There’s a site called I Write Like which analyzes any portion of text you provide and then tells you which famous author was most likely to have written that text. It’s wildly inaccurate and a huge waste of time, and yet it’s strangely compelling and fun. I pasted some of the most memorable NBA quotes into the “I Write Like” analyzer — and here were the results.
“It’s easy to talk about, its easy to sum it up when you just talk about practice. We sittin’ in here, I’m supposed to be the franchise player, and we in here talkin’ about practice. I mean listen, we talkin’ ’bout practice. Not a game, not a game, not a game. We talkin bout practice. Not a game, not a, not a, not the game that I go out there and die for, and play every game like its my last. Not the game. We talkin’ ’bout practice, man. I mean, how silly is that? We talkin’ ’bout practice. I know I’m supposed to be there, I know I’m supposed to lead by example. I know that, and I’m not shovin’ it aside, you know, like it don’t mean anything. I know its important, I do. I honestly do. But we talkin’ ’bout practice, man. What are we talkin’ bout? Practice? We talkin’ bout practice man. We talk… We talkin’ ’bout practice. We talkin’ ’bout practice. We ain’t talkin’ ’bout the game, we talkin’ ’bout practice, man. When you come into the arena, and you see me play, you see me play, don’t you? You see me give everything I got, right? But we talkin’ bout practice right now. We talkin’ bout practice. Man, look, I hear you, its funny to me too. I mean, its strange, its strange to me too. But we talkin’ ’bout practice man. We not even talkin’ ’bout the game, the actual game, when it matters. We talkin’ ’bout practice.” — Allen Iverson
Margaret Mitchell won the Pulitzer Prize in 1937 for “Gone With The Wind”, which has sold more than 30 million copies. “Gone With The Wind” is considered one of the great dramas in American literary history, and Allen Iverson’s career has been one of the most dramatic in NBA history. When it came to practice, Iverson simply didn’t give a damn. Now a free agent with little apparent interest in his service, Iverson’s NBA career might very well be gone with the wind.
“You know it’s going to hell when the best rapper out there is white and the best golfer is black.” – Charles Barkley
Cory Doctorow is a journalist, science fiction author, and co-editor of the popular Boing Boing blog. I’m going to hazard a guess that many of you have never heard of him because you’re not huge nerds (um, like me). I don’t know a lot about his work, but I’m going to go out on a limb and say that Cory Doctorow and Charles Barkley have nothing in common besides that fact that they’re both carbon-based life forms.
“A lot of people understand what not saying anything means, so, in effect, not saying anything is really saying a lot.” — Bill Walton
Makes sense — Douglas Adams wrote “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”, Bill Walton is a space cadet who probably thought he was a space hitchhiker during some of his numerous acid trips at Grateful Dead concerts.
“I’m tired of hearing about money, money, money, money, money. I just want to play the game, drink Pepsi, wear Reebok.” Shaq
David Foster Wallace was the author of the 1,000-plus-page novel “Infinite Jest”, which was named as one of the 100 greatest novels of all-time by Time Magazine. “Infinite Jest” is one of those literary works that most serious writers of my generation have already read. Naturally, I have not read it myself, but I probably should. Regardless, Wallace’s work was known to be infused with irony, and I guess you could say that Shaq’s statement was ironic but I have a feeling he understands the true meaning of irony about as well as Alanis Morissette does.
“I was just letting the shots fly. You know, I don’t leave any bullets in the chamber.” – Kobe Bryant
Raymond Chandler was widely considered to be the master of the modern private detective genre, which means we can assume that gunplay was a factor in his storylines. Chandler’s writing style has been described as “hard-boiled” and Kobe is as hard-boiled as any NBA player you could name. Conicidentally, one of Chandler’s short stories was titled “No Crime in the Mountains”, which is more or less what Kobe said about that 2003 incident in a Colorado hotel room.
When Tim Duncan was a kid, his mother used have him recite this nursery rhyme (of unknown origin) before bedtime every night: “Good, better, best. Never let it rest. Until your good is better and your better is best.”
Did Gertrude Stein actually create this nursery rhyme? Anyone? I don’t know a lot about Ms. Stein, except that she was a lesbian and wrote in a variety of formats including novels, plays and poems. If you can see any connection between her and Tim Duncan, clue me in because I’m drawing a blank here.
“For five years I’ve felt like the best prostitute in a high-class whorehouse. But all the other girls get paid more than I do.” — Dennis Rodman
Perfect. J.D. Salinger was a literary rebel who derived most of his success from one book, “The Catcher in the Rye”. Dennis Rodman was one of true rebels of the NBA during his career and he was considered to be the best in the league at one skill — rebounding. Of course, Salinger was a recluse and Rodman is anything but. If Rodman ever read “Catcher”, I bet he’d relate to the protagonist’s feelings of alienation from society. Neither “characters” are particularly interested in fitting in.
All right, I’ve had my fun. Submit your favorite quotes to the “I Write Like” analyzer and share your results with the class.