DimeBag: The Weekly Dime Mailbag, Volume II

DimeBag

DimeBag (design. Ryan Hurst)

Another week, another DimeBag. Once again, your creative curiosity does not disappoint. In this week’s addition, the DimeBag touches on Big East Recruiting, NBA street fights and tipping etiquette. Anyway, to the questions.

Kyle, Virginia:

You said Kendrick Perkins would beat Ron Artest in a fight. I understand your reasoning, but I have to go with the most people on that one and take Artest. So assuming he wins that fight, is there anyone in the NBA that can take him out?

Besides Perkins (I’ll defend that one to the death, even if it means infinite commenter scorn), I’m going to have to go with…no one else. I think those two are the clear-cut NBA brawl favorites. Although others definitely in the conversation would include:

LeBron – No killer instinct. Will the joke ever get old? Probably not.
Carmelo Anthony – Disinterested in defense
Dwight Howard – No refs to complain to
Paul Pierce – Anyone that gets knifed and lives to tell about it deserves a chance in my newly dubbed NBA street fight tournament
Stephen Jackson – No. 2 on the “he could have been a top 10 NBA player at some point if he wasn’t crazy” list – behind Artest, of course.
Ben Wallace – A little past his heyday
Tyson Chandler – Too slow
Emeka Okafor – I feel like he’s got a lot of pent up anger from being constantly reminded that Orlando made the right choice by taking Dwight. Seriously, a kid with braces went ahead of him.

I’m probably missing a bunch of guys here, but frankly I’m too lazy to pour through NBA rosters and find everyone.

Although this seems like a silly game to play, we’re reaching a point in the lockout where everyone seems to be turning to streetball. And we all know the deal there. No refs, or simply dudes standing in black and white shirts only blowing the whistle for out-of-bounds and blatant punches/elbows. So what does that mean? You need toughness. Guys willing to dish out some pain and man enough to take some, too. If I’m assembling an NBA streetball roster in my make-believe NBA streetball league, I’d probably have some combination of those 10 in my starting five. Worst comes to worst, my team could just kick the sh*t out of the opponent until they surrender and take the loss.

Drink The Haterade, Bowling Green, Ky.:

Why did Kris Dunn and Ricardo Ledo sign with the Providence Friars? They both had offers to go to UConn. So what is it about Providence that has them suddenly attracting such studs?

One reason: blind, unadulterated, although sometimes misguided confidence. Don’t get me wrong. I would kill to be the star of the UConn men’s basketball team. But how many kids can go to big-time programs and be the star? Not many. Most kids that sign with these big-name programs (Duke, UNC, UConn, Syracuse, etc.) see greatness, glory, girls and the chance at legendary status. But what happens? They’re competing against guys of similar talent in their own freshman class, plus older players that are slightly bigger, stronger, more experienced, etc. So their minutes aren’t great and their draft prospects aren’t too hot either. Then they end up in the D-League or aboard, without an education and a basketball career that’s over by 27.

Unless I was a surefire starter or soon-to-be star of one of these programs, I’d look elsewhere. (Remember, we’re momentarily shifting to the alternate universe where my athletic peak wasn’t at 13). I’d follow the route of Dunn and Ledo – they saw an opportunity where guaranteed big minutes, the glory of building a winner (Jamine “Greedy” Peterson and Marshon Brooks are gone) and the chance to prove themselves against high quality competition were all possible.

That’s another thing – If I were the guy to bring a program back to glory, I wouldn’t go to a mid-major because I’d open myself up to one major criticism: I didn’t play against good competition, so of course I had good stats (I’m looking at you Jimmer – although I think he’ll be solid in the NBA, but that’s another matter). Instead, I’d go to the lower dregs of one of the big six conferences (Pac-12, Big East, SEC, Big 12, Big 10, ACC). It’s the best of both worlds, and I think that’s exactly what Ledo and Dunn have done here. Well, hopefully Ledo, now that he’s called off his official announcement. Providence fans, cross your fingers. Maybe he falls into the big time program trap after all.

Page 2

Anonymous:

Despite his Finals struggles, I think most would agree that LeBron is the best player in the league. When both their careers are over, who’s considered better? Kobe or LeBron.

This is a total trap question – and maybe that’s why you remained anonymous so I couldn’t hate you for it. But I’m going with LeBron and won’t say anything else because I need that extra time to hide from the bombarding verbal assault Kobe fans are about to unleash.

Harrison, Trenton, N.J.:

It must be a terrible feeling to be a guy who’s value is measured by their contract and not their ability. But if your that rich, do you care either way?

Let’s take Eddy Curry as an example. No matter what he did, he couldn’t escape the scorn, hatred, and fat jokes from Knicks fans. Not only that, but he’s also the reason why the NBA is locked out – the owners are mad that guys like that can eat (in this case literally) salary and contribute zero to teams while the players, understandably, don’t want to give ground when they have such a good deal in place. So the real question here is, how much money would you take to accept Curry’s shunned status? The only reason why anyone cared about him was because of his trade value. It’s sad, really. But can you blame Curry for accepting a huge contract? Absolutely not. If your boss went up to you right now and offered you 20 times your current salary to stay on for the next five years, would you say no? I didn’t think so. So ultimately I don’t think Curry cares. Money solves a lot of problems.

Brandon, San Francisco, Calif.:

Josh Selby seems to be blowing up in summer league games? Didn’t NBA teams really mess up by not drafting him earlier?

Yes and no. Streetball only brings out the best in people. Because he’s been playing in a lot of big time leagues and games, we see the dunks, crossovers and general domination. What we don’t see, in any form, is defense. Even when he went up against Brandon Jennings, Jennings wasn’t giving his all on that end. When nothing’s at stake, everyone pimps his own brand. Offensive brand, that is. That’s what we’re seeing Selby do.

I do agree that Selby probably should have gone higher in the draft. But then again, I generally trust NBA teams. Just like everyone else, I think I’d be the greatest NBA GM of all time. So while it’s hard to cast aside visions of myself ripping off Danny Ainge in a trade, these guys know what they’re doing.

Evan, New York:

Why is tipping customary? Shouldn’t you only get a tip if you do something well?

Absolutely agreed. This is particularly annoying at bars. Any time you order a beer, you’re obligated to tip at least a dollar. All the guy did was put the glass under the tap and give it to you. Frankly I’d rather them just raise drink prices instead of having to tip. Tips should be reserved for a job well done. As it stands now, you essentially have to tip anyone that doesn’t spit in your food/drink. I think that’s the cutoff level right now.

Even worse, I hate it when they add in gratuity for bigger parties at restaurants. It’s like they’re telling you, “Well, we’re going to assume that you love us so we’re just going to add 18% to your bill. Thanks!”

Now don’t get me wrong – I understand that waiters, bartenders, etc. don’t make that much money, so I always feel inclined to give a healthy tip. But merely the principle of the whole thing, it makes no sense. Then again, when I went to Barcelona, I was charged for water and bread. That kind of sucked. But there was no customary tipping, so ultimately justice prevailed (don’t worry, I tipped anyway. The service was usually outstanding for us clueless Americans).

That’s all for this week. Check back next Wednesday for Volume III.

HOW TO SUBMIT: E-mail dimebag@dimemag.com with your question/story/idea and include your name and hometown. If you really insist on being a sketchy anonymous Internet weirdo, I guess I can’t stop you. So at least provide some sort of name and location.

Follow Dylan on Twitter at @DylanBotB.

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