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All Pinzur, All The Time

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Blogging from the bench

Paul Shirley may have the best job on earth - NBA player who doesn't actually need to play. Now the full-time bench warmer has a blog on NBA.com, and he writes far better than he plays: it's one of the funniest damned things I've read lately. (Creditline: Thanks to Matt Taylor for pointing it out.)

In addition to talking about actual games (We had put together a solid road trip and were excited to go home. (I really felt like I had a stellar set of games. Min: 0, TP: 0, FG%: Undefined. Bravo.), he writes about the difficult social life for a journeyman baller (So, where is the problem? I am 27, have no children, no wife, and no serious girlfriend and, while I am no male model, am not going to make anyone’s All-Ugly Team anytime soon. (Incidentally, my version of this year’s team has two members from Minnesota, one from the Milwaukee Bucks, one from the Warriors and one from the Portland Trail Blazers. In the interest of not getting the [crap] kicked out of me, should I actually play in a game against one of these teams, I will keep the exact identities to myself.) and, most importantly, insight into the Suns' road-trip poker games:

I started off strong, but got cocky. Early on I was wheeling and dealing but, before I knew what happened, I lost most of my early winnings. Like an amateur, I panicked at the sight of my shortened stack and, instead of remaining patient—the mark of some semblance of ability in the game—I tried to make up my losses all at once. (Warning: Poker lingo ahead.) My Ace-Jack of spades did not hold up against Tim Kempton’s pocket Kings, and my chip rack was wanting for residents. I bought back in (read: donated another $20). It was an unwise move. I should have known it was not my day on the poker table.

Our little plane ride poker game has become a road trip fixture. The usual participants are the aforementioned Tim Kempton (radio for the Suns), Kevin Tucker (security and/or social coordination for the players), Mike Elliott (assistant trainer), Amaré Stoudemire (All-Star power forward), and myself (obscure Suns player and narrator of this poor attempt at embedded journalism). We get occasional cameos from the likes of Eddie Johnson and Dan Majerle, when they find a few days between tee times and make a road trip for TV, but the core usually remains the same.

I'm surprised at how candid some of the posts are, especially considering it's hosted on the NBA's website:

I am afraid Memphis may get kicked out of the league. I could be mistaken, but I think they started three white guys— three American white guys at that. I am pretty sure there is a rule against that somewhere—some kind of quota, I think. Maybe I am wrong. I guess we will find out soon, when they have to bring back the Cincinnati Royals to fill the void the Grizzlies leave behind.

Link to the blog is now found under "Worth Reading" on the sidebar.


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