December 5, 2009

WHITE BOYS CAN’T WHAT? V: Whyte Cloud -- Wipe Yourself After That Royal Flush!

Naming oneself, coincidentally, after a well-renowned brand of cottony-soft bathroom tissue might not be the ideal way to build an intimidating rep on the blacktop. The imagery of being used as a receptacle for opponents’ posteriors on their way to the hoop… not exactly what’s hot in the streets, no?

Such a sobering sobriquet didn’t appear to hinder Forrest Ray “Whyte Cloud” Fisher III, a 6’4” former junior college hoopster, Marine, and briefly prominent NBA D-Leaguer who sent his rep sky-high after wowing ballers and fans alike on the AND1 Mixtape Tour. After getting waived in the NBDL, Fisher made a run for the border two years ago, and has been wrecking shop down in Mexico’s pro leagues.

His exploits with lower-tier online streetball outfits was what truly caught the attention of the AND1 elite, and his dominating performances during Open Run got him first “In the Building,” then “On the Bus” after showing out in the feature contest, leaving announcer Duke Tango clearly in need of some White Cloud toilet paper after that last “OOOOOH, BABY!” So automatic from long-range, he later boasted, “I am the best shooter in America, right now, nobody can prove me different.Professor Who??

Thanks to Tom Hanks’ low-IQ, Oscar-winning performance, running the streets as a lanky white dude named “Forrest” these days almost demands adopting a nickname… pick any one! But Fisher’s choice of a fluffy, absorbent, 2-ply alias doesn’t need explaining on the courts anymore. Ask this dude caught under the rim below to explain why they called him “Whyte Cloud,” and you won’t hear no **** about Mr. Whipple. Rather, after he gets his neck fixed, he’ll let you know Whyte Cloud had a penchant for bringing the thunder and raining down on unsuspecting bruthas’ parades.

Whyte Cloud’s online rep and newfound hype got him some burn during the NBA’s budding D-League tryout camp. He managed to get drafted in the 8th round, and started the season as a backup guard with the L.A. D-Fenders for a few games.

You just don’t wanna gamble with this guy, whether he’s taking you to the hole… or holding three Aces on the Flop. See, the new forecast for Whyte Cloud is not an appearance in the NBA, but the WSOP, as a professional poker player. One way or another, Gilbert Arenas, watch out… Forrest Fisher is comin’ for ya!

Now more popularly known in cyberspace as “TRYPL3THR3AT 7”, Fisher came away with a little bit of dough at the Oklahoma State Championship of Poker. His furious obsession with online poker caused him, admittedly, to not be playing with a full deck at times, so to speak…

"I really did get addicted to playing online poker. Is this a bad thing, yes when it rules your life. i was playing between 16 and 20 hours a day, everyday. no lie. ok, you wanna know what about my job, i play basketball professionally and it was the offseason. it all really started with this 1 day. read the following blog about that day.

"well, it was so bad i would go to sleep with the mouse in my hand and wake up and get right to playing. after about a month of this and people starting to say something about it i started to drink, and drink alot. Now let me say 1 thing, heavy drinking and playing for profit is not a good combination. i got down and nearly lost everything, wife, job, money, everything.

"The first part of stopping the problem is admitting you have one. Luckily i did, just in time too. I went to rehab and got some therapy. Well, i am back and healthier than ever. I must say my poker sucks now though. But i will let you put that up to the test. Im no longer addicted but the poker junkie in me still lives. lol

"Just remember, poker is fun, lots of fun, but it should never take the place of what really matters in life. Just a little testimony."

Sounds like a dude who's getting his life back in balance. From now on, when he’s bringing “The Nuts,” Fisher hopes it’ll be against the likes of cats like Phil Ivey, rather than Royal Ivey.

Still think Whyte Cloud won’t get where he wants to go? You’d better not bet on it.


August 18, 2009

Where Are They Now? XI (2007, Updated 2009)

This edition of Where Are They Now includes two names you maybe haven't heard. Or maybe two that you THINK you haven't heard.

(January 2007)
Victim #11 - James Felton

A sad story, but James Felton died in October 2006. "Natural causes." Heart failure, technically, at the age of 27. Ninety-nine-point-nine percent of America will ask, "who the hell was James Felton?", and rightfully so. But the truest, bluest of Nasteedunx fans, and perhaps one mega-millionaire in Texas, will immediately place a cap over their hearts and offer an R.I.P. to a man whose turnaround ended before it ever could really begin.

James Felton was destined to create a Legend. As the summer of 1996 approached, the 6-foot-9 Felton had transferred high schools and was preparing to guide his new team to a New Jersey regional title, and gain more national exposure in the process. Kentucky was laying on the recruiting pressure thick, and his high school coach quoted Rick Pitino as saying Felton was one of the top ten basketball talents he had ever seen. Ever. SLAM Magazine placed him on a photo spread with two other nationally-hyped names, Elton Brand and Lamar Odom. In the pros, KG was the young stud of the moment, and NBA execs were ready to pluck the next 6-foot-9 star from the high school sky and offer millions. Rising out from the Jersey City projects and comparable to a young Derrick Coleman, Felton had no doubt he'd soon be that star.

James Felton was determined to create a Legend. Scouts, recruiters, sneaker company reps and reporters flocking to the prestigious adidas ABCD Camp in Teaneck, in his home state, were the perfect vehicles to cement his future superstar status. He played well enough during the camp to justify playing in the ABCD All-Star Game for seniors.

July 10, 1996, and James Felton was just moments away from creating a Legend. A wiry, 17-year old, 6-foot-8 wing player, not among the top 500 ranked players entering the summer and unknown to most scouts outside of Central Florida, began to make a name for himself in the scrimmages, upstaging the prime camp draw (Lamar Odom) with sweet shooting, precision passing and wild hops, earning his way into the all-star showcase. It was in this game when Felton found himself isolated in front of the basket as the player, whose name to this point had only escaped the lips of the most serious scouts, emerged from the left wing on a fast break to hurl a violent windmill dunk over the 6-foot-9 manchild who leaped in a futile attempt to block the shot. Like Doctor J, this young man had just "rocked the baby to sleep," and powerfully punctured the ball on the head of a player who was supposed to be the hometown headliner of the camp. In what could only be described as an understatement, pandemonium ensued in the gym.

Said the wonderchild in retrospect: "After I made that dunk, I had chills run through my body. It's like the moment I knew I had finally arrived." Manhattan (now Seton Hall) coach and famous uber-recruiter Bobby Gonzalez said of the dunk, "It was unbelievable. The whole camp stopped. It was like a moment in time when everything stood still."

And with that, James Felton helped create a Legend. Only it was not his own. Within one year, YOU would come to know that Legend simply by the moniker "T-Mac." But at that moment, the shockwaves were reaching every corner of the continent. You should appreciate that this was an age that preceded the capacity of cell phones, video recorders, e-mail and the Internet to get the word out instantly. You should also recognize that the summer of '96 was just the start of the NBA's decade-long obsession with high school players. Pro scouts having witnessed KG's raw potential in the League were convinced to take a chance with kids like a smug Kobe Bryant and a less-confident Jermaine O'Neal in that year's draft. But those players had been watched closely for many years. Like James Felton, the world never saw Tracy McGrady coming.

ABCD Camp creator and adidas basketball director declared T-Mac to be something like a phenomenon.“Nothing like Tracy had ever happened before at ABCD… His name spread through the camp like wildfire.We’ve had kids come out of the woodwork before, but at least they were known by somebody. Tracy was a complete unknown.”

Hoop Scoop proclaimed the sleepy-eyed Florida prodigy the "sleeper of the decade," and a young man who entered the camp not touted among the top 500 prep prospects ended his summer at number two, right behind the much-hyped Odom. Hoops reporters scrambled to find this McGrady kid. Desiring to become a factory for blue-chip basketball recruits, Mount Zion Christian Academy in North Carolina made it easy to find him. Pitino began wooing McGrady with a scholarship offer… instead of Felton. SLAM and SI wrote feature articles on McGrady and his new nationally-dominant team. USA Today names him the National High School Player of the Year. A 1997 McDonald's All-American, he wowed the crowds at both Mickie D's and Magic's Roundball Classic.

You know the rest of the story. If not for the electrifying dunk over James Felton, Tracy McGrady would not have been the ninth pick in the '97 draft. He might never have had the chance to discover that a teammate on the Raptors, Vince Carter, was actually his cousin. We might never have seen the spectacle they put on together at the 2000 Dunk Contest. The ABCD Camp sponsor, adidas, would never have the chance to offer a $12 million dollar shoe contract, unheard of for a high school kid (say thanks, LeBron), and ride the T-Mac hype train out from under the shadows of MJ's Nike and AI's Reebok. No free agent pay-day with the Orlando Magic. Nounreal 13-points-in-33-second torching display with the Rockets against the Spurs. If you don't know the rest of the story, just ask Kornel David, Alonzo Mourning `n P.J. Brown, Yao Ming, Othella Harrington, Drew Gooden, and Shawn Bradizzle what T-Mac did to them.

You may know a whole lot less about James Felton. While it's easy to claim him a victim of McGrady's success, he was really a victim of diabetes plus undiagnosed mental imbalances that led to bouts with depression, alcoholism, multiple personalities, and kleptomania in a community where crime pays. If these flaws were ever diagnosed, they went largely untreated because people wouldn't look at a 6-9 specimen, who could "run like a deer" and put the ball in the hoop, and see a troubled young man.

In his senior year, he burned his bridges with Kentucky staff during a Midnight Madness trip and, following the advice of a former assistant coach, decided to stay close to home, heading to St. John's instead.

His teammates included Queens' Finest (freshman Ron Artest), Felipe Lopez, Lavor Postell, and Zendon Hamilton. With Felton, recruits Erick Barkley and Roshown McLeod, the Red Storm would have been a certain lock for an NCAA title in a couple years. But within months he'd miss a flight to the season-opening tournament, invite friends to MSG practices who'd pick the locker rooms clean, and try to pawn off Lopez's sneakers. When he finally did play, he got schooled by Elton Brand in a matchup with Duke. Lethargic attitudes at practice caused the Johnnies to rescind their scholarship after just six games. He would tell the media he was sent packing because he failed a test for marijuana, but the NCAA didn't test for this drug.

Florida State would give him a second chance that same year, only to find players with clothes, money and jewelry missing, and a VCR lifted from the locker room. The sticky-fingered Felton, now at 6-foot-10 and 260 pounds, couldn't hide from disgrace and was dismissed by the `Noles before he could reach eligibility.

After toiling at a community college in Jersey to regain eligibility, St. Peter's College would give him a second second-chance at Division I-A ball. The Peacocks' bridge got burned too. Showed up at practice drunk and pushed the coaches around. Promised he'd get his alcohol problems, and his legal troubles from trying to pawn stolen property again, behind him. His head coach bent over backwards to arrange a final exam that would help him become academically eligible. For whatever reason, Felton skipped the exam, then lied to his coach, insisting he took it.

Felton's strange trip brought him full-circle back to Teaneck, New Jersey, the town where fate took a wrong turn when he crossed paths with McGrady. He regained just enough trust to get a third second-chance, this time a scholarship with Fairleigh Dickinson in 2000. He got suspended for most of 2000-2001, the season McGrady earned his first All-Star Game appearance and the Most Improved Player award. In 2001-2002, T-Mac was an All-NBA First-Team selection. In 2001-2002, Felton managed 24 games and was All-Northeast Conference at center, putting down 20-and-7 per contest for the Knights, although at 4-25 it was the team's worst hoops season ever.

Beside a training camp tryout with the Nuggets in 2002, the NBA never really came calling for his services. He spent time that fall with one of the roving Nike Elite exhibition squads colleges used to thump just to get their season started with a home win. Played Ohio State twice in a month, once with Nike and then weeks later with the Harlem Globetrotters , lining up with "Officer" Olden Polynice and "Blindman" Cedric Ceballos. An overseas league would show a little interest, but another outstanding arrest warrant for robbery kept him from securing a passport.

His last notable stop was in the fledgling ABA league with the Boston Frenzy . Felton spent a few games in 2004 sharing the bench with Kobe's pop and Frenzy head coach "Jellybean" Bryant, plus 7-foot-7 Neil Fingleton, Moses Malone, Jr., and three AND1 ballers: Spyda, Helicopter and Prime Objective.

He eventually returned to the Garden State and worked as a substitute teacher for the Jersey City public schools, but sadly never could tear himself away from the bottle. His wife found him dead in their apartment in October, and many believe it was a combination of binge drinking and failure to take his diabetes meds.

We'll never know, had fate had sent him in a different direction (say, if Felton were the dunker that day instead of the dunkee) whether he could have found his way into the pros like his colleagues and received some real help to straighten out his life, or if instead his eventual death would be as high-profile as Len Bias'.

We'll never know. But we do know that Tracy McGrady would not have become "T-Mac!" without the role played by James Felton. Hopefully, Tracy McGrady knows, too.

(2009 UPDATE: About a year and a half after this Nasteedunx article, ESPN Magazine sportswriter Bruce Feldman offered a personal synopsis of Felton, who caused now superstar McGrady a momentary bout of amnesia. When asked if he remembered Felton, McGrady replied, “Nope… Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. He was That Guy. The Dunk.”)

Facializer #11 – Zachariah "Dunk on Anybody" Andrews

Put down your Kleenex! After such a sad tale, I promise no more sob stories.

I would just like for you to know that Zack Andrews was named Missouri Valley Conference player of the week for Bradley University in November. The 6-foot-8 forward joined the Braves as a transfer from Yuba College last year as the team joined the NCAA dance for the first time since 1995.

I'd just like you to know that Zack is leading the Valley in field goal percentage, and leads the team with 7.4 rebounds to go along with 10.9 points per game.

Stop looking at the screen like that. Whaddya mean, "Who the hell is Zack Andrews?"

Well, a not-so-aptly named "guard" from Sierra College would definitely NOT like you to know what Andrews did above his head in a community college bout in 2005. You'll recall it made Sportscenter's #1 play that night.

(2009 UPDATE: Still a Playa, still throwing it down. Zack was last seen professionally overseas in Spain, in 2008 with El Costa Urbana Playas de Santa Pola, and up until this past May with C.B. Rayet Guadalajara.

He's also been spotted frequently in North Cali, bopping on ballers as an alumnus with the Sacramento Professional Development League -- alongside NBA players Bobby Jackson, Mike Bibby, Matt Barnes, and Kevin Martin -- the Blue Collar Preps program, and YayArea'sFinest Mixtape.

Also a touching blog from 2006 on why Thanksgiving Day holds a heart-wrenching place in his mind -- on second thought, you'd better hang on to that Kleenex...)


July 20, 2009

WHITE BOYS CAN’T WHAT? IV: Mike Marra -- That Just Ain’t “Right”

Ladies and Gentlemen, we may have found Him.

First, take JJ Redick’s collegiate shooting prowess. Now, add a dose of vintage Darrell Griffith’s boosties, and you have just given Doctor Frankenstein a run for his money. This particular monster masher goes by the name of Mike Marra, and you have just created the dude who might win the College 3-Point Shootout AND Dunk Contest in the same weekend.

The tatted-out 6’5” Northfield Mount Hermon grad was plucked by Louisville. Cards coach Rick Pitino crowed that the young gun was “the best shooter I had ever seen.” With apologies to Billy Donovan and Tony Delk. Oh, and Mike’s a good paisan to boot:

"I was joking with my son (assistant coach Richard Pitino) and said go out and see if you can find me a terrific Italian basketball player. We laughed about it and he said, 'Sure, I'll make that a priority.' A couple of months later he said, 'I found that Italian and can you believe he's from your favorite place - Providence, R.I.' He said he could flat out shoot it. I went to see him a few times. I've been recruiting for a long time - he's the best high school shooter I have ever seen in my life. I know that's quite a statement. Now he has to get the rest of his game to catch up to his shooting prowess. But he has NBA range, he gets it off quickly and he has perfect form and perfect arch."

And who’s to argue? Never mind his dunk-contest exploits at the beginning of the vid below, peep the deadeye range at the end:

But the best slam dunkers of the Caucasian persuasion know that pinpoint-accurate shooting gives opponents the sense that it’s ALL you can do on the court. And once you’ve set them up, then you can go out and do wicked stuff like THIS to busters…

Just ask Dave “Stiltz” Rufful, a Dartmouth forward and aspiring right-wing rapper with the “Young Cons”…

… what it’s like to get a wooden spoon of Marra-nasty sauce.

Stiltz got windmill-dunked-on so vehemently rough and awful (rufful?) during a spring run, by his former high school teammate no less. Anybody feel a breeze?…

…Fox News immediately sought cover for Rufful, convening a 5-star Swift Boat panel that night to discuss:


BILL KRISTOL: “Well, I mean, c’mon, let’s be reasonable. At least Marra cuffed it on Ruff with his RIGHT hand…”

ANN COULTER: “But he went at the rim from the LEFT! A typical bleeding-heart approach! What an infidel! Basketball is so inhumane anyway, nothing like hockey… Oh, I’ll be back. Spencer Hawes just tweeted me.”

JUAN WILLIAMS: “That’s the problem with white kids like Marra, anyway. Too much basketball culture! Turns them into tattoo-plastered windmilling thugs. That’s why I took up hopscotch during my leaner years...”

GERALDO RIVERA: “I just hope for that Vanilla Ice boy’s sake he put on some decent deodorant.”

CHRIS WALLACE: “We cannot confirm at this time whether Michael Moore is buying exclusive rights to the tape for his next documentary, “RIGHT MEN CAN’T JUMP.”

SARAH PALIN: “It’s what I always warn Trig, that THIS is what happens when you hang with the liberal elite at Ivy League schools like Louisville.”


MIKE HUCKABEE: “Er… we’d better go to break. UP NEXT: Richard Jefferson and the NBA’s Closeted Agenda Against Opposite-Sex Marriage.”


May 18, 2009

Please, Bill Walker, Don't Hurt 'Em!

Not proving able to hang with the likes of Dwight Howard, it appears perennial Celtic and rim-clinger Billy "Sky" Walker has finally found a level of competition he can hang with (literally) over the summer!

He tells these poor tykes, "You don't have to go to camp. I'm bringin' camp right to YOU!" lol

Celtics Youth Basketball Summer Camp. C'mon parents! Don't wait until it's too late for your kids to have their dreams crushed. Sign 'em up today!


May 2, 2009

Mutombo All Up in Dzee House

First Shawn Bradley, then Alonzo Mourning... now Dikembe Mutombo is calling it a career.  Sign o' the times, I suppose.

Deke will have more quality time to work on other skills... like bowling, horse riding, golf, remodeling bathrooms so he won't bust his head everytime he needs to wash his hair.

I just hope he doesn't go the Manute Bol route and feel obligated to blow what fortune he has to pay off half of the Congo on the way back to some leaky hut down there.  But he's a giving guy, and he seems to have decent control of his finances, so who am I to worry?

You wonder, with the league's tallest dunkbait suiting up for the final time, what centers are really out there willing to play the victim and persistently produce facial dunk mixes for the next generation of high-flyers and low-post bangers?  It's gotta be players who are talented AND healthy enough to stick it out for at least a decade.  Oden and Yao have suspect feet... Bynum and Nene can't stay on the court for long... Dwight seems to pick and choose his block attempts... guys like Chandler and Dalembert look like they'd rather be doing something else with their time... and Hilton Armstrong, Brandon Wright, Roy Hibbert, and Cheikh Samb seem more destined for D-League infamy.  Plus coaching staffs are pulling centers further away from the rim each season.  So the "Halfway-Decent Centers Getting Dunked On Mix" era may well be coming to a close.

Like Zo, there's a Nasteedunx blog coming soon ("Not in Dzee House of MutMMMPH!") to highlight opponents' most degrading slams climbing up Mount Mutombo.  And yeah, it's safe to say there's a LOT of them, a veritable cavalcade of All-Stars and other ballers transcending two generations.  But Deke deserves his time to shine.  And I imagined coming through with a bunch of Dikembe DunkOns to be fair and balanced.  Alas...

Take a guy who's 7-foot-2 but has always been challenged on the offensive end.  Set up offenses where he hardly has to touch the ball unless he's rebounding.  Take defenders who don't take him seriously enough to challenge him under the rim.  And the result is -- well, why don't we let him tell us?

Yo, Deke, in 17 seasons... how many times have you been pictured throwing it down on somebody?

Oh.  And that was on Mark Jackson, not even the Tom Chamberized version at that. So should that even count?

Well, anyway, if you folk out there in cyberspace find some more, holla.  Meanwhile, here's the only other ones I could dig up to tickle your fancy.


April 10, 2009

Fakin Da Funk IV: Baron on AK-47 (FROM AMERICA, WITH LOVE)

After putting the Monster Mash on AK-47 in the Playoffs, a guard with mad hops gets to Mash something else.  It’s all part of “The Deal…”

DATELINE – Saturday, May 12, 2007, 5:19 AM PST

Hilton Oakland Airport Hotel - OaklandCalifornia

It’s five a.m., and no, there was no good night’s sleep for Mr. Andrei Kirilenko.  Tossing and turning on the bed at his grungy Oakland hotel, he couldn’t get any winks.  Just hours removed from a grueling playoff loss to the Warriors, Andrei is flipping disdainfully through the meager porn offerings on the hotel’s on-demand TV network, doing his best to avoid SportsCenter.  At a ridiculously long postgame press conference, he was pretty coy with reporters who were seemingly more interested in the details of a meaningless garbage-time play than the game itself.

"I think I was late on the help. That's why I got dunked on. At least I got on the poster."

Would’ve been nice had he gotten back to the room and had his lovely wife waiting for him.  Alas, Mrs. K wasn’t having it on this night.  She wasn’t giving it, either.

His better half, Masha, stumbles through the door.  She’s sauntering gingerly into the hotel room, hair disheveled, lipstick smudged and, as best as Andrei could tell, a tad bowlegged.  What in blazes was so exciting about Oaktown nightlife that had Mrs. Kirilenko running the streets until five in the morning?

“You’ve got some explaining to do, Miss Lopatova,” he bellows to Masha, rubbing the back of her head as if someone’s been tugging at her hair.

“Andrei, sweetie… you remember we made that Deal, right?”

Up to now, The Deal always seemed to work out quite nicely for AK-47.  At a time when fellow NBA young bucks are saddled with alimony payments, baby-daddy paternity suits and DNA tests, tempestuous underage babysitters, strip-club fight wounds, money-grubbing rape accusations, and smoldering spouses with ridiculously short leashes, Andrei Kirilenko has himself a Deal.  One ensuring wedded bliss for he and wifey for as long as they both shall live.  It seems that the prenup arrangement includes a clause that allows AK a little, shall we say, wiggle room in the bedroom.  Specifically, once a calendar year at any time, Andrei is allowed to cheat.  With whomever, whenever.  No pre-approval, no questions asked, no guilt trips.
“What’s forbidden is always desirable,” Masha explained when The Deal got leaked to a reporter.  “And athletes, particularly men, are susceptible to all the things they are offered.  It’s the same way raising children.  If I tell my child. ‘No pizza, no pizza,’ what does he want more than anything? Pizza.”  So, she figures, what’s wrong with her hubby coveting an occasional pizza pie, or a piece o’ tail, every once in awhile?

It is an agreement that causes almost every red-blooded American male to pause and bow, to bestow praise to the Russian supermodel for this noble and flexible approach to lifelong fidelity… and every red-faced American woman to roll her eyes in disgust. Masha, Masha, Masha!

But with all the media hype over the leaking of this clause, there’s another half of The Deal that no one bothered to ask about.  One that only Masha knows quite well.  In return for being so flexible, The Missus gets one lifetime chance to find a man who’ll do her right… for one night only.

Just weeks ago, it was at the grand opening of her new fashion shop in The Gateway shopping plaza in downtown Salt Lake when Masha had a notion to cash in on her end of The Deal.  She had just opened a boutique for tall men and women to find stylish yet casual clothing, not an easy find outside of L.A. or Vegas.  Part of her business strategy was particularly to cater to NBA players passing through, a public relations ploy sure to attract other well-heeled customers in turn.  Well, one particular pro-baller who stopped by, got a pair of customized and perfectly-tailored jeans, and bought a fedora with bullets in it, offered the voluptuous shopkeeper and part-time pin-up model quite a tip.  Oh, and a phone number.  The note with the number read, “You’ll Know When to Call Me.  I’ll Send You a Signal.”

Now, while at the hotel peeking at the conference semis Game 3, between episodes of "Martha Stewart Living," Masha fixes her eyes on Fedora Man.  Up by a comfortable 20 points with just minutes to spare, almost as though he knew she was watching, he decided the time was ripe to send out The Signal.  He blew past the flailing Jazz guard Deron Williams on the left wing, drove to the hoop and illustriously sacked her Russian husband as if he was getting revenge for Apollo Creed in Rocky IV.  Game Over.

Photographers and cameramen around the arena must have sensed the tremors before the Quake, because they caught shots of this utter destruction, in progress, from every conceivable angle.

As the Oracle Arena erupted in joy, he inexplicably pulled out his jersey, “poppin’ the collar” from the waist up. 

With the momentum of Game 3 now decidedly in the Warriors hands, the crowd thought it meant the night was over for their superstar.  But Fedora Man suspected his night was just beginning.  As Stephen Jackson dusts off the Bay Area’s Man of the Hour, Masha scrambles to find her cellphone... and her little black dress.

“Is that a… a… how do they say… a hickey?”  Andrei is standing there dumbfounded, mouth agape, trying to find the words as Masha persistently realigned her bra straps.  “I can’t believe you cashed in already.  But with who?”

“Now remember the rules, dahling, no questions asked!” reminded Masha, now realigning her jaw.  “But, if you really wanna know… that’s his car revving up outside.”  With his curiosity killing him, Andrei makes a dash to the drapes and peers down to the street.  Sputtering off into the dawn was a golden Mercedes. Twenty-two-inch rims.  And a California custom tag that appeared to read, “BDIDDY5.”

Fedora Man strikes again. Hey, Fedora Man, how many times did you hit that last night?

Wow. Impressive!

“You were with HIM?” Andrei didn’t know whether to laugh or cry at this latest cruel twist of fate.  “That’s like, how they say, ‘Sleeping With The Enemy!’… Nyet, I don’t want to hear anything more – no wait, I do wanna know why!”

“I was watching the game tonight, and, well, you know how I value honesty,” Masha said, taking a deep breath after rubbing the sides of her mouth clean with her thumb.  “Now I know you won’t take offense, but quite frankly, I suspected… and now know for sure… that Baron can take me higher… farther… to places you’ve never been, Andrei.”  For a minute, he thought she was referring to the square atop the rim.  “Plus, you know us Russian women like a man with big, scruffy beard.”  Now that he could acknowledge.  Indeed, compared to his furless chin, Baron indeed had quite a Flavor Saver on him.

“Now, all the ladies you’ve been with over the years,” Masha queries, her attempt to brush through Andrei’s hedgehog hairdo causing him to recoil, “has anyone popped them in the nose, keyed their car, or tried to go after them?”  Andrei sighed, rolled his eyes, then nodded his head in the negative.  “So I can expect you and your friends won’t do anything to harm my high-flying American baboushka, nyet?”

Andrei rubbed his chin, and pondered aloud, in his best Drago impersonation, “I MUST BREAK HIM.”  Then he laughed.  “Well, I do have connections.  Us Russian men do know how to make people disappear, you know!  At least let me get him a little sicklike my man Nikolay does it!”

Before she got nervous, he grinned and said, “Nah, I’ll get your little baboushka back on basketball terms when we get back to SLC for Game 5.”

“But look, I have a proposal to modify The Deal a little.  Last night I was watching… well, never mind that… but anyways there was a commercial for a product called Elongawoodie…”

“I know about that, I almost bought you a case.”

“Oh, yes, thanks a lot, lovey!  Well, I’ll buy it myself, a lifetime supply, IF you allow me to cash in one extra time this year, just this once.  You see, Anna Kournikova was on the sideline at the Laker game, and…”


Drei would eventually have his day, after dispatching Golden State from the conference semis and eventually getting the tennis-star hookup he desired in the offseason.  But Masha is always quick to remind him, pills or no pills, who can take her higher.  She blogged recently about her ongoing friendship with another Warrior who scores occasionally, albeit in the traditional sense. 

“I was so happy for my friend Al Harrington who scored 38 last night!  Al is a great guy.  We were on vacation in France this summer.  We were playing Charades on the boat and he was supposed to show the word ‘cucumber.’  He had no luck expressing or acting out the word ‘cucumber.’”

As Al held his forefingers out about a foot apart in a lame attempt to depict the vegetable, a vodka-influenced Masha absorbed a bony elbow in her side from her significant other after blurting out,”


The awkward thing is both Kirilenkos knew she deserved at least partial credit for her answer.


What? What?