The NBA All-Star break will last seemingly forever, but we have two great opportunities between now and next Thursday (no games until Thursday? What fresh hell is this?) to treat the audience to something new and enjoyable before James Dolan decides to start banning Willis Reed from Madison Square Garden.
In other words, cue Draymond Green and DeMarcus Cousins. This is right up their individual wheelhouses.
Simply, we want to see which of them wants to become the first player in All-Star Game history to get a technical foul.
That’s right, no player has ever been T’d up in an All-Star Game, which is amazing since Rick Barry got called for 30 personal fouls in his All-Star career and fouled out twice, and agreed with every call? That’s demonstrably implausible on its face.
You may be less surprised by this fact because the All-Star Game has become a game played for laughs and layups. Nobody gets fouled, nobody gets mad, nobody has a tantrum – it’s all snicks, giggles and no-host drinking from start to finish.
But there is an opportunity for either high drama or low comedy this weekend in New Orleans that could energize an otherwise mega-meh event. And frankly, Boogie and Dray are our best bets.
Yes, we are ignoring the idea of a Kevin Durant-Russell Westbrook drawdown, mostly because while it is clear the two gentlemen are going to let their snit fester awhile, it is equally evident that neither would ruin the weekend for their fellow players by being caught giving the media hellhounds what they crave – a series of easy stories that make the event less relentlessly tedious.
And we all know how little they want to serve any media-based agendas.
We also won’t get a lot of drama from Charles Oakley or Li’l Jimmy, because everyone agrees that Dolan is a raging jackwagon, and you can’t have drama without people on both sides of an argument.
No, this looks like a job for Boogie and Day Day.
Cousins and Green have as part of their reputations a penchant for disputatious behavior that catches the eye and ear of your average official. Cousins leads the
league in technical fouls with 17, and Green, though less consistent, picked up two Wednesday night from Ronnie Garretson and now sits just off the pace in fifth place with 10.
Westbrook would have 13 if not for two that were rescinded by the league’s hall monitor division, DeAndre Jordan of the Clippers has 12 and Toronto’s DeMar DeRozan has 11, but Cousins and Green are the two guys you think of first when it comes to back-sass. They are what the nation demands here.
Thus, one of them could decide, just on the basis of entertainment value and Twitter trendage, to get into the grills of one of Sunday’s officials (Ed Malloy, Ken Mauer and Tom Washington, in case you had a bet on it). I mean, there’s history to be made here, and surely one of them could hustle up a sponsor to get paid for the T. Say, the American Civil Liberties Union.
But there is another avenue for Green, and that is in the celebrity game he is helping to coach. Yes, someone had to draw the shortest straw of the weekend, and sitting through the Kevin Hart Cares Way Too Much Memorial Game is Green's.
Though there has never been a technical foul rained upon a player (hell, there hasn’t been a player foul out since Hakeem Olajuwon in 1987), there is one coach to get one – the redoubtable Red Auerbach, who got thrown out of the 1967 game in the Cow Palace by Willie Smith and Earl Strom, with the kicker being that he had retired from active coaching the year before, and might have been playing it for laughs himself. After all, he coached an old-timers game, the ’84 game and got tossed from that one as well, the cranky little elf.
Here lies another opportunity for Green to win some eyeballs with the simple act of snapping over some bogus foul call against Candace Parker or Baron Davis, or even better, getting into a shouting match on the bench with Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, who is playing on Green's team.
I mean, under what other circumstances would you watch this sneakered B-list-and-below tire fire? Draymond Green doesn’t owe us a snap, but the game could use one, and he is better qualified than anyone – except, now that we think of it, Cuban.
Green and Cousins should then double down on Sunday and double-team Malloy (he’s the official who looks like a coat rack on wheels), or Mauer (he’s the official who looks like he had his hair styled at a Lego factory) to get one each, maybe at the same moment, even if it’s just for comedy value.
I mean, the T’s wouldn’t count against their regular season totals, people would laugh, highlight clips would be enhanced, and Adam Silver could come from the stands and fine them each a quintazillion units of money from a country that no longer exists. It’s a cavalcade of cheap laughs in a game that had 369 points a year ago and can use all the useful comedy it can get.
And on the rule of thumb that if you’re gonna go, go big, the weekend is in the hands of DeMarcus Cousins and Draymond Green. Let your inner complaints department run free, gentlemen. It’s good for the game. Trust us.