I’ve been pretty baffled about why everyone has felt the need to make LeBron into some sort of monster this summer. He has been a bit of a naive douche of late, perhaps, but the whole “he ruined his legacy [at 25 years old],” “he’s scared to be the man” and “MJ or Kobe never would have played with Wade” stuff is just completely silly to me. Who cares? New era with new era players who want to win title with their friends.
Seriously, not a big deal.
And that’s what makes this Nike spot so brilliant. It acknowledges all the silly rhetoric that talking heads have been saying for months now and just exposes it all as being totally silly. By the end, the only thing a rational basketball fan can realistically see is, as Matt Moore of Hardwood Paroxysm noted in an email, “a dude that switched jobs and did it in an obnoxious manner.”
That’s all the ever really happened. Calm down. (Cleveland fans can keep being pissed — I get that.)
Meanwhile, the “Hi Chuck” part is one of the best moments in any commercial ever and the kid actor voicing young LeBron who says “should I give you a history lesson?” sounds like Randy Wagstaff from The Wire.
I’m aware that using The Wire as a means to discuss the NBA is stupid, played out and perhaps even racist. But I spend an exorbitant amount of time thinking about both these things. And the series is so insightful in so many ways that, even if I was writing about bowling or masonry, I would likely be using The Wire as a lens to discuss those things, too.
So when I came across this video of the “100 Greatest Quotes from The Wire” over at Matt Ufford’s television blog Warming Glow, it was easily the highlight of my afternoon. Then, when I heard Avon drop a Pat Riley reference at the 30-second mark, I was all “Sweet, an NBA tie in that will allow me to share this with BTPH readers and hopefully help urge at least a few more of the unfortunate, sad, deprived humans who have still yet to watch The Wire to do so.”
But, as I have been wont to do in the past while ripping off a Bill Simmons gimmick, I soon started to hear a lot of sentiments that could also appear in a current state of the union address about the NBA. So rather than just posting the video, calling it a day and heading off to get some quality glue-huffing on, per usual, I decided to give yall Both Teamsters what disingenuous business executives like to refer to as “added value” when they are trying to sell you something that you don’t need.
So here’s a few of these 100 quotes transcribed along with some added quick thoughts from yours truly about how they might relate to the NBA. And, oh yeah, this is all NSFW.
“Ayo, listen here, Bey. You come at the king you best not miss.” (Omar – 0:19)
Just a reminder to all those who think the Cavs aren’t legit title contenders this season that it took a historically amazing shooting performance from the Magic last season to keep The King from making his second trip to the Finals.
“We either step up or we step the fuck off.” (Bodie – 0:36)
Portland looks promising. But to hang with Denver and San Antonio — let alone LA — they’re going to need Greg Oden to both keep up his early-season defensive and board dominance and step up his offensive production as well. Tough order, indeed. But it’s either that or do what Bodie said.
“You can’t even call this shit a war … War’s end.” (Carver – 1:06)
The Lakers/Celtics rivalry will never end — and that’s a great thing for this League.
“Fuck it then. For another sandwich and some ‘tay-ta salad, I’ll go a few more.” (WeeBey – 1:20)
Given the economy, the state of the Heat franchise, the tax code in Florida and his seeming large desire to be regarded as “the NBA’s preeminent good guy,” it seems more and more like Dwyane Wade isn’t going anywhere this summer, provided Pat Rily gives him a max deal, another sidekick and, of course, some potato salad.
“You disappoint me, String. I had such fucking hopes for us.” (Jimmy McNulty – 1:42)
My feelings about whatever collection of suits is running the Hornets into the ground, providing no help for the best PG since Magic and somehow making games featuring Chris Paul almost unwatchable.
“I’ll take any muthafucka’s money if he giving it away.” (Clay Davis – 2:24)
I have a feeling Stephen Jackson and Corey Maggette both thought this at some point before signing their deals in Golden State.
“No offense, son, but that’s some weak-ass thinking. You equivocating like a muthafucka.” (Bubbles – 2:37)
Dear Michael Jordan,
Please stop trading away guys/contracts like J-Rich for guys like Raja Bell and then flipping youngsters like Shannon Brown for overpaid, one-dimensional guys with bad contracts like Vlad Rad only to deal a bunch of those guys for an offensive infusion in the form of Stephen Jackson and his questionable contract, particularly when you could have gotten similar offensive production by signing Iverson cheaply and short-term this summer. Do you even have anything remotely resembling a long-term plan?
“The Bunk is strictly a suit-and-tie muthafucka.” (Bunk Moreland – 2:45)
To me, a Pacers fan, this is sadly a distinction that is looking more and more fitting for Mike Dunleavy, Jr. by the day.
“Avon, you gotta think about what we got in this game for, man. Was it for the rep? Was it so our names could ring out on some ghetto-ass street corners, man?” (Stringer Bell – 3:11)
Listen up, AI, if for no other reason than so I can watch you play a few more seasons.
“A good church man is always up in everybody’s shit.” (Deacon – 3:45)
Hey, Dwight. I love the fact that you’re a good church man. But you averaging only 10.7 boards and 1.8 blocks per game is not acceptable. You’re clearly a robot sent back in time. Start acting like one.
“I swear to fucking Christ, we will beat you longer and harder than you beat your own dick. Cause you do not get to win shitbird. We do.” (Carver – 4:03)
May as well be the Lakers war cry.
“This here is a gun-powder-activated, .27-calibre, full-auto, no-kick-back, nail-throwin’ mayhem, man. Shit right here is tight.” (Snoop – 5:22)
…and the Celtics can use this one.
“If it’s a lie, we fight on that lie.” (Slim Charles – 5:38)
Seven Seconds or Less never made a Finals, so it’s hard to believe the current watered-down roster Suns players is going to be a legit contender running uptempo either. But even if “offense wins championships” is a boldface lie, that’s the only way you can play when you have Steve Nash. Stick to it, Mr. Kerr.
“Next, we step to June Bug for talking that shit. He was a dead man when he opened his mouth. He just walking around not knowing it.” (Marlo – 5:48)
I have a feeling this will be the story of every game for the rest of Rajon Rondo’s career that he goes up against Chris Paul.
“Worrying about you would be like wondering if the sun gonna come up.” (Omar – 6:03)
How the rest of the Western Conference thinks about the Spurs.
“It makes me sick, muthafucka, thinking about how far we done fell.” (Bunk – 6:14)
How the Knicks think about themselves.
“Motherfuckers come to me and say ‘It’s a new day, Jimmy,’ talking shit about how it’s gonna change. Nothing ever fucking changes.” (Jimmy McNulty – 6:51)
How Clippers fans feel about the NBA.
“Let em know that Marlo step to any muthafucka: Omar, Barksdale, whoever. My name is my name.” (Marlo – 9:34)
What Kobe wakes up everyday thinking, only using MJ, LeBron and DWade’s names instead.
“Jesus. What the fuck did I do?” (Jimmy McNulty – 9:42)
Says the guy who gave Elton Brand $80 million.
“There’s a thin line between heaven and here.” (Bubbles – 9:46)
I was tipped off about this video by FreeDarko / The Baseline‘s Bethlehem Shoals, who just so happens to have been a main contributor to Heaven and Here. Tagged as “Tweedy, Impertinent Notes on a Criminal Conspiracy,” it’s the best Wire resource I’ve ever come across in terms of adding discourse to the work that I consider not just the best television show of all time — cause that’s a fucking given — but the best creative work of any sort of all time. And I’m not hyperbolizing that at all.
Be sure to check in over at Heaven and Here as you watch The Wire for the first — or the tenth — time.
Earlier today, The Hoop Doctors‘ surgeon general Dr. Anklesnap was doing what everyone should be doing five times per day: Thinking about Baron Davis’ beard.
In doing so, he came across this post of NBA players who look like characters on The Wire and came up with a few more of his own. I followed suit because I’m unoriginal and because I have a couple more to offer due to the fact that I’ve spent an unhealthy amount of my life in deep concentration about how The Wire helps explain every aspect of human existence.
If you have any others, go leave em in the comments at Hoop Doctors. And extra special thanks to Tony Silberfeld for coming up with the last one.
I know this thing has been rather YouTube-heavy of late and I know The Wire ostensibly has nothing to do with the NBA — although the coaching ability Prop Joe showed in “Game Day” might earn him a head job for some team if they all keep firing these coaches.
But I really don’t care.
It’s well known around here that I’m a full-blown Wire-head (see last year’s Western Confernce and Eastern Conference Playoff previews) and I’m making an exception this one time for this phenomenal five-minute rap verse that breaks down the plot of the entire series in five minutes. I don’t know who did this, nor do I know who chopped up the Season 3 theme for the head-nod beat, but they done kilt it. (I’ll try to track that info down and update this later.)
Obviously don’t watch this if you haven’t watched all five seasons.
And if you haven’t watched all five seasons, quit your job and do so immediately. (But don’t read the spoilers below the video.)
UPDATE: The rapper is Skillz. Shoulda realized cause he has his signature Annual Rap Up that I’ve been listening to for like five years. Here’s as far back as I can find: 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008.
My favorite lines:
McNulty and the judge get to talking for an hour
And find out the Barksdales control the whole towers
Along with Stinger Bell, the judge had heard enough
A witness goes down and the wire goes up
Police chief, yeah, his rank is proper
Because of the window, he starts a war with Frank Sobotka
Sobotka dies, too, his nephew feeling the heat
He flips on the Greek, but the Greek aint even Greek
Burrell, he makes a play of his own
Enter a contract killer named Brother Mouzone
Marlo’s got the corners, and Carcetti beats Royce
Bodie sells for Marlo ’cause he doesn’t have a choice
Cops taking pics, McNulty’s still hunting
Marlo got Chris and Snoop killing for nothing
Omar robs him for half his paper
Tells him money don’t have owners, it only has takers
According to new Knicks point guard Chris Duhon, “He talks the whole time. He’s never quiet.” In an interview with MSG’s Jill Martin airing tomorrow, Duhon said he played the Illinois senator in a pickup game in Chicago, where Duhon played for the Bulls. “What are some of the things he would say?” Martin asked. “‘You can’t guard me!’ Just random talk,” Duhon replied. “He knows the game. He’s like a point guard out there, and so he’s always telling guys where to go, what to do, very vocal.”
I just really hope that after he wins the election next week his first comment is “That Oval Office has had my name on it for a year now. I knew I was gonna win it. My party members said I wasn’t gonna win it, but I came back and…lucked out, really.”
Between this, his presumed love for Sheed as a Tar Heel fan and his favorite show being The Wire, I’m actually considering voting for someone other than Eric B. for the first time.