Maybe this is just me being naive, but I’ve kind of always assumed that NBA players buy everyone else on their team Christmas presents at this time of year. There aren’t that many guys on a team, the players make more than enough money to cover a gift for everybody else and giving gifts to everyone ensures that no one plays favorites. To be fair, I haven’t really given this much thought, but it definitely seems like what would happen. Not to mention, if you don’t know what to get a certain teammate, buying them a fancy pair of shoes is an easy fallback plan for a professional basketball player.
But I guess I’m wrong, since we found out today that the Miami Heat players just participated in a Secret Santa gift exchange. And lucky for us that they did, because Shane Battier drew Chris Bosh’s name, which might be the most hilariously perfect combination of gift-giver and gift-receiver possible, at least when it comes to Heat players. From the Palm Beach Post:
Shane Battier picked up a telescope for Chris Bosh and received at least two exceptional bottles of wine from Mario Chalmers.
“For one of the most introspective and intellectual teammates I’ve ever had, I thought hard about the gift and got him a telescope,” Battier said. “Not a gift that many NBA players have. I think he appreciated it.
First of all, what a perfect gift from The Horsetronaut — of course an extraterrestrial equine would buy something outer space-y. Quite fitting. Second of all, having Shane Battier draw you in a Secret Santa exchange must be the best, since you know he’s going to put some serious thought in to whatever he buys. It’s basically a guarantee that he’s going to get you something good. Third of all, just a general hahahahaha at Shane Battier deciding that a telescope was the perfect gift for Chris Bosh. I haven’t heard of someone getting one of those since like third grade, back when my buddy Tim was still legitimately convinced he was at least part, if not all, alien. Which is to say, again, perfect gift.
But I guess this is how Christmas happens in the NBA. Not gifts for everyone, but Secret Santa exchanges — Battier said he did it in Houston too, though this is only the first year the Heat have participated in one of these things — where a bunch of guys who have a ton in common buy a nice, expensive gift for another fella on their team. Who knows if a perfectly nerdy union like that of Battier and Bosh happens a lot, but you can be sure that Chris isn’t looking his gift horsetronaut in the mouth. Yeah, part of that is because you can’t see things that are close to you with a telescope, but more so because I’m sure he loves his telescope. After all, he’s been known to be a fan of messing around with lenses.
On Tuesday’s live episode of The Starters, the guys discuss whether Mike Woodson’s failure to call a late timeout is a fireable offense, Bradley Beal’s return, Joe Johnson’s crazy third quarter, Kobe’s rough night, Josh Smith doin’ work, and more.
All that, plus Brent Barry joins us in The Bone Zone to talk Pau Gasol, trades, endorsements, Christmas carols, and The Ashes’ urn.
Shoutout: Because I’m not a glutton for punishment, I wasn’t really paying attention to last night’s Sixers-Nets game, so when I heard Joe Johnson had “29 in the third,” I thought they were saying he’d scored 29 points through three quarters. But I was wrong, as JoeJohn went for 29 points in the third quarter alone. For the season, he’s scored more than 29 in an entire game just one other time, so this was pretty baldwin.
Not so much: Seemingly not content with having lost games to the Bucks and Knicks — while also needing a banked in three from Mike Dunleavy to beat the Bucks in Milwaukee — the Bulls went out and lost to the Magic, just to prove that even though they’re still somehow in ninth place, they might very well be the worst team in the Eastern Conference right now.
Two-nine: Those 29 third quarter points by Joe Johnson? Here they are.
Amongst those 29 points were eight threes, tying the NBA record for most bombs in a quarter. As my Nets fan friend Jeremy said afterwards, Joe was “making up for all his misses last year.” Fair enough.