Why Tattoos Usually Aren’t Worth It, Vol. 598,214

Do you have a tattoo? Odds are that it’s stupid. No really, it’s stupid. You’re going to grow up and have kids and they’re going to ask why you drew a skull with fire coming out its eyeholes on your leg, and you’re not going to have an answer that doesn’t make you look even dumber than before.

Marcin Gortat Leg Thing
(Is it really “sticking it to the man” if you ink yourself with a corporate logo and the company doesn’t even pay you?)

And then there’s the financial aspect of it all. Yes, the worst tattoos from a “get a job” standpoint are still the face tattoo (what the hell, seriously people) and the cursive name on the side of your neck (you might as well have written “I have gone to jail on assault charges” there). But for an NBA player, corporate logos can be just as damaging to the prospect of making more money. Marcin Gortat, ye of the Jumpman leg tattoo, we’re looking right at you.

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Orlando Magic Now Just Throwing Money Away

The NBA is in financial trouble right now. We all know that, right? It’s not even a question, what with the salary cap already going down and threatening to plummet in 2010. The new figures, based on projections by David Stern and the league, are a salary cap around $50-54 million and $61-65 million for the luxury tax floor - anything above that line, and teams are paying a dollar-for-dollar tax to the league. In other words, it’s not financially advantageous to go very far over that figure; eventually you’re paying $8 million for a $4 million player.

Marcin Gortat the Destroyer
(”Hello! I’m here to wreck your financial future!”)

Why’s all this important? Because the Orlando Magic, already making head-scratching personnel decisions that involve questionably high-level salaries, have, according to the ORLANDO SENTINEL, just matched the Dallas Mavericks’ offer sheet to restricted free agent Marcin Gortat. Gortat was poised for quite a payday coming out of the shadow of Dwight Howard, and the Mavericks made what looked like a prohibitively large bid of 5 years and $34 million.

In case you’re keeping score at home, that runs Orlando’s salary guarantees to… hang on, let’s crunch the numbers… Eleventy jerzillion dollars.

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Orlando Guts Team? And For Vince Carter? O, No!

One of the most remarkable aspects of this year’s Orlando-Los Angeles NBA Finals wasn’t that it only took five games for the Lakers to dispathc the Magic, but how very close Orlando was to having their own 3-1 lead going into Game 5. Twice, Orlando had shots to win a game before it went into overtime. Twice, the shots missed, and twice, the Lakers prevailed in OT. Not bad for a team that was given utterly no shot to so much as make the Finals, much less win the whole thing.

Hedo Turkoglu
(And, ahem, here’s their real MVP of the season.)

So considering the bevy of mostly-young talent in place in Orlando, it seemed like the only thing the Magic really needed to do was get back Hedo Turkoglu (who was absolutely indispensable in the playoffs), then keep the rest of the nucleus together and let them continue to improve. Turkoglu’s an unrestricted free agent, so that means throwing money at him, but considering his performance and how well he complements the team, a good offer seems like a foregone conclusion.

Wait, what’s that? Do you hear something? Good lord… it’s the EPIC FAIL FAIRY! And she’s bringing good news!

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Speed Read: End Of The Road For Chris Chelios?

In case you hadn’t noticed, and after these many years it’s okay if you hadn’t, Chris Chelios has been around forever. For-eh-vur. The 47-year-old has literally spent a majority of his life as a player in the NHL, breaking into the league with Montreal during the 1983-84 season. Yeah, back when “Jump” was the hot new sound from Van Halen. That’s how long dude’s been around.

Chris Chelios Weightlifting
(Of course he stuck around this long because of hard work. What did you expect? Prayer?)

And while injuries and the unrelenting assault of time on an aging man’s body have kept Chelios from the legendary Gordie Howe’s all-time record in games played and other marks of longetivity, Chelios is still a colossal freak of nature. Look no further than at (it bears repeating) the age of 47, Chelios is finally being released by the Detroit Red Wings. As the DETROIT NEWS reports, though, he still might not be done:

General manager Ken Holland met with Chelios Monday afternoon and, as expected, gave him the news Chelios will not be re-signed.

“It was kind of understood last summer, after Cheli signed, that the 2008-09 season would be the last one for Cheli as a Red Wing,” said Holland, noting the need for the Wings to bring in younger players. “He wants to play another season and I believe he can still play.”

Perhaps Chelios has a year or two left in him as a swan song in Chicago, or maybe he wants to see if he can hit 50 in an NHL uniform, a stunning accomplishment that really has zero bearing on the world at large. Don’t get us wrong, most guys don’t make it to 30 in the league, much less tack two more entire decades on the odometer, but at no point is Chelios ever going to be a catalyst for great things anymore.

Which is fine, of course. Guys stick around in professional athletics for a few years too many on a regular basis, and few (if any) have earned the privilege as much as Chelios. It’s just that at this point, the list of teams who might pick him up are those who really don’t even need the help to begin with.

Speaking of Chris Chelios (WARNING: this segue makes no sense), let’s talk about women fighting each other. You might remember last week where Cris “Cyborg” Santos choked out a reporter who foolishly questioned her ability to finish a submission move against a fighter, y’know, like how real men do. Well, being that Santos is going to fight SbB favorite Gina Carano in Carano’s post-EliteXC return to the Octagon, one display of lady-on-gentleman brutality can’t go unreturned before the fight, right? Right:

Nighty nighty, talker man. The question isn’t where are you, as Santos’ victim asked when he came back to Earth, but what are you: that would be lucky as hell, lucky that someone strong enough to turn the lights out with such ease also possesses the capacity for mercy, which is pretty much the only thing that has saved your brain’s regular functions.

If ladychoking is the next salvo fired in the War on Equality, then so be it, because strong women are clearly capable of winning that fight against weak men. And sure, a man can still probably choke out a woman, but anyone willing to make that case, even hypothetically, probably isn’t someone worth your time in conversation. Avoid accordingly.

Last, speaking of choking, let’s talk about USC. In the wake of Tim Floyd’s shame-splattered resignation and allegations of selective rule enforcement in the case of Reggie Bush, former Heisman hero and current athletic director Mike Garrett demands to be judged by his record and his legacy. For example, he hired Pete Carroll. Also, he hired, um… uh…

Pete Carroll USC Song Girls
(The Song Girls aren’t really hired, per se, so that doesn’t count. The white-haired guy in the middle does, though.)

Turns out, as the LOS ANGELES TIMES points out, he doesn’t exactly have a track record of success to fall back on, despite his boasts. So while Carroll’s hire is to Garrett as the Emancipation Proclamation is to Abraham Lincoln (seriously, Abe, what else did you accomplish, other than monopolizing the top hat?*), the rest of the resume seems to be, ahem, lacking. The worst hire, in retrospect, seems to be Floyd, who may have crippled the Trojans’ basketball program for years to come in order to secure one year of service from O.J. Mayo. And let’s hope that mistake doesn’t happen again…

Who’s the next big star from O.J. Mayo’s family?

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So above all else, Garrett’s resume suggests that success is but a random decision away, a call to be made by livestock choosing to address one of several piles of food, each festooned with a different logo. Blew it on that up-and-coming coach from Southwestern State back in 2003? Hey, what can you do; Ernie the Carnivorous Pheasant clearly indicated he was due by way of which chum pile he devoured, and in any case, we saved the $12 million a barely-competent would have demanded over those same six years.

Some extra links to consider while you keep the horse off the launchpad…

  • J.R. Smith and Eddy Curry were apparently webcasting online as they were pulled over for the all-too-common D.W.B., as INSIDE HOOPS reports. No charges were filed and no video seems to exist, which is precisely why you’re reading about it here and not blaring at the top of a morning post. [UPDATE: Smith’s unequivocally calling bullfeathers on the story, though it seems so oddly specific we’re not sure why they would make any of that up.]
  • OPPOSITE DAY: The worst GM in at least the last 30 years, Steve Phillips, is allowed to make assertions about baseball that go routinely unchallenged. This is like giving Karl Rove his own political column… oh wait.
  • A word to Texas baseball coach Augie Garrido: there are many, many opportunities for somebody to make self-deprecating jokes to the press. A recent DUI arrest and your mugshot, for example would probably not be the best opportunity to do so. Just something to keep in mind going forw–well, I see we’re too late.
  • Joakim Noah will join Mickael Pietrus and Jean-Shaquille L’Oneal (we made up the last one, of course, but not the first two) on the French national team for upcoming international play. Vince Carter was seem chuckling, sizing up Noah’s dimensions, and dialing his time machine back to 2000. It’s been a while since he abused a giant Frenchman, you see, and these desires just never seem to go away after you indulge them once.

  • Tony Hawk got to visit the White House, then skateboard through it. And you know what? You can do the exact same thing if you spend 20 years getting famous for being better at one thing than anyone else in the world, and no, we’re not talking about what you do three times a day whenever the wife’s not around. In that case, practice makes pervert. Now pull up your pants and keep reading.
  • No, University of Illinois, Ron Santo was not trying to get into med school (not as anything but a discount-level test dummy; get some toes, then we can talk full price).
  • Bet you don’t know who just beat out Jason Jennings for the franchise lead for most victories. Did you guess Aaron Cook? Well, you probably cheated.
  • Some eight-grader does a flip and throws the basketball in a hoop from almost a full court. This is actually less related to competitive basketball than dunk contests, which we didn’t even think was possible.

(What’s next, trying to shoot it out of a cannon into a hoop? What does this have to do with actual basketball? God, we’re old.)

*We’re addressing him in the first person because we have it on good authority that Abe Lincoln and other dead Presidents read SbB with astonishing regularity in the afterworld. Heaven has great wi-fi. Which seems appropriate, if you think about it; how good could heaven really be if the wireless sucked?

NBA Won’t Punish Ref Calling Vince Carter “Boy”

Vince Carter doesn’t mind terribly anymore if you call him soft, cursed with a low pain tolerance, focused on self, unmotivated by basketball, or that he will play at less than his maximum effort in order to leave Canada.  He either accepts them as canards he can’t avoid or as true.  However, he would like it very much if NBA referees would not call him “boy”.

Vince Carter

Still, the NBA will not punish VC or Derrick Stafford, the referee that double-T’d Vince and sent him home for the evening a bit early, for any misunderstanding that may have arisen from the tossed word and Vince’s rather angry response, requiring two people and then a security escort to remove him from the premises Wednesday in Detroit.

Thankfully, there was no history of racially-tinged violence in The Palace, so there was no reason to recall any past events there.

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Hunting Down Hockey Hotties; Cooley’s Coupling

The Indians’ C.C. Sabathia really knows how to stink up the joint.

Patrick Kane is Russian out his picks for the hottest hockey groupies.

Pittsburgh Penguins hockey hottie

Chris Cooley caught himself a keeper in the lovely Christy.

Luis Gonzalez is mad at Miami for missing out on the Marlins.

• One Atlanta baseball fan is Brave enough to risk a foolish fatal fall.

• Chelsea fans get muted in Moscow, but are able to bash about in Britain.

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Vince Picks Daytona For Failed Restaurant Venture

Vince Carter is attempting to succeed where Vin Baker, George Brett & Jared Allen have failed - by starting up his own self-named restaurant.

Vince Carter Nets sitting

The DAYTONA BEACH NEWS-JOURNAL serves up news that the New Jersey Nets star is working on establishing a local upscale eatery. Well, actually, it’s his mom that’s doing all the work: Read more…