Shea Serrano

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Shea Serrano took his twin 6-year-old sons to a week of basketball camp. This is what transpired.

Each Summer, I enroll the boys (“the boys” = my sons, not my testicles, though the transitive relationship among the sets does not escape me) in a basketball camp. It’s fun enough for them, and that’s neat, but mostly the reason I enjoy putting them in there is because, I mean, have you ever spent a summer with twin boys before? That s–t is horrendous. They’re everywhere, always. It’s like hanging out with Sonic the Hedgehog, except there are two of them, and rather than trying to collect rings they spend a good portion of their time trying to sneak punch you in the cock.

But anyway, the positive: The boys like basketball. We play it on screens (I bought an old XBOX from a guy on Twitter that turned out to be the assistant to Clutch, the Houston Rockets mascot, which is a job that I didn’t even know existed until I met him) and we play it in real life. (They play with some weak ass rules though. Like, they just start making things up if they’re losing. I got called for a violation once because I was “too big.”) And that’s dope. I’m glad we’re able to share that. I shared/share it with my dad, and they’ll (hopefully) be the same way.

But so the camp is a dual purpose thing then. It keeps their tiny brains happy during the long days of summer, and it allows me to rest my brain from being on steady Cockpunch Defense, which is an especially arduous and heavy effort (anyone that’s ever hung out with a group of drunk white guys knows). The camp is five days long. The boys went last week. I sat in the stands and took notes like a total creeper.

Monday, August 5, 2013 the year of our Lord

The last sport the boys played was soccer. A microcosm: Each game, Boy A tried to rip the femurs out of any legs dumb enough to exist near him. He is an especially competitive kid. Anytime he’s ever lost at something, he’s followed it with a gigantor-scream, wiped the tears from his face, then demanded a rematch. Boy B, by contrast, spent almost all of the second game of the season trying to give a Cheeto to a butterfly. That’s just how they live.

They were the same way today at basketball camp. A attempted to win EVERYTHING, and B walked around telling people that his new shoes made him faster than a puma. I guess technically he could’ve been telling the truth, but I don’t know. Really, I don’t even know what a puma is. I think it might be a made up animal. I’m not the king of pumas, bro.

The most exciting moment: During a rebounding exercise, Boy A was pitted against a tall, lanky (probably) 8-year-old. It seemed like an automatic L for him. And at first it was. The bigger kid chased the ball with a proper swiftness after it caromed off the rim, simply out-quicking A. Their second going though, A did a flat-out Dennis Rodman dive and got there first. One of the instructors gave him a high five. A didn’t even smile. He’s a murderer.

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I am a human, so sometimes I forget things. Generally, they are small, mostly unimportant things (“Aw crap, I forgot to return ‘Jonah Hex’ to Blockbuster”). Sometimes, they’re slightly bigger, slightly more consequential things (“Aw crap, I rented ‘Jonah Hex’ from Blockbuster”). And occasionally they are very nearly catastrophic things (my biggest blunder remains leaving our weeks-old twin sons at a restaurant table unattended while I went and got sweet tea, which, make sure you know, was as traumatic as watching Jonah Hex’). But still, I remember I was at a sports bar the last week of March 2012, and I remember that because that was the first time I watched JaVale McGee do something HYPER amazing in real time.

In the third quarter of a close (albeit boring) game, McGee swiped in and a stole a lazy pass from Jose Calderon to Andrea Bargnani. Rather than pass it off to his outlet, the lovely Ty Lawson, he instead kept it. He dribbled the length of the floor — he’s nine feet tall, don’t forget — spied that Calderon was the only one that had bothered to get back on defense, cockpunched gravity, then raised up and dunked it from, if I’m remembering correctly, right around halfcourt. Poor Jose Calderon was atomized. I believe they buried him the next day. It was a closed casket funeral.

I love JaVale McGee. I hope you do too. If you don’t, the least you can do is help him remember what he was thinking about earlier. Leave your handiwork in the comments or on our Facebook page.

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I was in the fifth grade when I decided I was going to play in the NBA. I knew I’d make it because I had all of the tools. I was short (I didn’t first top 5-foot-7 until I was in the eleventh grade). I was super duper thin (I don’t think I’ve ever weighed more than any of the Backstreet Boys in my entire life). I was unathletic (I’d guess I’ve led every league I’ve ever played in in Unintentional Fall Downs While Trying To Rebound). I was superheroically weak (Push-Ups? Please, more like Lay-Theres). And I was terrified of everything.

And my jumper, OH MAN THE JUMPER. It was an action of the highest order, the sporting equivalent to God creating the firmament.

I’d gather all of my energies into my hands, squat down towards the earth, start the ball at my shoelaces, build up its momentum as it passed my right ankle then knee then hip then chest then shoulder then head, and fling up towards whatever happened to be in the area. It was, in a word, transcendent.

Ray Allen’s jumper is probably the closest I’ve ever seen come to it. So connect the dots to finish his, because by doing so you’ll complete mine. We are kindred spirits, you and me, linked forever by the cosmos.

J.R. Smith is everyone’s everything. Remember when he and his beautiful haircut signed with the Knicks last year during Linsanity then came in and scored 60? (I didn’t look that stat up, but I’m almost certain it’s true.) Remember when he was the lovable gunner in Denver? Remember when he was the loathsome gunner in Denver? Remember when he was the lovable gunner again in Denver? Remember his slam dunk contest? Remember his purported gang affiliations? Remember him posting pictures of a model on Twitter? Remember 4,000 other things?

J.R. Smith is amazing. J.R. Smith is love. You love him, even if you don’t love him, and only J.R. Smith can even explain exactly what that means. So help him out here. Give him his tattoos back. Feel free to leave your handiwork in the comments.

Shea Serrano took his twin 5-year-old sons to Monday night’s Spurs-Rockets game. This is what transpired.

6:30 p.m.: Big night. Tonight, the boys (my twin 5-year-old sons) and I are going to watch the Spurs/Rockets game at the Toyota Center in Houston. It’ll be their first in-person Spurs game ever, and only the second pro basketball game of their lives (I took them to go watch the Clippers back when Blake Griffin first started dunking on everyone’s heads during his second rookie season, but they were barely past baby then so all they wanted to do was be shitty at skeeball in the Kid Zone in the stadium).

I’m excited. I don’t anticipate the boys’ll make it past the second quarter, but whatevs. My dad started taking me to Spurs games around the same age too; the actual games were always incidental. I suspect just about all of the people that read this site (or any site about sports, really) have similar memories of similar time spent with their fathers.

I also suspect just about all of the people that read this site (or any site about sports, really, but definitely specifically this one) are really, really good at things like foosball and navigating Microsoft Excel, but that’s a different thing.

6:34: Conversation:

Boy B: Who’s playing, Daddy?
Me: The Spurs and the Rockets.
Boy B: The Rockets are from where?
Me: From Houston, where you were born. They’re like the Texans, but basketball.
Boy B: Oh. And the Spurs are from San Antonio, because that’s where you were born?
Me: Correct.
Boy B: Who else was born in San Antonio?
Me: … Umm, oh, well grandma lives in San Antonio.
Boy B: IS GRANDMA GOING TO PLAY?!?!?!
Me: Dude.
Boy B: MAMA! GRANDMA PLAYS FOR THE SPURS!
Me: Jesus Christ. 

6:53: At the stadium. The boys have noticed the sign at the top and, with the intensity of 1,000 suns, are doing their best to sound it out. “Toy-oh-ta. Toy-yota? TOY YODA?! YODA! DADDY, DOES YODA PLAY FOR THE ROCKETS?!” What the fuck is happening right now? We haven’t even made it inside yet.

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There are a lot of players in the NBA that are entertaining, but few are as so as the gunslinger Stephen Jackson*. I mean, you don’t have to scroll through headlines more than a few minutes before you find SOMETHING. Like this thing from earlier this week about him getting fined by the league for tweeting to Serge Ibaka that he was going to fuck him up the next time he saw him (paraphrased, by the way). Which is why the very first NBA Activity page had to star him.

*Stephen Jackson was a key piece of the Spurs’ 2002-03 championship team, and a star on the Golden State team that knocked the dastardly Dallas Mavericks out of the playoffs in 2006-07. I will forever love him. He could punch my sister in the stomach and the first thing I’d say would be, “Hey, remember when you bombed all those threes in the 19-0 run against the Nets in Game 6 of the NBA Finals.”

Oh, real quick, background: In October, I created this thing called Bun B’s Jumbo Coloring and Rap Activity Tumblr. It’s a combination of rap-inspired coloring pages and rap-inspired activity pages like word searches and connect the dots and so on. It got popular, and it’ll actually become a book in fall 2013, thanks to the nice folks at the prestigious ABRAMS book. So from that came the NBA Activity pages. Every so often, we’ll upload an actionable page here for you to complete, exclusive to The Basketball Jones.

So again: This first one is a Stephen Jackson activity page, wherein you can color him and his headbands and then attach the headbands to his head, paper doll-style. So do that. Aces.

I am a human and I am a male and I was once a child so that means I used to collect sports cards. Specific sport made no difference, really. If a picture of a man was placed on cardstock, I wanted it. I even had those “Yo! MTV Raps” cards, obvs. Minus a brief period in college when I thought I’d figured out a supreme hustle*, collecting them was a hobby that I only maintained through maybe age 13, and one that I’d forgotten about completely these last few years of adulthood.

However, this past weekend, my dad, patron saint that he is, showed up with a fresh box of 2012-13 NBA Hoops trading cards. (When I asked him why he bought them, his response was a perfectly blunt, “I just did.”) He was in town to experience the birth of his new grandchild, but that all seems incidental. When I came home from the hospital and saw the cards on the kitchen table, I shrieked, tossed New Baby into the nearest receptacle, then tore through the box.

There were 11 packs in the box, each containing five cards. After I’d opened them and arranged them into order according to each individual player’s ability to give me a basketball boner (that’s how Beckett prices their worth, I believe), I constructed a super team from the group.

Coach
Getting a coach in a pack of trading cards is no less disappointing than getting an apple while trick or treating, or the 12 minutes in between pretend blowjobs on late night cable movies, but I received five coach cards in my 11 packs : Gregg Popovich, Tom Thibodeau, Scott Brooks, Alvin Gentry and Avery Johnson.

Brooks and Gentry get the axe first because Brooks looks like a guy that aggressively tried to sell me a vacuum cleaner at Best Buy once and because Gentry’s name is too close to gentrification and if you support gentrification you are a racist and one thing I don’t want to be is racist. So I’ll go Popovich for the head coach — what with him being one of the greatest coaches to ever live, and all — Thibs as an assistant to craft a hellacious defense and Avery Johnson to GTFOH. If I need my team to flame out against the Warriors in a playoff series, I’ll call Johnson.

Head Coach: Popovich
Assistant Coach: Thibodeau
GTFOH: Avery Johnson

(Note: I’d like to point out that I think Avery Johnson is capable of being a very fine coach, and I’ll always have an especially warm spot in my loins for his underdoggedness because of that 18-footer in the 1999 NBA Finals that eventually led to the Spurs celebrating their first franchise championship. But I’ll also always HATE HIM DEEPLY for leading the Mavericks past the Spurs in the 2006 playoffs. I never rooted for a team to lose so hard as I did those Mavericks against the Heat in the Finals that year. I’m almost certain my vitriol is responsible for Josh Howard calling that timeout at the end of Game 5. Anyway, point being: Fuck Avery, because I love Avery.)

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