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It is not my place, as a travel-weary journalist with a clanking jump shot, to offer sky-walking, world-famous, unspeakably rich professional basketball players a hair-styling tip.
But I’ll do it anyhow.
What’s with all the bald heads?
I go to a Pistons game last weekend, I’m lost. I can’t tell half the players apart. Bald. Bald. Bald. It’s like a Hare Krishna convention.
No less than six, count ’em, six totally hairless Pistons. Half the team. And I’m not including Ron Rothstein, who is losing his hair the old-fashioned way, though stress.
LAKERS-PACERS? A prediction?
* GAME 1: The opening tip is delayed 90 minutes due to a limousine backup outside the Staples Center. Because so many movie stars are there — Jack Nicholson, Dustin Hoffman, Denzel Washington — scalpers’ prices soar to
$10,000 a ticket. Several Lakers scrubs, realizing they’re not going to play anyhow, sell their seats, leaving Kevin Bacon, Jim Belushi and Ben Stiller actually sitting on the LA bench.
Pistons fans are holding a big pie of anger this morning. What they want to know is: Who gets it in the face?
Let me give you the straight dope on the NBA’s marijuana policy: There is no policy.
You heard me. Under NBA rules, if a player wants to puff a joint, then go out and play a game, there is nothing to stop him. Nothing, of course, except that it’s against the law in most places. But if the player can beat that, the league has no punishment. It won’t even test him.
This is astounding. In a sport that pays for and depends on maximum physical performance, there is no testing for marijuana? No penalties for being arrested for possession?
NEWS ITEM: Kobe Bryant, a 17-year-old high school basketball player, announced last week that he would skip college and immediately enter the NBA draft. He follows 19-year-old Kevin Garnett, who did the same thing last year. Many worry that the pattern will continue, and that college may one day be seen as a meaningless step in a pro sports career. “How much younger can it get?” one coach wondered . . .
LOS ANGELES, May 5, 2014 — Six-year-old Joey (Slamma) Jamma called a press conference to announce that he was skipping elementary school and jumping straight to the NBA draft.
NAGANO, Japan — I have this nightmare every now and then. I close my eyes, and I am back in Barcelona, watching Charles Barkley tell a packed audience that the NBA had arrived, so the rest of the world “should just take their ass-whipping and go home.”
I wake up in a cold sweat.
Like a switch thrown by Dr. Frankenstein, the original Dream Team spawned a monster too large to subdue. Letting multimillionaire basketball stars into the Olympics was like letting Imelda Marcos into the Athlete’s Foot.
BOSTON — In the end, they were playing for their lives. This was more than basketball, this was deeper than a win or a loss. With two overtimes and a tapestry of magical, pressure-soaked basketball behind them, the Detroit Pistons were beyond hoops, beyond free throws. They were staring their very manhood in the eye.
INGLEWOOD, Calif. — So this is what it comes down to for the Detroit Pistons: 48 minutes to live or die. They are skin and bone now, a cornered animal, a team without its captain that is relying on prayers, guts and the power within.
One game. The world championship.
“Are you hoping for a miracle?” someone asked Isiah Thomas, their star, as he sat beside his crutches during a press conference Monday.
“Yes,” he said slowly. “Yes, I am.”