the opinions of an occasionally sane man

Love and Basketball
and Pornography

by Nicholas Bhasin

These are some thoughts Nick had in the middle of the NBA Playoffs. They do not necessarily represent his views today.

"There's something special about the Playoffs."



As a pop culture journalist, I try to keep my nose on the pulse of excitement. Any form of excitement interests me. Wherever people are excited about politics, I am there. Wherever people are excited about weird sex scandals and crappy pop music, I am there. Wherever people are excited about drugs and giving me a blowjob, I am there. Because I'm a journalist.

What's everyone excited about now? Well, in the weird sex scandal category, it's the Backstreet Boys. I love to monitor their crazy hijinx and semi-retarded super fans as they humiliate themselves and America with their weird sex scandals. And since I'm such a journalist, I know lots of things that other people don't know because of that nose on the pulse thing and because I make things up. For example, did you know that all the Backstreet Boys are actually lesbians who smoke crack and beat kids?

Everyone is excited about Elian Gonzalez too. But I don't write about the Cubans.

If I had to say what the entire country is most excited about, I'd say it was the NBA Playoffs. If you look carefully, you'll notice that when the Playoffs are on, people of all colors and creeds and races and ethnicities and cultural backgrounds completely forget about their families and jobs and jail sentences so they can watch (and talk about [and have sex with]) the games.


"...nothing scary or indictable..."

I guess I'd call myself a fan, but I don't go nuts. I'm not like some of these people who wait on line at Madison Square Garden for 16 hours and then kill someone for a $1000 ticket. But I do unplug my phone, seal the doors and windows shut with an industrial strength adhesive, beat the hell out of the mailman, flush my cell phone down the toilet, yank out the part of my computer that processes e-mail, pour tar all over my fax machine, and slap people who talk to me during the Playoffs.

There's something special about the Playoffs. I don't go through all that trouble during the regular season, you understand. I make sure to catch some of the good matchups and the good beer commercials when I can. But nothing scary or indictable, as far as you know.

It's hard to describe the beauty of the intense sportsmanship of the NBA Playoffs without talking about gambling. I think that if you looked up "amazingfun" and "crazythrilling" in the dictionary, you'd see a picture of my friends and I betting on which team will get to 10 first, or which player will thank Allah for his 13 illegitimate children and house full of money.



The real show, of course, is the game. The intense (I'll keep using this word until I get a Thesaurus) beauty (this one too) of raw battle invokes images of death and prostitution like no other sport or art in the world. It's definitely better than painting, or, the Wuss Art, as it's commonly known. I could go on, but, as with the Cubans, I don't write about the Wuss Art.

A lot of writing about basketball, found mostly in Sports pages of newspapers of sports magazines, or, the Wuss Pages of Wusspapers or Wuss magazines, as they're commonly known, contain a lot of stats and in-depth analysis. Either that, or it's spouting off about how "majestic" the sport is. Now, "majestic" is a great word, but I think "Basketball-tastic" is better. I don't think I'd like the Playoffs if they weren't so damn basketball-tastic and balls-tastic, a word that can also be applied to testicle sports.

So, who do I like in the Championship? Well, a lot of people might go with the Los Angeles Lakers. They have Shaquille O'Neal, Kobe Bryant, Glen Rice, and Phil Jackson, who won six championships with the Bulls, coaches them. They've also been playing very well lately. If you look at all this information together, it's very impressive. And if you look at it separately, it's also impressive. But if you look at it in blotches that are neither together nor separate, it's not so impressive.

First of all, I'm don't think it's so great that a man like Shaq, who is 8 feet tall and weighs 534 pounds, can score lots of points. Who cares? Hell, I can sign up for Pee Wee Boxing and beat the hell out of all the three year olds. Or at least some of them. But you don't see me raising the roof. I think they should throw Shaq in the Freak League, where he'll have to play against people his own size, like Al Gore and Geena Davis. Then where would the Lakers be?

Unlike a lot of people, I'm not impressed with Kobe Bryant's spry jump shot, slashing moves to the basket, or his haircut. As far as I'm concerned, all of those things suck. Especially the haircut. Why don't the commentators point this out more often? "Kobe Bryant shoots from the corner... oh, it bounces off the rim! His haircut sucks, Bob." "It really does, Jim."

Glen Rice seems like a nice guy, but Shaq and Kobe have huge attitude problems. They assume a lot about their own greatness, but they're just a couple of guys who score lots of points. Don't forget, you can't spell "Team" with "Shaq" or "Kobe." And why the hell would you want to? Those names are ridiculous! They should change them to "Max" and "Toby," so they'd sound more like porn stars. "Starting, at center, for the Los Angeles Lakers: Max O'Nealcock! And, at shooting guard, Toby Bryantpenis!" But seriously, more porn star names means more ticket sales.

" ' Say hello to Latrell Spreweiner and Patrick Ewgdong.' "


If the Lakers don't win, I'd have to pick the Knicks to win the Championship, just in the interests of popularity. A lot of people in New York like the Knicks. Maybe it's because they both start with an "N." In any event, the Knicks are my team because I don't really have a good idea of who is going to win and I live in the tri-state area. But if they don't win, I'm going to cruelly lampoon their names too. "Say hello to Latrell Spreweiner and Patrick Ewgdong."

I was actually hoping that the Phoenix Suns would win, because I like the way Anfernee Hardaway plays, and Jason Kidd is fantastic. He'd be great in the Finals, that is, if Shaquille O'Neal doesn't eat him first. When he does eat him, and he most certainly will, all of you are going to be crying and wondering why you didn't listen to me. "Oh, why didn't we throw Shaq into the Freak League? He's eaten Jason Kidd. Oh, and now he's eating Latrell Sprewell! I like him because he plays in New York! Oh, and now Shaq is eating me. Whatever shall I do?"

I'll tell you what you shall do. If the Lakers beat the Suns, root for Portland, who will definitely beat the Jazz, because they're old and they suck. Portland is an interesting, unpredictable team. They also kind of suck, but what are you going to do? The only team left to route for in the East is the Knicks. Philadelphia is done. Indiana is full of drunks and players like Reggie Miller and Jalen Rose who both bear an uncomfortable resemblance to aliens. Ugly aliens, like John Travolta. Not cute aliens, like Henry Kissinger. And Miami just sucks. Alonzo Mourning should go to another team because there's some kind of Santeria curse on the Heat. Or maybe he should just change his name to Alongo Peniso.


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