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Basketball Jones

Basketball Jones, I got a Basketball Jones


Got a Basketball Jones, oh baby, oo-oo-oo


From Cheech and Chong’s “Basketball Jones”

You know, BMNB doesn’t ask for much. He’s a very somber, unassuming guy who has been mistaken for a federal agent whenever he wears his shades and suits. He rarely, if ever, raises his voice to another person. He doesn’t like drama. He’s slow to anger. Real slow.

He also morphs into another being around this time of year: A being that raises his arms in the air as if he’s blocking a shot for the NBA team he’s watching on television. A being who makes loud and strange noises -- noises he would not make otherwise – when the playoff team he’s rooting for scores.

During the NBA playoffs, BMNB becomes “Basketball Jones,” a veritable stranger sitting on the loveseat in our family room with a dinner plate in one hand and the television remote close by, whooping and hollering. This man is not my husband. Beyonce becomes Sasha Fierce when she performs; BMNB becomes Basketball Jones during the NBA playoffs.

During the NBA playoffs, Basketball Jones doesn’t necessarily have a favorite team he’s rooting for. He’s in it for the sheer love of the game, and he’ll root for the team that appears to be playing its heart out and leaving everything – blood, sweat, and tears – on the court. He morphs into this rabid fan of the game who’s just short of putting on a foam hand and donning a jersey from his team du jour.

I’ve learned that, during the NBA playoffs, the most I can hope for is that he’ll do mundane tasks – walk the dog, put the dishes away. I don’t even think to plan any major household projects or travel during the NBA playoffs because Basketball Jones ain’t trying to miss a game for something that could easily be attended to post-playoffs. He doesn’t necessarily shoot me one of those “Are you crazy?” looks, but more like a “Can’t this wait until the playoffs are over?” look.

I’ve come to respect the power of the NBA playoffs.

As a dutiful spouse, I’ve attempted to join in – to try to enjoy what he’s enjoying. Isn’t that what good spouses are supposed to do?

Well, it appears that my attempts to join in fall flat. For example, Basketball Jones yells at players he thinks are trying too hard to “sell the foul.” “GET UP, BOY!”, he shouts at the screen. Mind you, the players he’s shouting at are easily a foot taller and a hundred pounds heavier than he is, but no matter. He despises weakness and whining from his dribbling gladiators. I doubt he’d address these players in this manner in person. Well, maybe my husband wouldn’t, but Basketball Jones might.

In what I think was the first game of the playoffs between the L.A. Lakers and the Houston Rockets, one of the players, some guy named Battier, was allegedly fouled and was laid out on the court. Here was my chance to join in.

“Get up, you punk-ass bitch! You ain’t hurt!”

Basketball Jones just looked at me. “No, I think he’s really hurt. Look at him. He’s bleeding.”

Not to be deterred, I continued in my anti-foul-selling rant. “That ain’t bleeding! Women bleed more than that on any given day! Get your ass up!”

He just looked at me again like I just didn’t get it. Clearly I had transgressed the bounds of the anti-foul-selling rant.

Battier ended up with stitches and was sent to the bench. He hadn’t been selling the foul.

Basketball Jones and I also disagree on Kobe Bryant. Jones doesn’t necessarily respect Bryant, but he doesn’t hate him like I do. My hatred of Bryant? Not because of his sexcapade in Boulder. I hate Kobe because I still remember him clothespinning Mike Bibby during one of the Lakers/Kings playoff series games and getting away with it because the refs were, as we later learned, a little “biased.” I still remember him disrespecting Shaq. I think Kobe thinks he’s above the rules, the refs, and the rest of the players. I think it’s a karma bite in Kobe’s ass that he hasn’t won a ring since Shaq left, but Shaq has.

This isn’t a safe thing for me to say. Half my family are Lakers fans; the other half, Kings fans. My sister bleeds purple and gold and fantasizes about being a Laker Girl. My oldest brother still talks about the near zero buzzer shot James Worthy made to lead the Lakers to victory over the Kings in the playoffs, in overtime, I think. Yet and still, I hate Kobe. He’s arrogant. He’s a punk.

Basketball Jones? He doesn’t respect Kobe, but he won’t go so far as to join in my Kobe hatred. Why? That’s negative energy that could be better used in loving the game, or at least rooting for Ray Allen and hoping for a Kevin Garnett recovery. Yet another thing we can’t share.

The last thing we can’t share in is my idea as to how a playoff series should end. See, BMNB loves gladiator movies. He loves basketball. I suggested that the NBA should combine the two: The team that wins a series of playoff games should be able to kill the losing team.

“See,” I told him, “If the NBA had done it my way, we’d have been rid of Kobe a long time ago.”

Again, Basketball Jones just looked at me as if I just didn’t get it.

One important thing I’ve learned about the NBA playoffs is that it doesn’t matter what I cook; it only matters that I cook. Dinner during the NBA playoffs isn’t a meal to be savored, oh no; it’s just a bunch of nutrients to provide the energy for all that whooping, hollering, and fist-pumping. I don’t think ol’ Baskteball Jones even tastes what’s on his dinner plate during the NBA playoffs. It only matters that the plate is nearby, hot, and not too remote from the remote.

I’m about ready for Baskteball Jones to go back to where he came from, at least until he learns to hate Kobe as much as I do.

To see the cartoon for Cheech and Chong’s song “Basketball Jones,” visit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JIbp5C-5WXM

(I think the cartoon’s a bit racist, but the sentiment – the love of the game – is real).

For the real Basketball Jones blog, visit http://www.thebasketballjones.net/

Go whoever is playing against the Lakers!

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