We’re about a month away from the start of the NBA season, and to get you pumped/geeked/stoked for all the madness of LeBron and D Wade and Kobe, we decided to interview SI.com’s Kelly Dwyer, a hoops junkie who parlayed a blog into a pretty sweet gig. He also probably wishes he had a cool photo of himself napping on a couch, mouth slightly ajar, while wearing a backpack. He does not. We peppered him with questions about LeBron, NBA thuggery and LeBron’s mom; he responded with answers about strippers, Earth, Wind and Fire, and the disaster that is the Knicks. Get crunk, people.
Q: Is Zach Randolph the most troubled player in the NBA? Or is it Ruben Patterson?
It’s all relative, especially to those of us that grew up with Jerrod Mustaf, and breathlessly read accounts of Steve Kerr and Jud Bucheler chasing strippers off the party swing at some swank Florida club in the late 90’s.
Q: Greg Oden next year. You believe the hype? Why? Why not?
I believe I’ve also used a staircase to aid in balance while attempting to dance. Not that I needed the help. I hear “September,” by Earth, Wind and Fire, and it’s straight to the banister.
Q: How/why is career criminal Eddie Griffin still in the NBA?
His facial hair somehow makes Kevin Garnett’s goatee look good by comparison. And, if what we’ve read is true, Eddie is the sort of player Rick Pitino has been known to call “multi-versatile.” The NBA appreciates a good multi-tasker.
Q: How come no journalists broached the topic of LeBron James’ mom getting arrested and maced by the cops for drunk driving? Is LeBron a baby Jordan in that journalists are already kissing his ass because he’s so good, and they don’t want to write negative items about him?
Have you tried his gum? I seriously have a pack of it sitting on my desk, and it is lemonlicious. And who wouldn’t want to party with Gloria James? LeBron’s website “columnists” already get a seat on some press rows, so I’m not going to add to the chorus – speaking as a fan of good NBA insight, I’d rather read about his myriad on-court issues (shooting range, reliance on the fadeaway, piss-poor defense – the things that cost his Cavs wins in Games 6 and 7 last spring against Detroit) than his Mum’s Nick Nolte impersonation. Also, he has pretty eyes.
Q: Is the post-season ball-grabbing by Reggie Evans the freakiest story from last season?
I’m still gob smacked by the Knick situation. It’s one thing to trade two lottery picks and Mike Sweetney for the right to pay Eddy Curry and Jalen Rose 25-million this year, but the Larry Brown Experience is just too much. It’s one thing to accurately predict that the Larry Brown/Isiah Thomas relationship wouldn’t end well, but to have Larry suing Isiah’er (as Pete Vecsey calls him) for 53-million after a year? They’re incorrigible!
Q: Who’s the best NBA reporter/columnist weren’t not reading enough of?
Judging by my page views, I’d initially say the perpetually pasty Kelly James Dwyer could use the hits. There is so much good stuff to read on the NBA right now that it’s sick, so you’ll have to excuse me for whittling it down to two cats. In print, you need to read more Dave D’Alessandro. On the web, Harlan Schreiber.
Q: What did Danny Ainge see in Sebastian Telfair that we haven’t? The kid is overrated. Or did Ainge trade for him to protect Paul Pierce on the club scene since Bassy has a penchant for packing heat?
Sebastian has a beautiful, beautiful brain. A glorious cerebellum. Perfectly-shaped, dynamic in its contours, a noggin for all occasions. Wonderfully-coloured, as well – it reminds of Tom Snyder’s hair from the late 70’s.
Q: NBA players get a bum rap as the biggest thugs in all of sports. Nevermind that baseball players cheat through the use of illegal drugs, and over a dozen NFL players got arrested this summer. What gives?
I’ve bashed this around in my head for so long that I’ve become borderline-enervated by the whole nonsense. Fans/media/12-year old girls routinely go out of their way to denigrate these players over misdeeds both perceived and real, but these guys can’t hold a candle to the faux-redneck (prep boys trying to pass themselves off as salt of the earth types) baseball shtick, or the lovely world of professional football. Sure, Chris Kaman’s about due to stab some drifter, but that’s beside the point.
Q: Who’s the best player in the NBA that doesn’t get enough ink? Three players it is not: Gilbert Arenas, Jason Richardson, AK-47.
Kevin Garnett, and it’s not even close. He’s been just as good as Tim Duncan over the last half-decade (ever seen Tim guard a point guard, bring the ball up court, or run Flip Saunders’ giant playbook from the high post as point-forward? Have you? Answer me!) while playing more games and way more minutes, but he’s somehow overlooked because he’s had to share the court with the type of basketball players that Kevin McHale thinks are “good.”
Q: Give us a breakout player this year, and a breakout team. And we’ve got dibs on Raymond Felton and Toronto, so look elsewhere.
He may be the most famous player on Earth, so this may not count, but Yao Ming is probably going shut a lot of people up this season. Actually, that’s not true – the type of mugs we need to clam up probably won’t be deterred, something about a zinc deficiency, and they’ll probably just move on to trashing KG for not making Mark Madsen better. And forget Ben Wallace, Chicago’s cadre of young players and their internal development should be enough to push them to 55 wins if Kirk Hinrich holds up.