Wednesday, September 30, 2009
DeShawn Stevenson has never been the most normal guy in the NBA. Before entering the league, he originally planned on attending Kansas to play for Roy Williams. But then his SAT score jumped curiously from 450 to 1,150, setting off a storm of red flags. He re-took it, got a 650, and hightailed it for the Association. As a rookie, he was charged with the statutory rape of a 14 year-old girl, though he somehow wound up with only probation and community service. He once had an infamous "who can grow a longer beard" contest with Drew Gooden. I think we can all agree nobody won that bet. So it's safe to say nobody was too surprised when Stevenson showed up at Wizards' training camp with a new tattoo covering his Adam's apple. And ol' DeShawn didn't just go the traditional 'skull and crossbones' or 'barbed wire' route. Nope. He decided to be more original than you could possibly imagine, getting a perfect likeness of our 16th president, Abraham Lincoln, tatted all over his neck. Huhhh???? What is the point of this? To confuse the guy checking him on D? Does it have something to do with him playing in our nation's capital and trying to pay tribute to a past legend in the politic game? Or does he just respect the hell out of Honest Abe's beard and this is his way of showing it? I got a lot of questions, and not many answers. And to be totally frank, with this guy's extremely shady and partially insane track record, I think that's for the best.
My Dad was in Boston a few years back on business and decided to take in a Nuggets-Celtics game as that night's entertainment. He came back with a couple of astute observations. One, the Fleet Center was built in the same fashion as the Palace and turned out to be a pretty enjoyable place to watch a game. And secondly, Nuggets reserve forward Ryan Bowen is hands-down the single worst player in the entire NBA. My Dad is among the most knowledgeable basketball fans out there, so when he makes such a bold statement and actually declares a player as the worst, you listen. And ya know what?? He was right. After monitoring the guy for the last decade, and analyzing his every move whenever he enters a game, I've still yet to identify a real basketball skill emanating from this 6'7'' forward with a 2.6 career scoring average.
Bowen has been a New Orleans Hornet for the last few years, but now he's heading to Oklahoma City to try and earn a spot with the Thunder for the upcoming season. That statement in and of itself tells you everything you need to know about Bowen's ability. Only a real lush has to try and "earn" a spot with the 23-59 Thunder. The best part about the whole story is the quote coming from Guy Zucker, Bowen's agent. Zucker waxes poetic about all of his man's desirable qualities without mentioning even one talent related to the game of basketball. "They tell us they have a spot. So we think we have a good chance. Ryan is incredibly professional, he's unbelievably smart, he's experienced, and he has no ego." I love the fact that each characteristic he attributes to Bowen is straight out of the "How to Describe a Gawky White Guy in the NBA" handbook. 'Professional...Smart...Experienced.' Couldn't he have at least thrown in something like "deceptively strong" or even a token "able to defend multiple positions"?? But to me, the best part about the agent's quote is his claim that Bowen possesses no ego. None? Like whatsoever?? Does he even consider himself a human being? I understand you're trying to push the guy's unselfish nature, but White Bread has been in the league nine years now...shouldn't he at least have a little ego?? Regardless, while many eyes will be focused on Cleveland (with Shaq) and LA (with Artest) this pre-season, my attention will be squarely on Oklahoma City to see if Ryan Bowen can continue his improbable NBA dream for one more season. He might make it, he might not. But we can be sure of one thing...his ego won't be getting in the way.
It's safe to say that the High Socks Legend is excited about the upcoming NBA campaign. Coming next week..."Chucky Atkins a Piston again. What does this do to their NBA title chances??" Reach the Legend at firstname.lastname@example.org