Welcome to another night of BAD. Sorry to break the regular comedic tone for a few paragraphs, but it's hard not to address this... So, some of you may be familiar with Paul Shirley and his recent exploits. If not, a little backstory:

Shirley was a former professional basketball player, one who might fit right in at this blog. He never was a starter for an NBA team, and never even was an effective bench player. He got by mostly on ten-day contracts playing garbage time for teams like the Suns. In fact, most of Shirley's pro ball career was spent wandering through a series of lower-level development teams and international efforts. He spent time playing in countries like Greece, Spain, and Russia. While playing for all of these teams, he kept a diary account of his experiences and published some entries, and also released a fairly entertaining book. After retiring from basketball because of constant injuries and the weariness of playing all around the world without a steady job, Shirley continued to write. He frequently wrote about music in his column for ESPN.com, for example.

In the aftermath of the Haitian earthquake disaster, Shirley wrote a piece for Flipcollective.com. It was a disaster in and of itself. Shirley argued that he wouldn't bother donating any money to the Haitian relief efforts because it would be wasted and the country was doomed to eternal failure and suffering. Everybody ripped him a new one. ESPN told him quite bluntly that his services were no longer needed.

Now, as DocZeus inquired: "No words on bawful legend, Paul Shirley, setting fire to every shred of good will he's ever engendered by telling Haiti to go suck it? For shame." For shame, indeed. For shame on Mr. Shirley.

A lot of what I have to say was already expressed by our head writer/editor in the WOTN comments. However, I'd like to just take it a little further. Shirley used to be a smartass, but a funny (if pretentious) one. He had sharp wit, pseudo-intellectual commentary, and he was fun to read. Somewhere along the way, he stopped being funny in a sarcastic way, but just became bitter. You can even see it in his book, as he never grows close to anyone, complains about his teammates, and is never satisifed with his situation. It gets worse and worse throughout the book, and apparently continued on well after the book was finished. He became contrarian for contrarian's sake, writing pieces such as the one where he claimed the Beatles are horribly overrated because anybody who recorded music after the Beatles would be able to take whatever they had done and improve upon it. Hey, I'm not the biggest Beatles fan in the world, but I'll quickly say that even a relatively simplistic song like "Something" is a better piece of music than anything I have ever heard by Oasis. I've heard a cover version of "I Want You/She's So Heavy" in a live performance by John Legend I caught on TV that wasn't even one tenth as good as the original Beatles version. But Shirley argued otherwise, simply to go against the grain and be controversial and gain some kind of odd indie credibility.

His take on Haiti is largely more of the same. He took an idea that was based on decent theory (just because you're donating money to the cause doesn't mean it's being spent wisely, or even making it to Haiti) and took it eighty times too far, being contrarian simply to be contrarian. He didn't consider the fact that he was freelancing for a company owned by Disney who does not appreciate going too sharply against the grain. Or maybe he considered it and just didn't care because he thought he would gain something by being controversial and loud and brash. I don't know. All I know is that this won't end nearly as well as Paul Shirley hoped, and that's sad for all of us that knew about him before this mess.

Worst of the Night in Pictures:

Somehow I don't think he's listening to the dulcet tones of teammate Ron Artest's rapping

"I'm tellin' you, ref, these stretchy waistband slacks are fantastic!"

Normally I wouldn't approve of celebrating this hard after a win over the Warriors, but I'll let this one slide

Poor Golden State. This looks a little too much like the Nyets sad bench photos

Nationally Televised Games:
Jazz at Frail Blazers: I don't really know why, but Utah's been on fire lately. They've averaged just shy of 112 points per game for eight games now and have put together a three game winning streak. Is this the same team that lost six of nine games just a few short weeks ago?

All The Other Games:
Timberwolves at Crabs: According to Stats LLC, the Timberpoops' odds of winning are at 7%. So you're telling me there's a chance? ...Yeah!!!

Lakers at Pacers: I was surprised to read that the Lakers have dropped five of their last six games in Indianapolis. I have no explanation and am frankly confused.

Heat at Raptors: Weren't the raptors wiped out by the heat from an asteroid collision 65 million years ago? The Raptors could get revenge this time around -- remember, the Heat are known as the "Bipolar Girlfriend at That Time of the Month on Crystal Meth" for a reason.

Grizzlies at Pistons: The Pistons are actually playing .500 ball at home. The Grizzlies aren't very good on the road. Can Z-Bo continue his sudden MVP-ish behavior?? (It hurts just to type that)

Clippers at Nyets: This would have already been the Basketbawful Game of the Night anyway for obvious reasons, but the Jersey Shore cast is going to be there. Now that's a Situation, bro. I wonder if Ronnie will beat up the beat whenever music gets played over the PA? And how long before one of them gets sloppy drunk and starts causing trouble?

76ers at Bucks: Both teams just aren't very good. Milwaukee's lost six straight to the Sixers. However, Milwaukee's at home. Despite what Stats LLC says, isn't this game just a coinflip?

Bulls at Thunder: I don't get this Bulls team. They're on a seven-game road trip where they've beaten the Spurs, Rockets, and Suns... but lost to the Clippers and Warriors. What??

Nuggets at Rockets: Now this is a game that should have been nationally televised. Denver's won seven straight, but on the road against a decent Rockets team. Unless Clutch the Bear sabotages the game somehow (not putting it past him), this should be a close one.

Hawks at Spurs: San Antonio, can you please get out of this funk and start playing some defense again? Pretty please?

Hornets at Warriors: In case anybody forgot Don Nelson was still coaching the Warriors, they're giving up 110.8 PPG. Yep, that's definately Nellieball.

Labels: , , , ,

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Damn, and I put money on GS to win last night because the money line was so good. Epic fail for me.

Blogger chris said...
Dan, you actually witness on screen, John Legend attempting to cover "I Want You (She's So Heavy)?"

If there's a song that just absolutely was NOT suited for his style...that would be it. Ouch.

Blogger Dan B. said...
Chris -- Seriously. It was really bad.

Anonymous that brazilian guy said...
Look at Andris Biedrins. Is it just me or is he trying hard to make a 'duncan face' ?

Blogger chris said...
Dan B. - This is so unbelievable I almost want evidence that it actually happened.

(Then I will be able to facepalm harder than Brett Favre after a career-defining interception.)

Blogger chris said...

Blogger Basketbawful said...
Dan B. -- Perfectly well-said on Shirley. It's a bummer, too, because when he was blogging during his Phoenix days, I thought, "Now here's a guy who gets his place in the universe and can laugh at it." Only he stopped laughing in a merry way and started laughing in a mirthless, 1940's Bob Kane Joker kind of way.

Also, you've been finding some great Nellie pics lately, and it made me realize that dude might be a worse dresser than Stan Van Gundy. Seriously. At least VG's clothes look different. Nellie looks like he got drunk, passed out and then shuffled though the next day wearing clothes he's had on for the last three.

Blogger Ash said...
So I'm driving in my caddy on the way to the Clippers and Nets game, FIST PUMPING LIKE CRAZY.

Blogger Dan B. said...
Chris -- Here you go. It's a far cry from his collaborative effort with Al Green, that's for sure.

Bawful -- Exactly. SVG may wear the same style of clothes in every friggin' picture, but at least he has like three different shirts. Nellie may be homeless for all we know.

Ash B -- Did you remember to GTL today? Gym/tan/laundry?

Blogger Ash said...
Dan B.: This situation is real ya heard? I got a new tat, it's a sweet Catholic cross with the Italian flag inside a Cadillac symbol.

Blogger Dan B. said...
Ash B -- Okay, I give. I can't top that.

Blogger BJ said...
To Former Basketball Playing Contrarian Dipshit Whose Name I Don't Even Care To Click Back And Read:


Blogger Ash said...
I think that the entire season is too much of a suspension. Stern is just hurting the Wizards at this point. Give Arenas 30 games to think about his mistake, then let him finish out the season keeping himself in good basketball shape so that the Wizards might actually be able to trade him. Now the Wizards are stuck with an untradable asset.

Blogger chris said...
Dan B.: If EVER a cover missed the sheer essence of the original...that would be it.

As for Nellie's residential status? Considering his continued employment at The Oracle, I almost expect him to have a basement closet with a futon, which doubles as team office!!!

Blogger Wormboy said...
Hmm, some reactions to the Shirley thing.

1) Surprising how many of the comments actually support him. Clearly this is not a fringe opinion. A third? A fourth? Hard to assess. I wonder if one could peg their politics? Is this a particular political element, or just a random representation?

2) He says some things of value. There IS a problem here, and there always has been. But the problem is this: the developed countries will shit all over parts of the third world, and then there will be some tragedy, caring civilians of developed countries will get all worked up and send money, and then within a year everything is back to normal, waiting for the next train wreck. Haiti is a prime example--the US has screwed Haiti for generations. All the talk of "democratization" in Iraq, but we propped up the corrupt Duvalier family for 40 years! We've refused to do anything since as the institutionalized corruption continued. How can you get rid of corruption when it is ingrained in the army, and the government is more a puppet of the army than not? That kind of legacy can't be reversed quickly, and certainly not unless the US takes an active hand to steer the country toward real governance. Not only is Haiti the poorest country in the Western hemisphere, it is the most corrupt. The two go hand in hand. And the corruption is a legacy of typical abuse of third world countries, just worse than most.

3) But Shirley says it wrong. Most Haitians are even BIGGER victims than just of the earthquake. Any future for these poor people has been actively stolen by corrupt government after corrupt government. You think any of these people, adults or not, have any control over their destiny? You expect them to practice birth control when they are totally uneducated (only 50% literacy!) You can't ignore the suffering. Do what I did: send a check to oxfam, and THEN write letters to your POTUS and congresscritters, asking them to work with international groups to help create real democratic institutions in Haiti. We spent nearly a trillion dollars in Iraq, yet for 25 years our government has not helped establish a lasting democracy in one of our nearest neighbors, in a situation for which we bear some responsibility?

Oh, and for those who donate, a word to the wise. People get worked up about "popular" tragedies, but forget that aid organizations deal with both the big and the little, the known and the unknown. Don't earmark your donations "Haiti." Instead, label it "unrestricted." Many nonprofits struggle because funds are restricted, thus over-funding popular causes and leaving other critical causes unfunded. There is ample documentation of this with the US Red Cross after Katrina. Because many funds were restricted, the RC was cornered into spending money unwisely. So, if you give to nonprofits, please don't be condescending and assume you know better how to distribute those funds than somebody who has devoted their life to it. Think about it.

Blogger chris said...
Sherman Alexie (the Sonics fan who wrote a book that I actually read in high school)...

pens a poem on Varejao and adjusted plus-minus. wow.

I think we need to up our game and start doing free verse on Steve Novak.

Blogger chris said...
Speaking of Novak, he was name-dropped in an obscure rap tune about the Rockets two years ago!?



Blogger LotharBot said...
There's a good point to be made about sending aid to countries with incredibly corrupt governments -- about tying aid to improvements of certain types, or about making sure aid is delivered to those who actually need it (often by having trustworthy organizations like the Red Cross handle it.) There's a good point to be made about our government's complicity in Haiti's corruption, and how the right response would be to make sure that we help that country rebuild under a stable, representative government that provides appropriate services to the people. Wormboy makes his points along these lines fantastically.

Paul Shirley, on the other hand, makes his points about as well as he plays NBA basketball. Which is to say, he doesn't even belong in that league.

Blogger AnacondaHL said...
Nets up 16, but more disappointing, no one is fistpumping when the Nets make a FG or FT =(

Blogger Ash said...
I'm fist puming Ana, I am.

In my condo, alone.

Blogger AnacondaHL said...
Ash B: Are you The Situation from 10 years in the future???

Blogger AnacondaHL said...
Lead down to 4. Fist umpumped =(

Anonymous Hellshocked said...
As someone who has spent the past week at the Haitian - Dominican border as a volunteer, Paul Shirley can go suck it. I'm extremely well versed in the history of my brother-nation. There are a dozen reasons why Haiti is the 7th poorest country in the world, and Haiti itself is only responsible for maybe 1 or 2 of them. As wormboy has said, Haiti has been shit upon by France and the US from the very second it became independent. Unlike wormboy said, the answer is not more US intervention but far, far less. Support for the Duvaliers is only the tip of the iceberg. Financing and carrying out several coup d'etats, dissolving the senate at gunpoint, shoving neoliberal policies down the gagging throats of the starving population have been standard US policy toward Haiti over the past 100 years. It should speak volumes that the one condition Haiti had before allowing for the creation of the MINUSTAH (UN Mission for the Stabilization of Haiti) is that under no circumstances were U.S. soldiers to be a part of it.

Anyways, fuck that guy. It's a shame too. Shirley is such an awesome name for a dude.

Word Verification: ducho

as in: Hace una semana que no me ducho (I haven't showered in a week).

Blogger AnacondaHL said...

Fucking embrace the guidos, Nets.

Blogger Dan B. said...
Anyone else really sad the Nets actually won a game? Sigh. I'm going to bed.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Tim Duncan shows Blair isn't the only Spur who can drop a 20-20, going for 21-27 (and six assists) in just 35 minutes.

But... when did Memphis become more consistent than San-Antonio? I have no idea what to expect from the Spurs on any given night. At least I can count on the Nets to lose... Oh wait. I'm going to bed. The Jazz game will probably make my head explode. (Watch something whacky... Them build a 20pt lead give it up, get it back...etc)

Blogger Dan B. said...
Anonymous -- It's like you're reading my mind or something. Seriously, I'm going to bed now. I can't take anymore tonight.

Blogger ZaRocks said...
Lost in all the conversation tonight the Crabs made history by having 2 lacktion Jacksons earn Marios. So does that mean that we can call them Jackson brothers instead of Mario brothers? Or are they more like Mario-Jackson bros? Even better, Super-Mario-Lacktion-Jackson brothers? Alright, I'll quit while I'm still ahead.

Anonymous Hajt said...
Bad: 21-2 start for the Jazz against my blazers. Eventually got within 5 but no closers without Roy.
Quote of the Night:
Jazz announcer: “Each night Jerry Sloan looks for a hot guy and rides him to the barn”

Blogger Preveen said...
Lets hear it for the West that sends money to corrupt govts pockets after disasters! We had that happen after the 2004 Tsunami. Lotsa aid, lots which mysteriously disappeared. Tho I guess we are a little better of than Haiti. We actually contributed troops to the UN Peacekeeping mission there. (That didn't turn out too well tho, judging from news reports)

Blogger chris said...
ZaRocks: I approve. :D

We just need three more and they can sign a record deal, right!??!?! A thriller ineed.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Thoughts on Shirley - I think people should take a pass on Shirley and not criticize him too harshly for his piece.

Even though I come from an upper middle class family and live in the Bay Area (where I root for Ellison, not the Warriors), I also spend a great deal of time in the Philippines. The Philippines is one of the most corrupt places in Asia and its corruption has led to its underdevelopment. I was in Manila this past summer when the hurricane hit the country which left hundred of thousands of people homeless.

People and governments rushed to their aid. Food, supplies, and money were given. But what most people do not know is that a lot of the food and supplies that were given were never distributed. Months later it was discovered that they have been stashed in warehouses and were not given to the people. Who knows if these supplies have reached the people or are being sold for profit by corrupt government officials. The money that was given led to supplies being bought. A fact later discovered was that the money was used to buy supplies at a higher price than market price in order to benefit a few select people/organizations. At a time where a country was supposed to bond together to fight tragedy, a few individuals found the opportunity to profit at the expense of the nation as a whole.

A few months later, news comes out that a politician ordered the massacre and burial of over 50 people in order to prevent another candidate from running against him. Talk about a country that can’t help itself.

My point is simple. People give without being aware of these things that occur. To those that are aware and constantly think about these issues, it really takes a lot out of you mentally. You can become very pessimistic about a country’s future and start thinking “why help a country that refuses to help itself?” Admittedly, there are times where I figured that maybe tough love is the way to go and let the people suffer.

However, this just a thought I have played with when I am angriest and filled with the most hatred. In the end, I still give and try to help despite knowing that probably only half of what I give will reach the people that needs it, and also knowing that what I give will do nothing to help the country develop towards a better future. The truth is these countries are trapped and will never be able to help itself. As outsiders, the best we can do is to give and hopefully help reaches those that truly needed it.

From reading Shirley’s post, it just seems like a man who is aware of these issues and is just venting to the world through the only means he knows how…his writing. He should have known better and vented to a wall. I would not simply say he did this to be contrarian. He's just fed up.

Anonymous Barry said...
And don't call me Shirley.

I haven't forgiven him for that ridiculous Beatles article.

@Anonymous: Come on, there are far better ways to state "Think before you donate, because most of the times the donations get misplaced". If SHirley, who claims to be an author and apparently a journalist, can't form a proper thesis statement for his article, then he should be given access to public media and try to shape public opinion. His arguments are iffy too, especially coming from a person who has lived abroad. People don't pick the countries they were born in...So following Shirley's train of though, lets move San Francisco too and Japan as there is a high chance of natural distaters there too.

So what now? Pat Roberson will take Shirley under his wing?

Blogger Wormboy said...
Just to clarify, one of the issues here is the difference between developmental aid and emergency aid. But Anonymous illustrates that even emergency aid can go astray.

Another thought I'd toss out there: "there but for the grace of god go I." Can one take credit for which country he's born in? Which parents? Nope. We should count ourselves lucky that we've got what we do, and help others out when tragedy strikes.