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RoboHicks
03-07-2011, 10:10 PM
We Deep-Six the Sixers!
Written by IndyHoya

Link (http://www.pacersdigest.com/wordpress/?p=441)

AREA 55 NEWS YOU CAN TAKE TO THE BANK!!!!

Hello again 55ers.

Ah, how bleak the long winter road can be for an NBA player. And, sadly, also for the NBA fan.

Only it really isn’t “the road” anymore, is it? Today, for the player, it’s a sterile series of airline flights through a string of insipid cities – bland, dreary places like Oklahoma City, Dallas, and Houston. Towns you really wouldn’t want to go to voluntarily. Places that you’re only visiting because they appear as mandatory destinations on a schedule from hell. Places that some visor-wearing, NBA nonentity penciled in for your March itinerary months ago – without asking you about it — before your 82 game season began.

Airplane wheels come down. You make for a downtown hotel in a bus or a limo someone has arranged, a place located somewhere close to an arena that, like all the rest of the arenas you play in, is named after some generic local employer who paid for the nomenclature. Anyway, there you are, slated to do battle with an assemblage of foreign players, some known, some totally strange to you. And you’re hoping, hoping all the while, to get to that elusive goal – the playoffs – where, well, we’ll see…Time will tell.

Lonely, friendless places are these towns, equipped with their standard chrome-plated malls, a few nice downtown restaurants, and your inevitable hotel.

Ah, the hotel. It isn’t home. Just another room with a tinfoil-wrapped chocolate placed on your pillow by a maid to “welcome” you. There’s that room-service menu on the desk by your bed, and, as always, a TV set with a computer game hookup and that basic adult movie access. There’s a small closet to hang your civvies, an armchair to sit in while you look at your pregame scouting report, and a bed in which you can grab yourself a few hours sleep before you’re ushered off to the arena for your shoot-around. It’s the same place that, come game time, you know will be filled with the locals — people that talk funny; that pronounce their players’ names with extended drawls; and that are preparing, in their weirdly southwestern ways, to abuse you – in strangely foreign and accented kinds of ways.

Then you take the court. You go through you standard warm up routines. Excitement builds. An adrenaline rush hits you. The tip-off! You try to run your stuff. You suddenly find the referees give you no breaks. The local fans are screaming at you. Everyone there hates you and wants you to fail.

And you usually do fail, miserably, just as you thought you probably would when you left home in the first place.

Losing on the road isn’t that big a surprise. You’re only playing out your foreordained role – like some ill-starred character from a Greek tragedy, an Oedipus scoured of hubris, brought down by the whims of fickle gods and oppressive fate.

Such was the Pacers recent road trip – a 3-game fiasco that has left us, still, somehow, clinging precariously to our flimsy 8th place playoff berth. But now, at least, we’re home and on Tuesday night, when we play the Philadelphia Seventy-Sixers, the road/home dichotomy that is so quintessentially a part of the NBA will be reversed. We’re the homies now. The Sixers are the road team. And in the NBA, that’s a biggie.

Still, it is the Pacers task now to rise from their present torpor and despondency, their frustration, their internal dissension, and somehow right themselves. Somehow they have to regain their lost form.

That’s where we come in. We must help them, 55ers. This is a VERY important, VERY pivotal game for us. We have to get our wheels back on track. Out guys need to pull out of their road funk. They need to start playing with heart and desire. They need to get back to the way they were playing three weeks ago when they were like dogs romping at a park, like lions released from a cage. Let’s show ‘em some love. And Philly, some hate.

Our Foes: Philadelphia is a very good team. Our record against them is 2-1. After a rotten 3-8 start to their season, lately they have been playing as well if not better than some of the “marquee” NBA squads. Right now, at 31-30, they are practically a cinch to make the playoffs. They are coming off a comfortable home win over Golden State.

As a team, the Sixers mirror us in a lot of respects.

The 76ers are powered by Andre Iguodala, a young, high-scoring shooting guard that is fresh off his second triple double of the season in the Sixer’s Friday night win over the Timberwolves. He is tough, fast, and capable of big nights. His defense is stellar. He was hurt when we last played Philly.

Their young guys, Evan Turner, Jrue Holiday, and Lou Williams have been learning their roles and are now playing very well. Turner and Holiday particularly so. Their premier power forward is Elton Brand, a veteran that has reinvented himself, and is having a great season. Their small forward, Jason Kapono is a deadly 3-point shooter. Center is played by committee – Tony Battie, Spencer Hawes, and Mareese Speights aren’t flashy but they are all rugged, serviceable, and adequate. As a team, the Sixers play extremely stingy defense and they are all together as a unit. There is little detectable dissension in their ranks. In Doug Collins, they have a tried and tested, top of the line, NBA coach.

Beating the Sixers, especially the way they’ve been playing lately, isn’t going to be easy. Our guys will have to amp up their defense and probably hit some threes.

PTO Doings: The Pacers Tailgating Organization will be pulling out all the stops to beat Philly. PTO Prez Aaron Coleman has designated Tuesday’s pre-game conclave as a “special meeting” because as he puts it, “the ship is foundering and needs to be righted”. Everyone is doing their part. Kyle “Kielbeze” Brumback is excusing federally guaranteed loans. B-Pump and Big Jon are exploring the possibility of selling their souls to Satan for a win. PTO GM and Vice President will be sacrificing a goat and holding a Black Mass. Indianapolis Markus has promised to watch the game stone-sober, and perennial critic Kyle Cranfill has sworn to give DG and Larry Legend nothing but love in exchange for a victory. All will be Pacers Blue and Gold. All attendees will be liquored up. No prisoners will be taken. Get wild, get mean, and tune up for the screaming if you haven’t attended before!

FUN FACTS ABOUT THE SEVENTY-SIXERS!

Wilt Chamberlain – Stud!
The greatest 76er in history was undoubtedly Wilt (“The Stilt”) Chamberlain. He once scored 100 points in one game – a feat never equaled by anyone else. Wilt was a champ in other respects too.

In 1991, Chamberlain wrote his second autobiography, “A View from Above.” There, he claimed that over the course of his life he had had sex with more than 20,000 women.

Here, Wilt was probably using hyperbole for literary effect. For this to be true, by my calculations he would have had to have had sex with 1.37 women per day from the age of 15 up to and including the year of his autobiography’s publishing, which works out to a rate of over 9 women a week. Pretty good numbers.

After making his “20,000 women” claim, Wilt quickly became a target for a lot of jokes and jibes. He defended himself:

“I was just doing what was natural — chasing good-looking ladies, whoever they were and wherever they were available.”

To his credit, Wilt achieved this record without once being a home wrecker. Among those 20,000 women, he also maintained that he had never started a relationship even one that was married. While the “20,000” figure is subject to doubt, those that knew him all attest to the fact that if it wasn’t quite that amount, whatever the true figure was, it was still a lot.

One of his biographers believes that Chamberlain’s extreme sex drive was fueled by the female rejection he had experienced as a teenager, causing him to over-compensate. His lifelong friend and on-and-off girlfriend, Lynda Huey, eleven years his junior, said: “He had an inability of combining friendship and sexuality.” Poor guy.

Anyway, I have always loved Wilt. Here’s a picture of him from his post-NBA cameo role in Conan the Destroyer:*http://tinyurl.com/6c8znd4

How Did Jrue Holiday Get His Name? In a league full of weird first names, Jrue Holiday certainly has one of the weirder ones. How the hell did “Jrue” happen? I had to know. I researched it. Now you too will know!

Well, according to Jrue (pronounced “juh-roo’” with the stress on the second syllable) it happened thusly:

“My mom and my mom’s sister were on a kick with’ J’ names … my cousins names are Jessica, Jenna, Jade, Jaelyn and James. My oldest brother is Justin and my name is Jrue (my mom liked the name Dru, but wanted to figure out how to keep with the’ J’ theme). After me though, that kinda ended, because my sister is Lauren and brother is Aaron.”

Actually, we think that family tradition should really have ended with your birth, Jrue. Dru would’ve been just fine.

The Famous Elton Brand’s Email Correspondence with a Duke Alum:

The Sixers’ mighty power forward, Elton Brand, is a former Duke University attendee. However, Elton bolted for the big money after his sophomore year and became an NBA first round draft pick. This did not endear him to Duke’s rabid alumni, many of whom felt his leaving to be something of a traitorous act. Some of these alums sent Elton hate mail. Elton responded in kind. Read and be amused. I was. I came away with a sort of liking for Elton after eyeballing his email style.

From: Taylor, Jennifer
Sent: Friday, April 16, 1999 2:55 PM
To: Brand, Elton
Subject: Leaving Duke

I graduated from Duke last May and just wanted to express my disgust for your decision to leave the Duke program after only two years. As an alum, not only do I hold the school in high regard, but the basketball program as well, especially since both have deservedly garnered such a great deal of respect for their accomplishments.

As part of our basketball program, you represent Duke as a whole. We are first and foremost an academic school. *You clearly did not belong at Duke in the first place if this was the extent of your commitment to Duke and a college education in general. You have not only insulted the current students who are putting in four years at a school they love, but also the thousands of alumni who have realized the value of a Duke education and what an honor and privilege it was to be there for four years.

If you do not realize the opportunity you have in front of you to play for Coach K and at the same time attain a Duke diploma, then that is certainly your loss. I just wish that you had spared us the notion that you were continuing in the tradition of being a Duke student-athlete, in emphasizing excellence in both academics and athletics. You will not be considered part of the Duke family, in my mind as well as many others. You have by no means proved yourself worthy of that title.

Sincerely,
Jennifer Taylor

Elton famously replied to Jennifer thusly:

“From: Elton Tyron Brand
Sent: Sunday, April 25, 1999 8:05 PM
To: Taylor, Jennifer
Subject: Re: Leaving Duke

Thank you very much, for reminding me of the reason why I left Duke. People like you cannot and will not ever understand my situation. I’m sure daddy worked very hard to send your rich self to college — while real people struggle. I would also like to extend an invitation for you not to waste your or my time ever again. Never being considered a part of your posh group of yuppies really hurts me to the heart. Yeah, right. Because I don’t care about you or your alumni.

Sincerely,
Elton Brand, #42 NBA”

Say Hello to Andres Nocioni and Sing His Song!:

This is Andres “Chapu” Nocioni:*http://tinyurl.com/6y7hnjb

Yup, one of my favorite foreign players is little-known and little-loved Andres Nocioni. Andres was one of those Argentine greats that won the World Games title for his country back when it was played right here in Indianapolis. After that, Andres had some pretty good years with the Chicago Bulls, primarily serving as the Bulls’ bearded bad boy and “Enforcer.” He was widely considered, for a time, to be one of the dirtier players in the league. Andres started for Chicago and played a lot of minutes while he was there. But as the Bulls got better and Andres didn’t he was traded away to Sacramento where the arrival of Tyreke Evans sent him to the bench. He finally wound up in Philly where he is again riding the pines. He says he won’t be coming back there next year. I wish he was a Pacer.

Why do I like Andres? Well, mostly for his song.

Yup. His song. And it’s a pretty damned catchy song too. After I first heard it, I couldn’t get it out of my head. I’m gonna be singing it tomorrow night at the PTO! Loudly! Drunkenly!

Wanta hear it? Here ya go! (Open it and then hit the arrow to start the music!)

http://www.myspace.com/andnoch

Isn’t that great? No..No..Nocioni! No-ci-o-o-ni!…

Andres is also famous for being the victim of one of the most amazing defensive stops I’ve ever had an opportunity to witness in my years of watching NBA ball. It was perpetrated on Andres by Dwight Howard. And here it is:

http://tinyurl.com/6gq3ppf

In looking for additional material about my hero, I also ran across this interesting dialog — probably apocryphal – which is said to have occurred between Andres and Jim Boylan, the Bulls’ former interim coach (Now he’s Skiles’ assistant at Milwaukee. Old coaches in the NBA just go elsewhere). El Pacero has translated the Spanish parts of this conversation for your reading pleasure:

Jim Boylan: Ummmm, Andres…I just wanted to let you know I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to upset you the other night. It’s just so hard to keep it together now that Ben (Wallace) and Adrian (Griffin) are gone. I just don’t know what to do with myself.

Andres Nocioni: No me importa, Coach. Eso fue realmente significa.

(That’s OK coach. That was really a big deal.)

JB: I don’t know what you said, but I really am sorry.

AN: No puedo creer que todavía no han aprendido rudimentario español. Hemos estado aquí durante cuatro años.

(I can’t believe that you still haven’t learned some basic Spanish. I’ve been here for four years now)

JB: Andres, I told you before, baby, I don’t habla the Spanish.

AN: Lo sé.

(I know!)

JB: But seriously, with the old fellas gone, I need you more than ever.

AN: Sí.

(Right!)

JB: Can everything be okay with us? Can we just get back to the good times?

AN: Sí.

(Sure!)

JB: I can’t stay mad at you. Look at you!

AN: Gracias, entrenador.

(Thanks coach!)

JB: C’mere, Andy. I can call you Andy, right?

AN: Prefiero que no.

(I’d rather you didn’t.)

*Boylan kisses Nocioni on the head.*

JB: Heh. That’s how you guys do it in Europe right?

AN: Argentina se encuentra en América del Sur.

(Argentina’s in South America!)

JB: I’m coming to Europe. We can share an apartment.

***

And just for the benefit of my buddy, El Pacero, I’m ending with a little Argentine tribute music to Andres? Check this out. Why don’t we have some good American basketball songs for some of our guys?

http://tonomusical.com/videos/sz9XUfbtflI/Guly92/

And that’s all for tonight, fun-seekers. Be strong and be loud come the morrow.

Go Pacers! Go Area 55!

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