DimeBag: The Weekly Dime Mailbag, Volume I

This is exciting. I can honestly say I was impressed by your ingenuity, curiosity and grammar. Considering none of those usually fall under the unwritten rules of commenter etiquette, I think it’s a sign of good things to come. Anyway, to the questions.

Daniel, Chicago:

If the Nets change their name once they move to Brooklyn, what should they be renamed?

The New Yorkers. Without a doubt. If the rumblings that Mikhail Prokhorov might just have the sack to follow through on that name, I’d jump for joy. As a Knicks fan, I’d be slightly appalled, taken aback and ultimately pissed. I mean, the Knicks are New York’s team. But as a fan of awkward contention and Russian billionaire bravado, I’d be delighted. I can just imagine James Dolan pissing his pants in fear. Of course he’d probably call Prokohorv and David Stern in protest and the name would be squashed, but hopefully Prokorhov would push Dolan off with a wave of the hand and a bottle of vodka. On a serious note, I do think it’s just the kind of ballsy move the League needs to shake things up.

Quincy, Atlanta:

The Clippers and Warriors both play with small backcourts, but the Warriors drafted Klay Thompson to play next to Stephen Curry to add size and balance to the backcourt and to eventually trade Monta Ellis. The Clippers play Eric Gordon, Mo Williams, and sometimes Eric Bledsoe together. Most of the Clippers guards are 6-3 with the exception of Travis Leslie who is 6-4. Eric Gordon is 6-3 and undersized at SG, but he plays good defense on the opposing PG, but he can’t really defend the opposing big and taller SGs. Shaun Livingston is in the last year of his contract and he has shown he can still be a starting PG in the League. Do you think the Clippers should bring back Shaun Livingston?

I’m not going to lie – when Livingston was drafted in ’04, I had the same Magic Johnson reincarnation thoughts everyone else had. But that knee injury, even though he’s years past it, scares the living hell out of me. Plus the guy’s 25 already. My heart says yes, but my brain says no to the Clippers remarriage. Mo Williams is quite possibly the biggest defensive liability of all time, so don’t expect him to be in the long-term plans. He was just a necessary component of the “let’s do everything possible to dump Baron Davis on some other unsuspecting loser.” The Clippers were so desperate to get rid of him, or at least Cleveland was so unwilling to take him, that L.A. had to fork over an unprotected first rounder just to unload the Baron.

Ultimately the Clippers have to decide if a future core of Eric Gordon, Eric Bledsoe, Al-Farouq Aminu, Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan (assuming they keep him) is good enough to win a title down the line. At this point, I’d say they’re still an everything small forward away from true contention – someone like a Trevor Ariza. With the cap flexibility they have, that kind of player wouldn’t be too difficult to acquire. Then again, it’s hard to trust anything run by Donald Sterling, especially when the Clippers thought it was a good idea to go from Mike Dunleavy to Vinny Del Negro. I’m still waiting for the explanation on how that’s an upgrade.

John, New York:

Fantasy football, NBA 2K11, who was more wasted last night/remembers less, Super Smash Bros: every guy in the world has gotten into at least one fight/argument over something on this list. To bystanders, idiotic. But for those involved, it means everything. Why?

Pride. Men don’t like losing. Me especially. I’ve gone through way too many Xbox controllers from simply throwing them at the wall because of 2K11 losses. To combat this issue, now I simply throw the controller straight up in the air so I can avoid hitting anything – well, there was the light that one time, but the shattered glass missed me so no harm, no foul, right?

It’s like the Shaq/Kobe rivalry. It’s been years since the five-year-old girl drama, but what did Kobe do when he won his fifth title? He let us know that it was one more than Shaq. The unenlightened would say, “Who cares? You both won!” But it’s not just about winning. It’s about one-upping everyone. When I run on the treadmill at the gym, I look at the speed of the dude next to me and bump my speed up to .1 MPH faster than him. Why? Partly because I’m a jackass, but also because winning at the expense of someone else is genuinely satisfying. So all of you ultra high-horsed moralists out there, put away your words of equality and all-encompassing smiles. I don’t want to just win. Everyone else has to lose in the process.

KDThunderUp, OKC:

Most water fountains have a tall spout and a short spout. If both are open, the choice is obvious: tall. However, if, when you approach the fountain, and someone is using the tall spout, what should you do? Is it obnoxious to wait until the tall one is available? Wimpy to use the small one? Things to consider: neck craning cramps, lip proximity to gross spout thing, pride, reputation.

Good point. There’s definitely a “who does that guy think he is” connotation to choosing the smaller spout. I think the only exception for going with the smaller fountain is if the line exceeds five people. At the point, it’s just like, “Gimme some damn water already.” It reminds me of when NBA teams hire new coaches. The bigger market teams wait around for the big names because splashy signings are the only way to placate their obnoxiously volatile fan bases. The smaller franchises don’t have that flexibility, so they have to settle for the smaller fountain. They don’t have the money to wait in line – they’re not ultra-fancy-high-fountain water drinkers. So they hire Scott Brooks, John Kuester, etc. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. If they could, they’d wait in line every time.

Devin, Boston:

Why does every deli in the United States mess up a sandwich order 50% of the time?

The nice answer: they’re busy. It’s partially understandable because they’re trying to get rid of you as quickly as possible. So they don’t have time to care whether or not you wanted tomatoes. When I went to my usual deli last week, they gave me mayo instead of hot sauce on my grilled chicken sandwich. Don’t get me wrong – I love mayo. But I’ve been on a streak of hot sauce sandwiches recently, so I was pretty pissed when they contaminated my beautiful concoction. Even more annoying are the people who get there and have no idea what they want to order. It’s not like you had all day to think about it.

The real answer: they don’t care. Most delis maintain a monopoly over a few surrounding blocks (I guess I’m only talking about major cities – I’m unfamiliar with suburbia). If they mess up your sandwich, you’re just going to be pissed and pray they get it right next time. You’re not walking an extra two blocks just so you can potentially run into the same problem. The unconscious pull they hold with you is staggering, really. It’s a deli reign of terror. Granted their empire is about a two-block radius, but still.

Jackson, Maryland:

So who does win a fight between Ron Artest and Kendrick Perkins?

Glad you asked. If you hadn’t, I would’ve somehow managed to squeeze my thoughts into an answer to another question anyway.

There are a couple of factors to take into consideration. First, where does the fight take place? If it’s in an organized setting, Perk may just have the leg up due to his size and weight. Then again, Artest definitely wins a battle of “who could go more ape sh*t for no reason.” His unpredictability could be a detriment – he may go for the knockout punch, which Perkins could evade, and then Perk would come back with the devastating right hook. (If he hit me with one of those, my life would probably be in jeopardy). Or Artest could simply use any handy materials – chairs, rocks, whatever. He seems like he would use the environment to his advantage.

In the end, I’m going to have to go with Perkins simply because I think he can take a punch better. Everyone’s got that friend who has an unnerving tolerance for pain. Perkins just seems like that guy, times 419. Plus I don’t trust Artest to defend himself at all. He’d just be on the attack the whole time, and one Perkins counterpunch would be lights out.

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

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