(Editor's Note to both of my readers: Barring anything unforeseen, this will be the last basketball column for a while. Due to recent events, I've been admittedly overdoing it in this one subject area. But I felt the need to do one more. And when The Big Redhead comes calling, you just have to accept those charges. Good day to you.)
Throw it DOWN, big man, throw it DOWN! Well, I must start this blog post off by marvelling, as I always do this time of year, at the monstrously large number of stupid, stupid, STUPID people here on planet Earth and in the United States. Just a PALTRIFYING display of stupidity to be seen! You can see it in almost every facet of our national culture and consciousness, but nowhere can you witness this phenemenon more strongly, more baldly displayed for your consideration, than in the results of the NBA All-Star Game fan voting.
As of right now, Yao Ming leads all players in the number of votes. This despite the fact that Yao has been out of action since December 18 with toe surgery. But don't take my word for it - take it from The People's Daily, which I read exhaustively each and every morning. (I've linked here to the English version, despite the imperfections of Sino-English translation, just to make it more accessible to my American readers.) So why is Yao leading the votes over the brilliant and sublime piece of artwork in motion that is Kobe Bryant? And furthermore, why is Amare Stoudemire on the list at all, or the abominable, the vomitous Michael Olowokandi? And in a nutshell, why do the superstars of this league continue to receive votes over those lesser names who out-perform them? I will tell you why. Because NBA fans are stupid. They pay more attention to the commercials and the glitzy highlights than they do the action within the games themselves. What a HORRRRRRRIBLE display this is. Just a disgusting, putrid display of terribility on the part of the fans of this league.
Speaking of superstars, I would be remiss if I did not mention while I was here in the Nation's Capital, the fact that the Washington Wizards, as they approach the halfway point in the season with a HUGE last-second win last night over my beloved Boston Celtics, 89-87, are THE most mediocre team in the NBA. Anyone who tells you otherwise is, quite simply, an All-Star Voter. In other words, they are an unmitigated fool.
As usual, superstar Gilbert Arenas (whither Arenas in this All-Star race?) and his band of merry men came charging back from a major deficit to come through for the Bullets, with two clutch last-second tosses from the charity stripe to secure the victory behind enemy lines at the Fleet Center. This came with the help of the terrific, and terrifically streaky, Antawn Jamison's 16 fourth-quarter points, and center Brendan Haywood's season-high 21.
I still do not care what anyone says about Haywood - he is an absolutely awful basketball player. If his heart were any weaker, the back of his jersey would read "Cheney." If his hands were any stonier, on the back of that jersey would be writ the name of my non-basketball idol, "Garcia." Because make no mistake, my friends, Brendan Haywood has stone hands. And not porous stone such as pumice or basalt, but hard, non-porous stone which nothing can penetrate, like polished marble, or corundum.
Finally, I would like to mention the big win last night by the Maryland Terrapins. For you see, I am a man of the amateur hardwood as well. Led by Nikolai Caner-Medley and Michael Jones, the Terps stepped up big time to get the W in their first game without leading scorer Chris McCray. Even though their opponent, the Georgia Tech Jackets of Yellow, are depleted this year, I think I can safely predict that the Terps are on their way to winning college basketball's National Championship.
That is all for me, as I am off to deliver the keynote address to the Washington convention of the National Hyperbole Association. So until next time, this is Bill Walton, telling you to throw it DOWN, big man! Throw it DOWN!