He's back, once again on loan from A Price Above Bip Roberts, this time with a look at a guy on the Utah Jazz that may or may not be gay. Fitting. Utah is likely home to a few repressed fundamentalists who are dying to come out of the closet, but instead channel their energy into truck driving and "hunting little Mexican girls."
And if you don't get the Karl Malone reference by now, you never will. But here is our man (and he's all man), Liberace with his weekly look at the world of sports.
Oh, Andrei, you silly boy, you. Your "wife" made national news last year when she said you could indulge with one groupie per year on the road with the Jazz. I got news for everyone out there: the groupie in question? Probably male.
See, Andrei is a fine physical specimen, but not necessarily on the b-ball hardwood. He has soft, gentle skin; a frame that at once says "could play professional sports" but also "wouldn't judge those who don't, and may even like them more as people;" and in his interviews, he comes across as dim-witted enough to be convinced of almost anything, yet cute enough to get away with murder.
Frankly, that's just how I've always liked them.
If you want to go with the trite assumption that a homsexual male can't hold his own in an intense NBA playoff series between two 50-win teams, well, AK-47 keeps proving my point. The Jazz have held their own - the series is 3-3 before Saturday night's Game 7 - but Andrei - oh, sweet, sweet prince - really only showed up for Game 6. Before that, his game mirrored his personal life: hiding behind another (in this case, the brutish Mr. Boozer), unsure of his urges and place in the world. Should he want to slap Mr. McGrady in the face because of the quality of opposition, or grab T-Mac's grill and smooch it, because of the quality of upkeep? He didn't know; he still doesn't, and as such, he's a scared little boy looking for his place in this cruel, unjust universe.
Much was made of Andrei's crying in the early part of this series, supposedly showcasing a weakness. Nay, you boorish animals! AK was simply displaying a fine sensitivity, which in turn placed him light years ahead of virtually every one of you beer-guzzling, Kobe-poster-hanging, YouTube LeBron-mix-making wanna bes, and his coach himself. Mr. Sloan seems like a perfectly fine gentleman on the surface, but when one of my own - John John, as I'm wanton to call him - decries him as "the absolute worst person I've ever met," I can only assume he isn't kind to my stock. That's probably why Andrei was crying. After a while, a man can only take so much. I've been down similar voyages throughout my existence.
As a final note, while some would deem it ironic that the most notable gay NBA'er of the past few decades is most commonly associated with a team out of Utah, and that another one - the Russian Rocket, in ways that Pavel Bure could only imagine in the tarnished, dog-eared romance novels of his youthful dreams - might be playing for them now, to you I say this: "surprise" is defined as "surprise" because you least expect it. No one jumps out of a cake at a birthday party - mine was Wayne Newton, by the by, and it was yummy - and screams "Expected!" They scream "Surprise!" because that's the whole point: it blindsides you. Kind of like the graceful limbs of Kirilenko, poetry in motion down the baseline, swooping in for that all-important block.