I am starting to believe that there is something about playing basketball in Washington, D.C. that makes every player in to a bloggable meme. Because as recently as last year, Emeka Okafor was just some center who used to be good in college and was stuck toiling in obscurity in New Orleans, grabbing 12 points and nine rebounds and just generally being boring and kind of looking like someone named “Darryl.”
Now he’s a Wizard, and that means hilarious things immediately start happening to him. From Deadspin:
Last night saw a party for Washington season ticket holders at Six Flags America—a night spent going on rides with and getting autographs from all their favorite Wizards, and Cartier Martin too. Reader Mike was there, and he saw something he’d never seen before: a person being turned away from a ride because they were too tall.
Emeka Okafor, to the delight of employees and teammates, was deemed too tall to go on the Superman: Ride of Steel.
As Deadspin’s Barry Petchesky points out, the rules for Superman: Ride of Steel prevent anyone over 6-foot-4 from riding, which means I couldn’t even go on it, let alone 14 of the 20 players currently listed on the Wizards’ roster. Total bummer for all of us, but even more so for Emeka Okafor since he is the one who apparently wanted to ride it the most.
But safety first, then teamwork. That’s what I always say. The Wizards finally have players that John Wall might like playing with, so they can’t have them dying on roller coasters while season ticket holders are watching. It’s hard to get excited about a season when your starting center is screaming at the top of his lungs because he’s scared that his harness won’t stay buckled.
We have all heard the aphorism that life is like a roller coaster, in that it has its ups and downs, its twists and turns. Since we know what roller coasters are and we know how life is also like a box of chocolates, what with the never knowing what you are going to get, we know this to be true.
LeBron James has heard this too, but he doesn’t think his life is just a single roller coaster. He thinks it’s the whole amusement park. From the Miami Herald:
“You ever been to an amusement park?” he says. “That’s what my life has been like. Twists and turns. Up and down. Uh-oh, here we go, the roller-coaster is going into the dark hole again. Where’s the light? There’s the light. Up and down. Back into the dark hole. Back in the light. That’s what my life has been like.”
OK, so he is basically just describing a single roller coaster. The twists, the turns, the tunnels, the dips, the dives, the presence and/or absence of light — that’s all roller coaster stuff, rather than just standard amusement park stuff. Whoops.
But this analogy can work. LeBron James’ life can be more than just a roller coaster. It can be the entire amusement park. In fact, I’ve worked out a roughly chronological order of how and why LeBron James’ life is an amusement park.
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Somehow, Earl Watson has had an 11-year NBA career, despite never once posting an above average PER or playing 30 minutes a game. In fact, just thinking back, there is really only one highlight of his that I vividly remember, a one-handed no-look pass that left the Earl spinning after he threw it. This was back in his Sonics days and it’s not on YouTube, but it’s the one I remember, even though the internet says there have been others. What I’m trying to get at is that Earl Watson has had a pretty unmemorable career for a guy who’s played more than a decade.
But he has played more than a decade, which is impressive since you don’t accidentally play 10 years in the league. And since Earl’s done that, he’s seen a lot of youngsters come and go. This latest batch of Jazz kids has him totally baffled. From the Salt Lake Tribune:
Yesterday they went to Mall of America, and I didn’t go because I’m fighting over this cold; I’m finally feeling better. But they told me they rode rollercoasters. And I’m, what? They’re like, ‘You would of rode them, too.’ And I’m like, ‘Naw, I wouldn’t have rode them.’ I wouldn’t have gotten on a rollercoaster. ‘How old are you, like teenagers?’ So it is like a disconnect somewhere along the line. It’s not all the way parallel. That was weird. I’m glad I didn’t go.”
“Jeremy took us on a walk through Sacramento that — I’ll never follow him again. Me and Burks will never follow him. He said we was going to the mall. We went through this deserted ghost town. I don’t know where we was going. We crossed the train tracks, went across the bridge, some more train tracks, and then realized we could’ve just walked straight across the street. So we followed him. You got to ask Burks. Then he took us through this tunnel, and then he said we was going to the mall. We got to the mall and there was like two people in the mall. Two people. That’s not a mall. We don’t know. We’re still trying to figure it out. It was the most unsafe walk I’ve had since I was a kid. That’s the last time we follow him. Never again. Cabs from this point.”
I never would have guessed it, but apparently Danny Glover is going to play Earl Watson in the sure-to-be-made TV movie of the Utah Jazz’s 2011-12 season. The look might be a bit off, but the temperament is perfect. Other roles have not yet been cast, but there are rumors that Derek Luke is attached to play C.J. Miles since he cannot pass up the opportunity to appear in a sports movie.
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