymous Arlen said...
Marion would make some sense for the cavs. Perhaps he'd be willing to take a 1yr deal in hopes that next year someone will realize he's worth 20mill/year

Or... lamar odom! bum-ba-bummmm!

Blogger Fishy said...
Hey Wild Yams, you confident Odom will be a Laker next season? I haven't heard about him talking with other teams (something about Portland but I don't think it went anywhere).. not hearing his name much makes me feel good and a lil scared at the same time! I gotta admit, I'll be pretty on the PO'd side if we don't resign him especially since it sucked seeing Ariza peace out (even if I enjoy having Artest on board)

Anonymous Anonymous said...
you went to the same school as the wizard of westwood and your roommate's last name is actually in two parts consisting of a spelled out numeral and a structure for containing large amounts of water...correct?

nobody likes hineken, nobody...

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Dear AK Dave - Sorry about your loss, but dibs on your governor. First step: ball gag.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
I can't wait for the next installment, you should write a book... seriously.

Was the player Will Purdue? also, I'm keen to see if there was any tan-dem activity in that dorm room?

Anonymous zakface said...
While Sheed on the Cavs looks great on paper, with there only being one ball on the floor at a time I can't see a combo of Mo/Lebron/Sheed/Shaq working in the slightest. All four are guys who like to touch the ball every possession, and there just aren't enough shots for the four of them. At this point, the Cavs would probably be best off putting in a solid offer for David Lee and hoping NY doesn't match, and then letting Andy go. Lets face it, no matter what they would be paying Varejao it would be too much, as he is merely a hustle player with an inflated ego. As a 6th man, Andy would be great, but I can't see him being happy and subsequently being unproductive behind either Sheed or Lee. At least Lee is a double-double machine who really can create most of his points on hustle and won't take horrible mid-range shots like Andy.

Unfortunately, the Cavs may well end up with Marion, which seems awfully strange. Don't really see how he fits, as he isn't a strong option at the 4 unless the Cavs plan on playing small ball which is impossible with Shaq and Z as your centers. Otherwise he is stuck behind Lebron and as an Arizonan I know how well he handles playing 3rd fiddle, it would be interesting to see how he would handle being 6th fiddle (prediction: not well).

On another note, this Livin Large series is the first I've been exposed (wrong word?) to Bawful, and I must say you are quite the talented storyteller. I'll definitely be checking this site regularly from now on. Great work.

Blogger Mark said...
To all curious people on this site, Mat's name is allready known and publicly visible on a Dutch site which links to this one. I cannot tell you anything more ofcourse ...
Furthermore, I started reading this blog because of that site and I have to say the story is really exciting and fun to read. Keep on posting this kind of material and you will have one more loyal reader Bawful!

Blogger Mark said...
@rubensborges 7/06/2009 7:46 PM
Dude, you should find your way to Holland sometimes. Heineken is huge here... Not too surprising because it is a Dutch brand.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous Anonymous said...
dear mr bawful

heineken is in fact the worlds best beer

i know that you can´t understand that since you like guinness, the european equivalent of maple syrup

Blogger Cortez said...
"They'll have to get an awful lot out of Shaq to go over the top."

Well, I can't wait to see Shaq slow down James and turn these guys into a slightly above average half court team.

Those 15-18 points and 7-10 rebounds are going to look really impressive in the box score though to the untrained eye.

The multiple blown defensive assignments that basically negate any post scoring provided?

Not so much.

"You’re over, man. You’re fuckin’ in the history books. That’s where you are, man. So you might as well fuckin’ kill me now, ‘cause if I ever see you again, swear to god, I’m gonna fucking kill you.
~Benny Blanco

Anonymous dunkside said...
why wouldn't you agree with bunking beds (as long as you got the top one) ?

the only valid reason i can think of is that you'd lose the chance of having a great view on shelly's spectacular tits the next time she came on visit.

btw, did you ever think of taking pictures of those girls ? mat might have been cool with it and you could have cornered the market for sex tapes. and having all those videos and/or photos could have came in handy (see what i did here ?) when the internet became ubiquitous. you could be writing this from your own mansion surrounded by naked supermodels.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Cortez - I totally agree. What I'm waiting for though is the first time Lebron drives into the hole, realizes there's this hulking thing in the paint, and runs into him. Lebron running into a standstill Shaq. This will finally settle the debate on what wins when the unstoppable force meets immovable object.

If Lebron wins that one, the Nike puppet commercials should totally feature him doing that. "What makes his unstoppableness so unstoppable?!!!"

Anonymous Geert said...
I agree on the guinness-is-the-best-thing. I totally not like any beer, except for guinness which is my favourite pubdrink.

Blogger Wild Yams said...
Fishy - First off, the Lakers re-signed Shannon Brown, so that's good news for Laker fans. Second, I do expect them to re-sign Odom. Odom's people are trying to get more money out of the Lakers, but I'm sure the two sides will eventually settle somewhere in the middle. I think that's why you don't really hear anything about any other teams taking a run at Odom, cause it's assumed he'll re-sign with LA.

Looks like Marion may be off to Dallas in a sign and trade for Stackhouse. Before you start wondering why the Raptors would want to trade Marion for Stackhouse, apparently it's because they can waive Stackhouse to help free up cap room to sign Turkoglu. If Dallas can pull that off along with signing Gortat they should be much improved for next season.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Dunkside - you forget. At this time, Bawful was literally so awkward and shy that he had no idea about doing those things. He wanted to study and sleep - bunking the beds would have certainly permanently ended the latter.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Doesn't Marion in Dallas have the same problem as Marion in Portland? (Note: I know I said Marion to Portland earlier. It doesn't mean I think it's necessarily a great move, just one that I could see happening.) In both scenarios the guy is placed in a half court, jump shot based team, which made Marion's insides boil. Dallas is also very iso friendly, which is not something the Matrix excels at. I also can't figure out where he fits in the team. He's not starting ahead of Dirkalicious and Howard (at least in Portland he'd replace Outlaw). Going smaller with a lineup of Dirk, Marion, and Howard is something that would probably only work in small doses, not to mention they didn't sign Gortat just so TNT announcers can exclaim, "He's just as athletic as Dwight Howard!"

Blogger Wild Yams said...
NarSARSsist - I'm not sure where Dallas would put Marion if they did trade for him. I guess it's possible they could move Josh Howard to shooting guard and put Marion in at SF with Dirk at PF and Gortat at center. Add Jason Kidd at PG to that group and I daresay that's the tallest lineup of any team in the league. I don't know if it would work though, could Josh Howard play and defend at the two guard spot?

It would probably allow Dallas to have an extremely flexible lineup though, as they could still bring Jason Terry in at SG off the bench and slide Howard down to 3, or Marion could play there while Howard was catching a breather. Marion could also play 4 while Dirk was on the bench. If Dallas could get Marion for just Stackhouse, I think they'd have a hell of a deep team.

Also, you wonder how Marion would fit in on Dallas, but keep in mind that he'd be in there with Jason Kidd, who has been known to push a fast break or two. I think Marion to Dallas would greatly strengthen that team.

Anonymous WilliamSirChancellor said...
I must say, you threw some people off with that picture of your flag football buddies. Most people assumed "Future NBA All-Satr" was in the group. Anyway, after a little digging, we now know his true identity.. Suffice to say, during his NBA career, his nicknmae was a variation of "Large Canine" and he played with one of the league's best shooters in a small city known for nothing other than cheese and some types of beer.