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Thursday, November 1, 2007

After Season-Opening Suckfest, an Episode of Pineapple Envy in Cavs’ Locker Room.

Posted By on Thu, Nov 1, 2007 at 3:10 PM

At yesterday’s season-opener, the Mavs crushed the Cavs and Bron Bron managed 10 points. There: now you don’t have to read that Terry Pluto column. Let’s get to the random shit. After the game, in the Cavs' locker room, a mob of reporters had one thing on their collective minds: backing LeBron James against his mahogany locker, putting dozens of microphones in his face, and making him mournfully recite cliches. But Goddamn him, he was taking an extra-long shower. The reporters had already grilled Larry Hughes on his own ineptitude —“He’s good when he sucks,” one scribe mused to another on Hughes’ post-game interview skills. And Zydrunas Ilgauskas, the only Cav who played well, and thus the only one besides Bron and Hughes worth interviewing, would be ensconced in a post-game shower until the wee hours of the morning. That’s about 850 cubic feet he has to lather, after all. So the reporters had nothing else to do but wedge their mass into Lebron’s corner locker and wait until he emerged. The mob got so dense that you couldn’t tell Lebron wasn’t at its core. Reporters straggling in late would see the dog-pile, get wide-eyed with excitement, and hump against it, angling their microphones until a kind soul would inform them, “You know he’s not there, right?” “Crowded around his locker like this on the first game,” said one reporter. “He’s not going to happy about us!” “No, this could get ugly!” agreed another, with the giddiness of a little girl ransacking her mother’s makeup drawer. The threat of it getting ugly was the only reason I stuck around, now almost an hour after the game ended. A nice melee—a reporter gets his microphone crushed, LeBron loses an earring, Damon Jones briefly tries to break it up before realizing he might over-crush the crushed velvet on his his new boxer-briefs—would make a riveting blog. Meanwhile, the remaining players in the locker were doing what few people have done before—enjoying not being LeBron James. They chatted, unharassed, as they pulled on their $80,000 jeans. A blue-gloved towel boy went to put a pair of game-worn sneakers in Jones’ locker, but Jones slashed a finger across his neck, to indicate “kill ‘em." He then asked the kid to prepare him a plate of pineapple slices, which got me thinking: any night in which I gave the death sign to a pair of sneakers with my name emblazoned on them as a lackey prepared a plate of my favorite fruit free of charge just before I drove home in a Bentley to watch Scarface in my home theater would surely be the greatest of my life. To these guys, it was one of the worst workdays of the year. Sigh, I sighed, and went home. I did study the tape of LeBron’s interview after he finally emerged, though, and can inform you: he didn’t lose any jewelry and, sadly, no reporters were injured. -- Gus Garcia-Roberts

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