Monday, April 11, 2005

PRADE's Blog of the Week

Call him Shirley. Paul Shirley.

The Suns's lanky 12th man and benchwarmer/cheerleader, Paul Shirley, kept a travel diary for an 8 day road trip with the team in late March and his daily musings are hilarious.

Bill Simmons calls it "the closest thing to having a friend playing in the NBA," and I just call it humorous and interesting, espcially coming from a professional athlete who appears to lack an ego and is well aware of the absurdity of the existence of an NBA player.

Some of my favorite excerts.

March 23rd:

A couple of things stood out tonight, not the least of which was the usual raucous crowd in Atlanta. By raucous I mean, of course, almost nonexistent. How can a team in the fifth or sixth or seventh-largest city in the US (I need a fact-checker, 1:30 a.m. is not the time to be doing research) not ever fill the arena? I played very briefly for the Hawks two years ago—preseason and a 10-day contract during the year—and tonight was as full as I have ever seen it. There were maybe 6000 people in attendance. Jimmy Jackson said it best before the game. “Watch out,” he warned, “there are a bunch of fans dressed up like seats out there tonight.”

March 24th:

Jake Voskuhl and I did get to watch our fellow end-of-the-bench mate, Bo Outlaw, get into the game. He managed to fire up one of his patented “I can’t believe a professional basketball player shoots the ball that way” jump shots, but with limited success. He did get in the box score though.

As an aside, I will now declare the tattoo trend dead. Not just over — that happened a couple of years ago. Dead. Is there anything more passé than the arm or shoulder tattoo on the male of our species or the symmetrical lower back tattoo on the female? On a further tangent, because this is how my brain works, Tom Gugliotta has the worst tattoo in the NBA. The barbed wire on the bicep is bad enough to put him in the running; the fact that it is the dreaded “I thought I could get away with not having it complete the circumference of my arm” type puts him over the top. It is like wearing a tie that is not only ugly, but is a clip-on to boot. Ugly is at least forgivable; the clip-on aspect makes it reprehensible.

March 26th:

Observations from our game vs. the Heat:
1. Dwyane (it kills me to have to write down a blatant typographical error on purpose) Wade is really good.
2. I played for the Kansas City Knights of the ABA (nearly-defunct minor league) for a while last year. This year, the Knights began the season with a promotion involving some “cheerleaders” and a pole. I am not going to suggest that the Miami Heat just went to some local [gentleman's] club and hired the whole roster as their dance team. Instead, I will simply say that I was impressed with their dancing abilities.
3. It must be a league-wide requirement — every NBA locker room is provided with fresh fruit prior to the game. The fresh fruit in Miami was easily the worst I have seen all year. Does that make sense?
4. Based on the crowd at the game, the use of silicone per capita in Miami has got to be the highest in the US. All in all, a good night for testing one’s ability to focus through distraction.

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