December 26, 2006

Here's a Little Storey that Must Be Told

There are a number of ways to make a name for yourself in pro sports.

One such way is to simply have an unusual name, such as Gheorghe Mhuresan. Of course, it helped for Mhuresan that he was freakishly tall, could actually play a little bit and appeared in one of the classic pieces of 20th Century American cinema (My Giant).

For those who aren’t so lucky to have Mhuresan's intrinsic star power, the most universally successful way to get recognition is to simply let your actions define you.

And whether he meant to do so or not, former Washington Wizard Awvee Storey has recently taken this philosophy to the extreme by punching NBDL teammate Martynas Andriuskevicius in the head during practice, putting the 7-2 Lithuanian in the hospital with a skull fracture, among other things.

Storey’s agent, Mark Bartelstein, told the Chicago Sun-Times that “Awvee’s a terrific kid.” But for most people, to whom Storey is more or less a complete stranger, this brutal punch will most likely be his enduring legacy.

However, readers of this site may recall Awvee Storey’s name for another reason – namely, because he’s good friends with a certain extremely likable lunatic by the name of Gilbert Arenas.

Remember Storey now? He first surfaced on our radar earlier this year, when Arenas got into trouble for disobeying police officers during a traffic incident. Turns out that Storey was blocking traffic, and Arenas came to help him out.

And the Storey legend added another compelling chapter in October, when thanks to a brilliantly-written Esquire magazine piece, we learned that Arenas loves to “wrastle,” and frequently has done so with Storey as his sparring partner. And when the two of them brawl, apparently nothing’s off limits, including biting, stomach punching, and one occasion on which Storey pinched Arenas’ nose until it was bruised purple and called him "Rudolph."

So while a single fateful punch may come to define Storey's career, it’s important that we make sure not to forget the other (relatively) non-violent things he’s done to distinguish himself as a noteworthy (if not certifiably loopy) S.O.B.

And without condoning his recently-thrown punch, let this much be said in Storey's defense: Any friend of Gilbert Arenas is a friend of ours.

December 22, 2006

I've Got Jack Johnson and Tom O'Leary Waiting For You, Right Here

In recent days, some loyal readers have asked The OCC to weigh in on the Knicks-Nuggets brawl. This task has proved moderately difficult for a couple of reasons:

1) Pretty much every pundit, lummox, genius, dork, dickhead and dweebie has spoken out on the matter already;

2) I don’t really care all that much.

And perhaps Item #2 is really at the heart of what I want to say about this fight.

But before you misunderstand that statement, let me clarify: It’s not that I truly don’t care that there was a fight between the Knicks and the Nuggets that resulted in a huge uproar and multiple lengthy suspensions. It’s more just that I don’t really see what the huge uproar is all about.

To drop a little Passover phraseology on you all, Why is this fight different from every other fight?

Sure, there were lots of players involved, and some of the fracas spilled over into the stands, bringing the conflict too close to fans, which obviously isn’t a good thing. But otherwise, what really happened here that made this so terrible?

The fact is this: Anyone who has ever played a competitive sport knows that sports often bring out a competitive, angry and hostile side in even the most mild-mannered people.

I am by all accounts not a hothead – in fact, some would probably say I have a tendency to stray way too far in the opposite direction – but during my days as an intramural baller at a certain collegiate institution, I developed a reputation as something of a shit-talking idiot.

On one occasion, during a particularly heated game between my team and a team consisting primarily of football players, I hit a three and promptly – for reasons I cannot quite explain – told the guy who was guarding me, “That was for your mom.”

Needless to say, he was not pleased about this. And it’s a small miracle he didn’t do some jujitsu on my face.

Another example (warning: thinly-veiled name dropping alert): I also used to play intramurals against John Krasinski, best known as Jim Halpert from the American version of The Office. John, like me, was a perfectly nice guy off the basketball court, but when he got on the court, he inexplicably turned into a giant dickhead.

And I honestly can’t recall one time I played basketball against him that he and I didn’t start jawing/yelling at one another. I also can’t recall a single time that he or I didn’t shake hands or reconcile soon afterwards.

The point of all of this is that competitive sports are an incubator for angry and irrational behavior. Things get heated up, normally calm people get angry, and sometimes this escalates into verbal or physical conflict.

This shouldn’t be shocking to anyone who’s ever played sports.

So why is this brawl so shocking to America? Why is this such a huge deal?

And this is not to say I can’t see this from the disciplinarian side – I understand why the suspensions had to be so severe. The NBA needs to avoid having this happen as much as possible.

But the NBA doesn’t need to try to shut down brawling because the behavior itself is so horrendous or incomprehensible.

The NBA needs to try to shut it down because its viewing public is so horrendously conservative that it can’t understand or tolerate the notion of such “uncivilized” behavior in sports.

So when I say I don’t care, it's not really that I don't care it' s more that I can't get on board with the predominant, disapproving opinion of the masses who are distancing themselves from the players who fought as if they were displaying some kind of inhuman characteristic out there on the court. That's nonsense.

People get mad, people fight. It's as likely to happen in sports as it is anywhere else. Should it be a punishable offense? Of course. But otherwise, there's really one way to properly handle such an event:

Get over it.

December 20, 2006

Take Two

It happened again.

Don’t ask me why or how, but for the second time in just over a month, The OCC was recently halted by the Japanese media to weigh in with an American viewpoint on current events regarding Japanese baseball players coming to the Major Leagues.

You may recall that the previous encounter took place at ESPNZone in Times Square and involved me prostituting my baseball loyalties to play the role of a Yankees fan because that’s what the reporter assumed I was and I happened to be in an accommodating mood. (I also happened to be rather eager to appear on Japanese TV under any circumstances, which added significantly to my willingness to figurative don the pinstripes.)

Anyhow, this more recent interview happened at 53rd and Broadway and involved no such web of deceit as to my baseball allegiances. Shortly after halting me on the street corner (with an assist from my friend, who went out of his way when he saw the camera to announce very loudly that I liked talking in front of cameras), the reporter asked where I was from and I immediately told her Atlanta.

Apparently this wasn’t a deal-breaker, because she proceeded to ask me what I thought about the amount of money Major League teams were spending on Japanese players and whether I thought it was too much.

Looking rather disheveled (my assistant didn't inform me that I was going to be making an international television appearance when I set out to get lunch), I responded that in fact I thought Major League teams were essentially getting a bargain, because paying $52 million over six years for a potential star like Daisuke Matsuzaka is incredibly reasonable when you consider that there are lesser American pitchers getting more money. (I also acknowledged that in Matsuzaka’s case the Red Sox were paying more than just the $52 million because they have to compensate his Japanese team, but said I thought this was a fair system.)

After I mentioned Matsuzaka, the reporter went on to ask me what I thought about his new contract, and I said once again that I thought it seemed very fair, because “From what I’ve seen, he’s a great pitcher.” (This is actually my belief, but it was also a blatant attempt to provide them with a sound bite they would be hard-pressed not to use.)

Apparently she liked my comment, because she smiled, revealing a disarmingly yellow pair of front teeth, and said, “Yes, he is.”

Soon afterwards, the interview concluded. And while it wasn’t quite as eventful as my first encounter with Japanese TV (they say your first time is always the best), it was still rather noteworthy just by virtue of the fact that it happened.

I mean, what are the odds of this happening twice in such a short period of time? It’s enough to make a man wonder...

Is it possible that they’re following me?

Was the uproar/outcry over my first appearance on Japanese TV so dramatic that they absolutely had to have me back on the air once again at all costs so the notoriously dogged Japanese media planted a camera crew on every corner within a 17-block radius of ESPNZone until they found me?

Okay, probably not. But I have to say I find the recurrence of this whole thing a little bizarre. And for the first time in my life, I have at least some tiny inkling as to what it’s like to be Ichiro Suzuki (minus the fancy cars, bad-ass sunglasses and one-of-a-kind left-handed spray hitting ability). I’m half expecting to open the front door to my apartment one of these days only to see a smiling Japanese reporter shoving a microphone and a camera in my face and asking how my shower went that morning.

In the meantime, I have dispatched our local agent in Japan to watch TV 12 Tokyo (the station that interviewed me) around the clock in hopes of spotting this most recent interview.

I have also instructed him to do some reconnaissance and determine exactly why the Japanese media is suddenly so obsessed with my opinion on matters pertaining to Major League contracts. You’ll be among the first to know when he reports back on either subject.


On a separate note, apparently there was a fight between the Knicks and the Nuggets recently (I have not yet seen any newspaper, television or radio coverage about this whatsoever), and multiple readers (read: two of you) have asked me if/when I’m going to weigh in with my opinion on this topic. Stay tuned, readers. Now that my international television responsibilities are taken care of for the time being, I intend to pen a response to this “Basketbrawl” you refer to in short order.

December 19, 2006

You Tell 'Em, Granny

If upon looking at this video your immediate reaction is to assume it’s some kind of lame skateboarding stunt tape, think again.

This video is so much more than that.

Sure, it begins with one skater filming his skating buddies doing some decidedly unexciting tricks on a quiet afternoon in the park, but soon after, it takes an unexpected turn.

The screech of brakes. A car slamming to a halt. The skater holding the camera realizes something’s going on and pans over, only to see a quite unexpected sight:

An old woman standing in the middle of the crosswalk in front of a now stopped convertible. Just… standing there.

The driver of this vehicle, instead of getting out and attempting to assist the elderly lady (who appears to be about 97) decides to go the polar opposite route of classy gentleman and starts blaring on his horn.

This startles the woman out of her sleep immediately.

Yes, that’s right, you read that correctly. And if you didn’t notice it the first time you watched the video, go look at it again. This old bird was taking a snooze, standing up, in the middle of the road.

And apparently, instead of being any cause for concern, this is actually more of a huge inconvenience to the driver of the convertible, who not only honks at her but begins aggressively revving his engine in some sort of “I’m gonna run you over, you old hag” kind of threat.

Realizing what’s going on, the woman snaps to and prepares to move on, but not before almost as an afterthought winding up with her hand bag and clubbing the front bumper of the man’s car, an act that would have been hilarious in and of itself even if it hadn’t somehow released the guy’s airbag – which it did.

The old woman walks away without saying a word. The obnoxious douche bag sitting there trying to figure out what to do with the airbag in his face says so much more than that.


And while we’re on the subject of gem Internet videos, I recently had the good fortune to come across a classic clip I first saw a few years ago but had since forgotten. This thing needs no introduction – just make sure you watch it all the way to the end. Pretty much goes from irritating, cheesy, unwatchable news segment to sadistically hilarious in a matter of seconds. We’ve been watching this non-stop for the past 24 hours or so here at OCC H.Q. and each time it somehow manages to induce physical pain from laughing so hard.

December 18, 2006

Uno Momento Pour Favor

You won't even believe how big of a soda someone just spilled on the floor here at OCC H.Q. It's going to require at least a few shammies and possibly a mop to properly clean this up.

And unfortunately, we can't even begin to think about witty/obnoxious sports commentary until this is taken care of.

Please stand by. A new post will be coming as soon as is humanly possible.

Thank you for your understanding.

December 13, 2006

A Brief Note on Business Etiquette

Imagine for a second that you’re a film producer undertaking an extremely ambitious project, and there’s this one foreign actor you really need to fill one of the lead roles.

However, his management team has a number of concerns. They’re saying things about how they’re worried about him being exposed to an American audience in the wrong context, that appearing in American movies could cheapen his appeal at home, etc., and in many ways it’s pretty obvious that what they’re really talking about is money.

So, you decide to fly over there to smooth this over. You purchase the most supremely-threaded garments and procure the most luxurious vehicles to transport you around so as to project an air of superiority. You take the actor’s management team out to the finest meals, sampling local delicacies and aperitifs with no regard for cost.

And somehow, late in the evening you all end up at some strange place you think might be a strip club or could even be a brothel (it’s not quite clear given the language differences), and a wild night ensues, parts of which you selectively decide to lose in your mind’s drunken haze because, after all, you are a family man back home.

You return from this weekend overseas beaten down, exhausted and emotionally tapped. But the important thing is, you’ve won them over, and better yet, you have their ear. You haven’t sealed the deal yet, but their client (by way of them) is ready to listen to you.

A few weeks pass, and you set up another face-to-face meeting. This time, the client and the entire management team will be there (this is how business is conducted in that country).

For this trip, you purchase even nicer clothes and secure an even sleeker car, all because it adds to your air of confidence for the big meeting.

And when you finally arrive in the conference room after all that you’ve been through to get this actor’s attention, you sit down in front of him and all of his closest advisors, and proceed to blatantly lowball the shit out of them.

Not surprisingly, they storm out of the meeting almost immediately.

* * *

Now cut to real life, present day, and think about this scenario in the context of the Red Sox’s negotiations with star Japanese pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka.

With time on the verge of running out for the Red Sox to sign Matsuzaka after putting $51 million on the line to secure exclusive negotiation rights, reports are swirling that they’ve made an offer of $48 million over six years.

Granted, this sounds like a lot of loot, but at this precise moment, it’s not –all you need to know about the current market is that journeyman lefty Ted Lilly and his 4.60 career ERA got $40 million over 4 years from the Cubs (an average of $10 million per year versus the $8 million annually the Red Sox have offered Matsuzaka).

And ignore for a second that by all accounts Matsuzaka is likely to be an outstanding Major League pitcher who will also have a seismic impact on the team’s marketability. The very principle of what the Red Sox are doing just makes no sense.

In The Lord of the Rings, did Frodo and Sam walk up to Mount Doom at the last minute, realize that the lava was really hot and say, “You know what? Let’s head home. This is clearly going to be a bit more taxing than we thought.”

Of course they didn’t. They may have wanted to (particularly Frodo, who was actually kind of being a whiny sissy for much of the third movie) but Sam wasn’t about to let that shit happen.

And someone on the Red Sox’s negotiating team needs to channel Samwise Gamgee, look everyone else in the eye and say in the most convincing tone: Look, you bastards. We’ve come too far to turn back now. Whatever it takes, we’ve gotta get this done.

The fact is, the Red Sox have the money to make this happen – reportedly, Matsuzaka and by extension Scott Boras are asking for $11 million over six years as opposed to $8 million annually. For the Red Sox that’s like attaching a Hershey’s Kiss to the ribbon tied around the gift.

Come on, Theo – make this happen. You didn’t make all this effort and spend all this time for nothing, did you? The OCC didn’t do an interview on Japanese television at ESPNZone just so you could turn back at the last second, and Lord knows that our fictional film producer didn’t jeopardize his marriage with one decadent night at an unseemly brothel-type establishment just so you could suddenly become fiscally concerned – fiscally concerned? – at the last minute.

You may think this is about money, and common sense may dictate that this is about money, and it may actually be about money in many ways, but above all else, this is about sitting down at the table and not getting up until you’ve gotten what you came for.

Do it for the Braves, who have become such sorry penny-pinchers that they can’t even make an arbitration offer to fan favorite Marcus Giles. Do it for those of us who consider refried beans with a spot of Mrs. Dash a proper meal in the days immediately after we’ve mailed our rent check.

Take that money, Theo Epstein, and light it directly on fire. Shove briefcases of bills in Scott Boras’ face if that’s what it takes. Don’t be a tease. Guns blazing, balls to the wall.

Make it happen for Daisuke, for Red Sox nation, for Yankees fans who will immediately mock you for spending so much money even though they’re obviously just jealous you got it done. Make it happen for bitter Braves fans, for the burned-out film producer, for Scott Boras’ unborn grandchildren, who seem doomed to suffer through decades of poverty as a penance for their grandfather's otherworldly capitalistic greed. Make it happen, Theo. Make it happen for us.


Update: Theo must have read what I wrote.

December 11, 2006

Please Leave My Likeness Alone

As you may have heard by now, news broke late last week that Tom Brady is suing Yahoo! for improperly using his image in a fantasy football promotion.

With that in mind, it would be interesting to see how Brady felt about having his likeness electronically violated in a disturbingly affectionate online tribute video that goes about 23 steps too far.

Granted, the photographic montage – set to a rewritten version of Lionel Richie’s “Lady” and entitled “Brady” – was most likely meant as a joke, but it has just enough overtones of “I’m joking, but I’m actually kind of not joking” to make you start shivering as though a ghost has just walked into the room and gently touched you on the shoulder with a deathly cold finger.

Consider some selected lyrics from the song:

“Brady… There’s so many ways I want to catch your passes.”

“Your cleft chin makes me such a fool.”

“I’m a tight end but I hope to one day be your wide receiver.”

“How I long for you to hit me in the slot.”

“Forever let there be two-a-days when we’re together.”

“Brady… Your balls are the only balls I need.”

As you can plainly see, this thing is dripping with thinly-veiled innuendo, which would normally be welcomed if not entirely celebrated on this site.

But aside from the generally uncomfortable nature of this video, which makes you feel like you might somehow be an accomplice in some serial stalker’s desperate effort to court the Patriots’ QB, there’s also the fact that some of these lines are just pretty stupid.

While “Your cleft chin makes me such a fool” is clearly somewhat inspired from a comedic standpoint even if it’s no less creepy than any other line in the song, there are way too many lame “balls” jokes in here that completely negate any comic momentum the thing can generate.

Whatever the case, this video seems to be generating a substantial amount of buzz, and I have to admit, anything that can make you laugh and feel uncomfortable at the same time could qualify as ingenious in some people’s estimations.

With that said, if I never have to watch this depraved and borderline frightening cry for help and attention ever again, it will be one day too soon.

And I can safely say that if and when I ever happen to hear Lionel Richie’s “Lady” in the future, I will most likely cover my ears, close my eyes and start softly chanting “Go to your happy place.” I am truly scarred.

December 06, 2006

Do You Smell Something Burning?

Unusual moment during the Kings-Suns game on Tuesday night: Just before the buzzer sounded at the end of the first quarter, Shawn Marion hit a fall-away baseline j and then without any hesitation whatsoever ran off the court into the locker room.

The cameras cut over to his teammates, who were gathered by the bench laughing uncontrollably. Apparently, Marion thought it was halftime, and none of them had any intention whatsoever of going after him to tell him his mistake.

Pretty comical moment in and of itself, but it got better.

Early in the second quarter, Suns’ analyst Dan Majerle and play-by-play man Jerry Bender had the following exchange:

Majerle: We saw Shawn make that shot at the end of the 1st quarter... and uh, I guess he had to go to the little boy's room, and he comes back and...

Bender [jumping in]: Well whatever he does, I hope he can continue to play like he did in that 1st quarter. He was sensational. Absolutely sensational, 15 points. Here's Thomas missing, rebound is cleared by Kevin Martin.

Majerle: Light a match!

I kept watching the game, amused by the newfound knowledge that in addition to mistakenly thinking it was halftime, Marion had also needed to relieve himself.

And after a few more seconds, my brain finally processed what Dan Majerle had said moments earlier:

Light a match.

Did he really say that? I rewound and listened again. Indeed he did say it. Quite enthusiastically, in fact.

And immediately, I had to wonder: Was Majerle referring to the fact that The Matrix had most likely just made a smelly doodie which required the sulfuric vapors of match-lighting to snuff out its foul odor?

Or was he simply insinuating that Marion was "on fire"?

Whatever the case, I’m inclined to think that Thunder Dan was indeed making a poop joke, because the phrase “Light a match” wouldn’t really make sense otherwise. And assuming that’s the case, more power to Majerle for having the… umm, bowels… to make such blatant reference to smelly dumps during an NBA broadcast.

And I think it goes without saying that from this day forth, any time Shawn Marion is starting to “catch fire,” as it were, someone in the near vicinity (preferably Majerle himself) will be required to utter Marion’s new slogan.

Can’t you just picture it now?

Light a match! The Matrix just dropped another deuce!

And now I will never be able to think about Shawn Marion without picturing him taking a big nasty dookie in the locker room at the first quarter intermission. Thank you, polluted mind. Thank you, Dan Majerle.


In a strange turn of events that clearly indicates there’s some kind of higher fecal power in the world, moments before scripting the above post I received an email transmission from Frank G. Yak, this site’s de facto provider of most things pertaining to gruesome bodily function.

The story he sent was about an American Airlines flight that had to make an emergency landing when a woman on board lit a match to conceal the fact that she had squeezed off a rather dank-smelling fart.

Apparently the emergency landing became necessary when multiple passengers smelled the sulfur from the burning matches.

Does anyone else see a pretty clear-cut opportunity for a public service announcement that could solve this problem once and for all? Roll it:

[Lights come up on DAN and SHAWN standing together in a men’s room]

Hi, I’m Dan Majerle, former professional basketball player for the Phoenix Suns, here with an important message about fire safety.

When my friend Shawn here needs to take a poop, the first thing I tell him is, “Light a match, dude. That stinks!”

But Shawn and I both know that lighting matches isn’t always safe. Sometimes, like if you’re at a gas station, oil refinery, fireworks depot or on an airplane, it’s better to just let that stank-ass fart marinate for a minute than to strike up a match.

Because nothing stinks worse than burning human flesh. Right Shawn?

[DAN and SHAWN smile at each other and exchange a high five, at which point DAN, realizing something, looks down at his hand and quickly hustles over to the sink to wash it off.]

December 05, 2006

Forecast Calls for Sun-Woo

The headline on the front page of one edition of the NY Daily News today read:

“Born On a Bridge: Cops Bring Tiny Sun Woo Kim into the World.”

Upon reading this, I immediately did a double-take, half expecting to see a close-up picture of Major League pitcher Sun-Woo Kim swaddled in baby clothes with a full-size man head attached to an infant’s body.

Turns out that the Sun Woo Kim on the front page of the Daily News was not in fact the journeyman hurler from South Korea but instead is a baby who was born Monday on the Triboro Bridge, with some bridge and tunnel cops assisting on the delivery. The baby, who is apparently being celebrated because we don’t have much else to be excited about today, has been nicknamed “Triboro.”

In the wake of this news, I couldn’t help but wonder if the original Sun-Woo Kim might be just a tad bit jealous because:

a) He’s probably never appeared on the front page of the Daily News and may never do anything dramatic enough in his baseball career to match the celebrity status achieved by his namesake on day one of his life;

b) “Triboro” is a much cooler nickname than “Sunny,” which is the Major League Sun-Woo’s most commonly used nickname.

Can’t you just see Sun-Woo Kim’s PR team scrambling around right now at the MLB Winter Meetings desperately trying to engineer some kind of wild 7-team trade headlined by Sun-Woo Kim so as to defuse the disastrous consequences of this unfortunately named child’s overwhelmingly heartwarming birth?

Yeah, I agree – that’s pretty hard to picture. Sun-Woo Kim probably doesn’t even have a PR team. Which would help explain why a one-day old was so easily able to dethrone him as the world’s most prominent Sun-Woo Kim.

If anyone cares to join me, I’m definitely planning on attending a Mets game next season whenever Sun-Woo’s team comes to town and will be sitting extremely close to the field, spending the entire game heckling him with derisive yells of “TRI-bur-ro”…“TRI-bur-ro.”

And absolutely no one will have any clue what I’m talking about.

December 04, 2006

Juvenile Behavior... Unplugged

The other night yours truly and some associates attended an improv comedy show here in NYC.

The show (which as it just so happened was atrociously rotten) featured a “Whose Line is it Anyway?” style format, and frequent suggestions from the audience were required for the performers to shape their scenes. (And by “shape,” I mean “completely butcher.”)

Anyhow, whenever the MC of the show asked the audience for a suggestion, this one guy sitting towards the front would reflexively shout out some unimaginatively (and therefore corrosively not funny) dirty word. Examples of his brilliant ideas included “Pussy!” and “Porn.”

Needless to say, I’m pretty sure everyone in the audience wanted to backhand slap him with a soaking wet towel.

I bring this up as a means of illustrating that there are multiple varying degrees of juvenile behavior. There’s juvenile to the point of extreme annoyance (our friend at the comedy show) and there’s juvenile that’s kind of irresistible even though you know it’s… well, completely juvenile.

And I’m pleased (or embarrassed as the case may be) to admit that I apparently fall somewhere in between these extremes.

You see, there’s this commercial for the United Way featuring Jonathan Vilma of the New York Jets. Have you seen this thing? It’s actually been on the air for a while, and every time I see it, I start giggling uncontrollably. I do so because the first line of the commercial is:

“Jets’ linebacker Jonathan Vilma is famous for plugging holes.”

And frankly I have no idea what the rest of the commercial says after that.

Okay, okay, so I know that “plugging holes” is technically a football term and I understand that if I were truly a “good person” I probably wouldn’t be mocking a commercial for a charitable organization.

But really now. I mean, come on. Did anyone with any sense of innuendo ever once listen to this thing before it started airing? If Renee Zellweger had Jerry Maguire at “Hello,” this commercial had me (or I guess lost me) at “plugging holes.”

I dare you to listen to the thing and try to keep a straight face.

And if you do so successfully, I regret to inform you that we are no longer friends.

December 01, 2006

Which Nate Are We Talking to Now?

You might have seen footage of it by now: On Wednesday night during the Knicks’ game against the Cavs in Cleveland, NY guard and OCC favorite Nate Robinson had a breakaway dunk with the Knicks leading by five in the second quarter when for some unknown reason he decided to throw himself an alley-oop bounce pass off the floor for a dunk attempt.

The problem (aside from the fact that he bricked the dunk) was that he traveled just before bouncing the ball.

Needless to say, this chapped Isiah Thomas’ ass just a smidge. “I don’t think we’ll see that again,” said Thomas to the NY Post. “I think he understands how I feel about that.”

Though there’s no question it was a remarkably stupid thing to do, I, for one, have a hard time getting angry at Nate about it, in large part because I’m something of a Nate Robinson apologist. (And for being a Nate Robinson apologist I will not apologize.)

Seriously, how can you not find this guy entertaining to the point that it overshadows most of his questionable behavior, virtually all of which surfaces because he’s trying too hard to entertain?

Consider his comment explaining his dunk attempt against the Cavs:

“I won’t try it again unless we’re up 20 points. That’s spontaneous Nate. Spur of the moment.”

So let me get this straight – there are multiple Nate personalities? This is too much. I wonder: Was it Spontaneous Nate who was wrestling naked with Malik Rose in the locker room last season when Malik refused to pay up on a football wager?

Or was that Naked Wrassling Gambler Nate?

In any case, I think we all owe Nate Robinson a small thank you in light of this recent development. Now, whenever one of us does something questionable, in the aftermath of said event we can explain away our behavior by saying, “That was [Insert Adjective and Name].” (Adding another phrase afterwards as Nate Robinson did with “Spur of the moment” is optional.)

So, if Jed goes on an armed robbery binge after huffing a whole bunch of gasoline one day, he can at least apologize by saying, “That’s Gas Huffing Jed. Likes to rob banks.”

And how can you possibly be mad at him?

It’s like some kind of slightly innocent, self-effacing, fun-loving multiple personality disorder. Which, come to think of it, might be what Nate Robinson actually has.

I wonder who would win a foot race between Spontaneous Nate and Gas Huffing Jed…