Wednesday, October 31, 2007

The NBA - Do Nice Guys Finish Last?

(Below is a post I wrote for my friend's website. The site is called "The Love of Sports." It's a cool site, so please check it out. There's a whole lot more than what I wrote - a bunch of daily columns, videos, and pics from across the sports world.)

“Fantasy basketball is just like real basketball. Except different. Now here’s a dollar. Go wash my car.” That’s what my father always said. And truer words have never been spoken by man or beast. Even so, it’s important to remember that the fantasy clubhouse is still a place of complex interpersonal dynamics - just like a real-life NBA clubhouse. You have the infighting, the bickering, the showboating, the having sex with other players’ wives and girlfriends, etc. etc. Except it’s all imaginary. Did Kobe Bryant just throw a chair at his teammate Dirk Nowitzki? “Dirk, did you steal Kobe’s iPod?” Not in my fantasy clubhouse he didn’t. I run a tight ship.

We’ve all assumed that the imaginary relationships between the players on our imaginary teams have nothing to do with their actual success on the court during the real NBA season. Oh really? Is that so? How can you be so sure? Why is it if I wear my 76ers jersey inside-out, and sit on the left side of the sofa while eating a piece of cheese with two fingers in my right ear, they always hit a three and win the game? (Happened once in 1989. Not kidding.) And why couldn’t the positive vibes flowing from my fantasy locker room make it out to the real world, and vice versa? That’s what I’m here to find out. I’m going to spend this season focusing on the good, the moral, the wholesome, the honest in the NBA. And see if we can field a winning team.

I believe that sports is a reflection of life, and the sporting heroes that we worship on a daily basis not only teach us about victory and defeat, perseverance and humility, but in addition, they teach us how not to act. Don't beat up your wife or your dog. Don't drive your $120,000 Bentley into the river. Don't make a rap album. Don't take steroids. And so on and so forth.

Unfortunately for the youngest of fans - the most naive and impressionable of them all - it may seem as though the most troublesome behavior off the court leads to the greatest success on it. Let's be honest, many of the most exciting athletes around today are also the most likely to end up in an exciting police chase.

Yes, we'll always have to deal with the bad apples and their chronic legal problems, and the prima donnas who believe they're the most important ones in the locker room. But do you actually need any of these bad men on your team in order win? Admittedly, it IS all about winning in the end - especially when it comes to fantasy sports. My theory is, yes, you can field a dominant team that doesn't feature any former felons. You don't need a guy on your squad who keeps a Glock 9mm in his glove compartment. You do need a guy who just wants a hug after making that clutch shot.

My team’s name is The Centerfolds – the roster is beautiful from top to bottom, inside and out. My players have become fast fantasy friends. They eat lunch together in the fantasy commissary. They travel together in the fantasy hovercraft. They play friendly games of Yahtzee! and Pictionary, huddled in front of the fire in the fantasy log cabin, built into the side of a mountain deep in the Great Smoky Mountains. But no, they do not shower together in the fantasy locker room, while whipping each other with towels and spraying one another with shaving cream. That’s not part of this fantasy basketball world. Sorry.

The Centerfolds travel in style, to any venues located near water. Otherwise they travel by fantasy school bus.

Inside, you might just find nice guys Yao Ming and Ray Allen playing a game of pinochle during a fantasy off-day.

In any case, you’ll be following their adventures this season, with me as your guide and moral compass. They’re all really nice guys, so this should be quite a bit of fun for everyone.

Listen to this post.

1 comment:

Dennis said...

I want a ride on the fantasy bus!