It's confirmed, kids: The Gilbertiad and Antawn Jamison are going to Japan
, along with 13 other players representing the best of American basketball, in order to compete for the 2006 world championship. The thought of Gilbert engaging in a "Lost in Translation"
-style romance with some buxom young American always engages certain parts of my imagination, and there's nothing not to like about the prospect of our biggest star developing a love for sushi, except the possible tapeworm problems
. I'm sure both Agent Zero and the Carolina Blowby will be studying the minutiae of Japan's regulations for pedestrians prior to debarking, in order to avoid any possible repeat of certain incidents. No, what really scares me about their selection to the 2006 USA men's basketball team is the man they'll be playing for: Mike "Ratface" Krzyzewski
Let's review the possible perils:
- The Duke men's basketball team has won three national titles under Mister Misspelling, but the last one was in 2001. Since then, they've spent most of the regular season hanging around the top of the rankings (a difficult task given the gravitational pull that the entire ESPN college basketball cabal exerts as it uses lip suction to hangs from the team's asses), but has had a habit of ignominous failure in the actual NCAA tournament. Hmm, how is the world championship determined again?
- Mike Wise (and if Wilbon is Salieri, shouldn't Wise be Johann Nepomuk von Hummel - a diverting but forgettable contemporary?) says that Coach K is charged not only with winning games but also must "perform an exorcism of endorsement-driven selfishness" from these assembled gentlemen. Shushefsky may find it hard to fit this task in given all the time his AmEx and Chevy endorsements must require.
- Chris Sheridan says that Krzyzyzewskyie is misleading Arenas! Check out this ESPN Insider article, the emerging stub of which quotes an exchange between Nilbert and his Sheridanness as follows:
"We have to go out there and be dominant for 56 quarters -- every quarter of every game we play. That's our mission," Gilbert Arenas told me following Team USA's first practice Wednesday.
"Who on earth told you that?" I asked.
"Coach Mike," Arenas replied.
Well, Coach Mike or Coach K, or whatever you want to call him, is dead wrong, and Insider is not afraid to say so. This isn't 1992 anymore.
From this we can deduce that (1) Chris Sheridan thinks his name is "Insider" and (2) Krzyzewski is pouring pestilence into Arenas' ear like a pointy Polish Iago trying to take down the Moor talented Gilthello.
- I'm not sure whether Krzyzweski's command of Japanese will be sufficient to ride the referees into calling fouls after the merest flutter of a USA Basketball player's limb while allowing American defenders to maul and hump their opponents mercilessly on defense. More importantly, he could convince Gilbert that he is fouled every time he drives the lane - the first step towards his eventual mutation into a moose.
- The more a player toils under Krzyzewski, the worse he sucks in the NBA. Remember Trajan Langdon? No, I don't think you do. Only if you leave Duke early, like Elton Brand, do you have a chance of overcoming his anti-professionalism. (Grant Hill resisted, so before he was drafted, a team of midget orthopedists replaced his ankles with plaster and applesauce.) It's got to be worrisome for Gilbert, but even more so for Antawn, a player who tormented Duke when he wore Carolina blue. What if Coach K decides to impart an extra portion of his leadership and life skills unto Antawn?
So what to do about the prospect of Coach K interacting with two of our finest, most nubile stars? It's simple: Team USA needs to crap the bed in the 2006 tourney. Nothing will get Gil and Antawn out from under Krzyzewski's iron fist quicker than an early, ignoble exit.
Root hard against America! It's the only way to save our Wizzarddz!
(But I still hope Gil goes for 40 on France.)
A slice of bacon goes to The Truth About Duke
for collecting info about many of the above incites in easy-to-swallow bite-size chunks.