March 26, 2007

Please, Call Me Randolph

You may not have heard the news as of yet, but tonight we – or at least those several thousand of us who tune into the Magic-Knicks game – will bear witness to the unveiling of a rather interesting loophole.

Randolph Morris is expected to suit up, and possibly play, for the Knicks.

Why exactly is this interesting? On a surface level, it’s noteworthy because just eight days ago Morris was dropping 22 points on Kansas in a second-round NCAA tourney game.

Which is great because he can turn to his new Knicks teammates and say, “It seems like just the other day I was suiting up for Kentucky,” and actually have it be true.

But this story is compelling for reasons other than the fact that it represents the rare instance that an overused phrase about our perceptions of the passage of time actually makes perfect sense.

It’s also interesting because it represents an instance in which Isiah Thomas may have scored a legitimate coup on the rest of the NBA.

Because while it’s possible that the Knicks were the only team interested in a 6-11, 260-pound first-team All-SEC forward who averaged 16.1 ppg, 7.8 rpg and 2.1 bpg this year, it’s more likely that other teams were interested in Morris but either forgot or were completely unaware of the loophole that allowed him to sign with an NBA team immediately. (Morris was a free agent because he already entered the draft back in 2005 but never signed with an agent.)

For a man who has taken on some outrageous contracts in his day (Malik Rose, Penny Hardaway, Steve Francis, etc.), picking up Randolph Morris actually looks like a legitimately savvy move.

And since this is the rare occasion we’re left at a complete loss as to how to say something critical about Isiah Thomas…

…we’ll leave you with this to think about:

If rookie hazing is really anything close to what it’s made out to be (and we’ve heard stories about first-year players having to do everything from buying donuts and carrying luggage to dressing up as a female on road trips), then can we make the intuitive mental leap to assume that Morris – who just weeks ago was living on or near campus in Lexington, eating in the dining hall and pretending to go to class – is in for the hazing to end all hazings?

And if that’s the case, somehow we just have this feeling that Nate Robinson will be prominently involved.

(Hopefully for Randolph Morris’ sake, naked wrestling in the shower will not be on the docket.)


And speaking of guys named Randolph, Trail Blazers forward Zach was recently spotted at a Portland-area strip club while he was on bereavement leave for the shooting death of a friend.

Apparently, Zach was on his way to the airport on Tuesday before catching a red eye flight to his hometown of Marion, Indiana, when he decided to stop by a place called Exotica.

We can only assume that Zach was dropping in to grab a quick bite to eat or a refreshment, which is perfectly understandable. And even if he was going into the gentlemen’s establishment to peer at clothes-less women, who are we to judge? Certain people probably bereave in different ways.

Yet, at the same time, our detective-like mind can’t quite let this one slide. Here’s the problem: Randolph missed the Blazers’ game against Washington that night for purposes of his bereavement.

If he was taking a red eye flight and had time to stop in at the nudie bar on the way to the airport, without knowing exactly what time his plane took off, wouldn’t you think that he might have had time to suit up and play for the team that’s paying him $12 million this year before grabbing a quick shower and running off to catch his jet plane?

Another way to ask the question is: Did the trip to Exotica overlap at all with the time that Randolph would have otherwise been playing hoops?

The answer at this time is unknown, but rest assured that we plan to launch a full-scale investigation into the matter.

And if we do find any indication of impropriety, our punishment will be swift, decisive and severe:

No bereavement-related strip club visits for one month.


Anonymous BrokenCowboy said...

What I'd really like to know about Randolph Morris is this: when was the last time he went to class? I don't ask that in a self-righteous, isn't-the-term-"student-athlete"-an-oxymoron kind of way at all. I'm just thinking that if he had this whole thing planned out, he probably took care of business first semester to maintain eligibility, signed up for some classes second semester for the same reason, then never attended. Can you imagine how sweet his life must've been for the past two months? All basketball and no books. I think I want to be Randolph Morris when I grow up...

2:16 AM, March 28, 2007  

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