- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 16, 2001

I have decided to forgo the rest of my professional life and enter the NBA Draft next month.

It has been a lifetime goal of mine to play in the NBA, and after years of careful consideration and a sedentary lifestyle, I believe I am ready to take this important step.

I promise not to challenge David Stern to fight in the nude. I also promise not to attack Arvydas Sabonis with a towel.

I have no acting or rapping ability, so I will be able to devote all my attention to basketball. I also do not have seven children by six women. I can work on the latter, if necessary. I am not against helping others be happy.

Fortunately, I am past my athletic prime, which should make me a perfect candidate for the Wizards next season. I probably have lost only four or five steps, which is at least two fewer than Charles Barkley.

I have no left hand. I have no right hand. I have no clue. This puts me with most of the early entry candidates, starting with SirValiant Brown.

I plan to embrace the NBA's stay-in-school program. I will urge youngsters not to leave junior high school early to play in the NBA. I will remind them that there is more to life than the NBA, like learning how not to nick yourself the first time you put a razor to your face. I will point out that Jason Williams left school early, and look what it has done for him. He is an idiot, a moron, in the intellectual company of plant life. Maybe this explains why he and the hemp plant have been best pals.

I am grateful to everyone who has made this dream possible, notably all the misguided hopefuls trafficking in bad advice. If they can do it, why can't I?

There are 348 active roster spots in the NBA, and about an equal number of early entry candidates this year. The math does not work, but then you probably are not talking math majors.

On the advice of their buddies and family, the misguided imagine themselves to be the next Kobe Bryant or Kevin Garnett. I'm more realistic than that. I think I can be the next Steve Kerr.

Brown, the Allen Iverson wannabe from George Washington University, suggests he is either a late first- or early second-round pick. Maybe he heard this assessment from a friend of a friend who knows Marty Blake's travel agent. Or maybe it is wishful thinking on his part, not unlike Shaquille O'Neal's imaginary relationship with Cindy Crawford.

The rush to be the next Victor Page is impressive.

Lute Olson is trying to pick up the pieces at Arizona. Even his managers and ball boys have declared themselves eligible for the draft. Perhaps Olson allowed his team to spend too much time in the desert sun.

But I can't worry about Olson and Arizona. I have to stay focused and work on improving my game.

I have considerably more experience than everyone else. I hope the NBA general managers and scouts have made this note in their evaluations.

I let the game come to me, mostly because I have no choice. The knees are not what they used to be, and I would appreciate it very much if you kept this inside information to yourself.

You know how it goes in the weeks leading up to the draft. People talk. Gossip becomes fact. Certain players see their stock drop. Guys start out as 6-foot-9 power forwards in college and end up as 6-4 nobodies on draft night.

I can't defend and rebound. But I could post up Jason Gardner, if it came to that, and it possibly could in Dallas. Don Nelson is an equal-opportunity coach. He has a German, a Canadian, Wang Zhizhi and a 7-6 statue in the mix, not to mention a loony owner bending his ear. What's one more affirmative-action hire?

Sorry. I'm getting ahead of myself. I can't worry about where I'll be playing next season. If it's Vancouver, it's Vancouver. I'll even go there, I guess.

Until the draft, I plan to take care of business. I can make myself available to Michael Jordan's personal trainer, if he thinks the sacrifice is warranted. I already have given up pizza and ice cream, my two favorite food groups.

I will not sign with an agent, just in case things don't work out as anticipated.

Otherwise, I'm feeling pretty confident. I figure I'm in no worse draft shape than many of the other nitwits.


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