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Why Tim Duncan Will Never Be Loved Like Michael Jordan

Illustration for article titled Why Tim Duncan Will Never Be Loved Like Michael Jordan
FunbagTime for your weekly edition of the Deadspin Funbag. Got something on your mind? Email the Funbag.

I was driving home the other day when a horrific accident played out at an intersection in front of the stoplight where I was stopped. I didn't see the initial collision, but I heard the crash and turned my head to see an SUV go rolling down the street, breaking apart like it was Talladega Nights. The SUV came to a rest upside down, and I couldn't see if the person inside was moving or not. I whipped out my phone to call 911, but people were already getting out of their cars, rushing to the scene and calling the police. I'm not an EMT, so there wasn't much for me to do, even though I felt like should have done something, like in The Apostle when Robert Duvall runs to a car accident and has the guy find Jesus just before he stops breathing. That was a nice thing for Robert Duvall to do.


So I made the turn onto the highway and went home. I checked this post to see if I did the right thing, and apparently going home and not blocking traffic was the correct move, especially since I didn't literally witness the collision. But I did notice other drivers driving straight THROUGH the accident site, like over the debris, because they couldn't stand the idea of waiting to go straight ahead or making a detour. Please don't do this. Don't drive over a body because you need to get to flute practice. That seems wrong.

By the way, my kid screamed out COOL! when she saw the wreckage. Kids just do NOT get it.


Your letters:


Reportedly, Tim Duncan is looking to sign a two-year contract with the Spurs, meaning he has two years left. If he wins a championship each of the next two seasons (3-PEAT!), will he be without a doubt the greatest player in NBA history? Would the world explode with such a modest presence supplanting the likes of Jordan and being the clear-cut G.O.A.T.?

I think some people would make that argument (and could make that same argument right now!), only to be ignored by people like me who loved watching Jordan play and can't get it up for Tim Duncan in the same way. I can admire Tim Duncan's achievements as I would some well-made, Oscar-winning movie that I would never want to see a second time. But Jordan was fucking Jordan, man. Jordan was a goddamn teleportation device in sneakers.

I probably don't appreciate Duncan the way some dipshit basketblogger says I ought to, but I don't care. (Maybe if there was some kind of World Cup of Tim Duncan, I could manage to tune in.) If Duncan wins seven titles, I'm still pining for Jordan like millions of other assholes. It's hard for any center or power forward to win your love, because those guys are always taken for granted. OH HEY THE TALL GUY DUNKED AGAIN WHAT A FUCKING SURPRISE.



Say the United States were to win the World Cup. Where would we put the trophy?

U.S. Soccer has an office in Chicago and a training facility in California, so they'd probably stick the trophy in a glass case at one of those two places after it made the rounds from bar to bar, with players affectionately rubbing their balls on it. But really, we should fuse the trophy to the top of the Statue of Liberty, to say to the world: THAT'S RIGHT. WE OWN SOCCER NOW. We've co-opted all of your food and all of your music. And now we're taking soccer, the one thing of yours that you never thought we could have or even want. SUCK IT. We shouldn't even give it back for the next Cup (like the Stanley Cup, there's only one trophy, and it gets passed from champ to champ). Just keep it and dare them to come take it.


I would also fuel the world's ire further by having the trophy sell out and do ads for Wonderful Pistachios, Bud Light Apple-AHHH-Rita, and Dr. Pepper. Really degrade the trophy… smelt it down and fashion into a Lombardi Trophy and etch USA CHAMPIONS OF KICKY FOOTBALL on it.


What's with dresses with an empire waist? Women all think it looks great on them, when in reality an empire waist makes literally 100 percent of women, fat or skinny, look 4-6 months pregnant.


It makes your tits look bigger, so you sacrifice enhanced ass-ness for the sake of your giant heaving breasts. That's a sacrifice you don't really need to make, since jeans and a tank will enhance both assets nicely. But women have a knack for talking each other into fashion trends that have nothing to do with sex appeal. Women are just as keen to impress one another as they are your sorry ass, if not more so. Men will want to have sex with women even if they're wearing a potato sack and orthopedic clogs. We're easily turned on and notice nothing. But it takes 16 hours of hard shopping and a $5,000 tab at Saks to make your best friend Tina feel inadequate and hopelessly depressed when she sees you rocking that empire-waist sundress.


How long could you last in a World Cup game before dying of exhaustion? I go four minutes.


Couldn't you last the entire game if you half-assed it? It's hotter than death out there, and I don't like running of any sort, but what if I just tried to blend in all game long, and never ventured more than 10 yards from midfield? I could also flop every 10 minutes to get a well-earned rest. Surely I could do that for an hour and a half, then trot off the field with my head high.

But if you're talking about actual trying? Ten minutes. Ten minutes and then death. It's like swimming. Ever swim one lap at age 37? It's horrific. I tried to show my kid the butterfly last week and did two arm flaps before pulling everything.



I know there's a 0 percent chance it will happen, but what do you think would happen if LeBron signed with the Spurs in the offseason? How many games would they win? Would old men embrace GLORY BOY LeBron playing with the TEAM FIRST Spurs? Would ESPN open a permanent office in San Antonio for the season to cover every meal LeBron ate?


I think some people would carp about LeBron front-running and glomming onto the team that just beat his team's ass, but all of those scorching-hot takes would be drowned out by casual fans tuning in to see if the LeBron Spurs could win 57 titles in a row. It's the same as if he joined the Thunder, which is also seen as an impossibility, although I don't know why that is. Now that LeBron has opted to become a free agent, any team willing to go over the luxury tax can sign him. And given that the NBA has a salary ceiling, LeBron is still worth the money even if you have to pay the tax on top of his contract. You'd sell enough LeBron Spurs jerseys to get back in the black in the first month.

And I don't know why LeBron would limit himself and say, "Let me sign with a team that's kinda good but still shitty enough to need me." He may as well consider every option, and every team should have a max contract sitting on a fancy desk somewhere for him to sign. Even if there's no shot, every GM should be like, "Let's offer LeBron James $120 million just in case he has a road beef here that he really likes visiting." It's only reasonable. I'd buy him theater tickets and everything.



I've always wondered what would happen if a fly fell from a tall height and landed on the ground without using its wings. Would being so light mean it can't fall with enough force to kill it, because of low terminal velocity relative to air resistance? I just knocked a fly gently with a magazine as it flew by me and it seemed dead on impact. I didn't think the force of the magazine hit was strong enough to kill it, could it have been from the fall?


I figured lightness had no impact on terminal velocity—like the old "Does a pound of pennies weigh more than a pound of feathers?" joke—but it turns out that weight does factor into how fast you fall from the sky. I just can't calculate it for a common house fly because the math looks really fucking hard. Suffice it to say: If you clipped a fly's wings and dropped the fly from a mountain top (and that fly deserved it), it probably wouldn't survive the fall. But falling from your windowsill? With that superstrong fly exoskeleton that acts as a kind of body armor that humans must and will one day replicate for future alien warfare? I think the fly survives it.

Flies are strange insects, and not just because they have to throw up food many times before sucking it down (yuck), but because you never know what kind of opponent you will have in a house fly. Some house flies are impossible to defeat, as in any old-timey Bugs Bunny cartoon. But then you get some flies that barely move at all. I killed one the other day, and it couldn't have given less of a shit. It stayed put the whole time. Was it dying of cancer? Bored? Was it lacking in good condition and/or motivation? Or did someone else nail the fly beforehand, and now it comes limping to my house? I want a fair fight. I want the best that fly can give me. I take no joy from beating him shorthanded.


Sometimes you'll swat a fly and he'll fall to the floor, and you think he's dead, but he's just kind of lying there, and then you have to decide if you should kill him or put him outside or just leave him to suffer. I usually wad him up in a paper towel, crunch him good, and then toilet him. That's the dignified end he would have wanted.


My entire life, when the (big) bag of Doritos gets down to the end, I have taken scissors or a knife and cut the top half of the bag off. This ensures that I am literally pouring all the orange-powdered chip remainders from the bag into my fat maw. LEAVE NO CHIP UNEATEN. People who don't do this are insane, right? You've already come this far with the bag of Doritos that likely didn't last more than an hour from start to finish. Why worry about your pride now?


My wife will sometimes throw the bag of Doritos or chips away without saving the dust, and I will then confront her angrily about this, because the reason I ate all the chips in the first place was to get to that part. Are you INSANE, lady? You threw out a sodium orgasm without telling me? Shame on you. They should sell big bags of crumbled Doritos at the store, and the bag should come with a fucking straw that's an inch wide.

Until a few years ago, I was too lazy to cut off the top half of the chip bag as it ran out of chips to eat. I would just fold it up and then, when dust-sucking time came, shake the bag to get all the dust down the little slalom course formed from folding the top over 60 times. This is not efficient. Sometimes you get cheese in your eyes, which hurts. And sometimes, pockets of chip dust get trapped, and you can spend months trying to extricate that dust, or worrying that you didn't get it all in your tummy. Cutting off the top gets rid of that angst and leaves you with a cute little chip-dust purse for gluttony on the go.



If the U.S. win the World Cup, how long would the riots last, and which city would riot the best (cause the most damage)?


My vote would be for Portland and/or Seattle, because they like soccer up there, and Portland soccer fanboys strike me as the kind of fanboys who would stage a riot specifically to show the rest of the world that we care enough about soccer to riot over it. Watch us burn this car, England! We're legit now! And we burned it with all-natural grapeseed oil! I think it would be a relatively mild riot compared to, say, any other winning nation, but a riot nonetheless.

I'll throw in Morgantown, West FUCKING Virginia, as a dark horse. They don't need a good reason to burn a couch.



Am I the only one that watches the World Cup and wonders how people from some of these countries afford to go there? I live in Texas and make good money (ooh look at me!), and there is no way that I could run myself into World Cup-type debt. It's either the country paying for some people to come over via a lottery or drug money, right?


It's the same as anyone who ponies up for Super Bowl tickets or some other grand, sports-related expense. They're either wealthy to begin with, or they have wealthy parents, or they're showing their true American colors by going into debt and not giving a shit, or they've prioritized their soccer fetish over more important expenses like school tuition and medical care, or they sell drugs. Probably drugs. Just so many drugs! Think of the drug market you could run for a month with emissaries from Africa, Asia, Europe, North America, and South America all flying into town. It's a World Cup of cocaine trafficking. I would be cutting deals for kilos and empty shipping barges left and right.

Some people, to their credit, aren't as tight-fisted when it comes to dropping thousands of dollars to fly to Brazil for a tournament that their favorite country probably won't win. I don't like spending money and rarely do so, and am flabbergasted when I see people drop loot on this sort of thing. Or when I go to a blackjack table in Vegas and some random fucker comes by and drops $100 chips all over the place. How could you treat money so casually? WE NEED TO GET YOU HELP, YOUNG MAN.





Canadian reader here with a question about America: Why do you fuckers get to call yourselves "Americans" and not United Staters/Uni's/USAers/something else more palatable. You people realize that America is a continent, right? You shouldn't get to appropriate a whole goddamn continent as your namesake. United States OF America. You are OF America, it says so right there in your country's name. I fully realize that this will never change as long as the country exists, but what if any rationale is there for it? When I see news footage of Middle Eastern people chanting "Death to America," I know they mean you guys, but Jesus, there's us, Mexico, and all of South America to consider. Explain yourself, Yankee!


Well, look, there's a New York, New York, right? Within the greater New York state, there is New York City, which has essentially usurped the New York name for itself. That's what we've done with America. You Canadians are also part of the larger America in the way that Utica is part of New York. And just as interesting!

We're the only country on the American continent that uses "America" in its name, so it was destined to get shortened to America, because we Americans are lazy and don't care for added syllables. If you wanted to co-opt the term "American" for yourselves, you should have thought about that before naming your country Canada. You could have been the Canadian Provinces of America, but you fucked up. We used our name as a clever way of indirectly annexing the entire hemisphere. It's like the Carolina Panthers blanketing the whole of two states. It's just smart business. So suck our AMERICAN balls. We're the real deal, amigo. The America name is ours, which is only fair, because Columbus found it for us way back when*.


(*False in many offensive ways)


The other day I took up four out of the eight washing machines in our building with my laundry. My roommates objected to this, saying I was being a greedy douche. What would you say is the most acceptable percentage of machines to use in any given laundry room?


I think using two during peak hours is all right. Doing laundry means you're probably in for the night anyway. Waiting one more dryer cycle isn't gonna kill you. It's worth not getting dirty looks from the old lady in apartment 12J to use half the machines. That's more laundry than I could handle in one sittin,g anyway. Underwear would be lost for certain.

By the way, I was folding laundry the other night and I've come to the conclusion that folding is the worst part of the laundry process. Carrying shit and sorting it is better. Pouring the soap in the washer is better (and kinda fun!). Only transferring heavy wet clothes to the dryer can compete with the existentially boring process of folding up five thousand kiddie t-shirts. I hate it. It makes me genuinely angry and despairing now. I've already offered to do all laundry chores in the house to my wife if she folds everything in exchange. She ain't taking the bait.



What are you supposed to do with your kid's teeth after the "Tooth Fairy" takes them? I can't throw them away, because it's from my child, and it seems rather disrespectful to throw a part of him in the trash. But, I can't keep the teeth, because that's seems pretty creepy in a serial killer sort of way. My current plan is to keep the teeth, but ignore the problem and hope they get lost or something. What do you recommend?


My wife does the switch at night with the tooth and the money, because if I were to do it, I would accidentally puncture my kid's eardrum with my big clumsy man-hands. After she successfully makes the switch, she usually puts the teeth in a little box for safekeeping. And then, after a few weeks or months have passed, the teeth usually get thrown away. It's amazing how much smaller they seem once they've been extracted from the child's mouth. They seem to shrink by 75 percent. They're tiny. If you drop one during the nighttime money transfer, you never find it again.

So if you throw the tooth away, it's fine. It's like keeping a child's art project on the wall. It won't stay there forever. At a certain point, you're confident enough in your memories to get rid of the clutter.


One time, my kid found one of her teeth on the floor after she had gotten the Tooth Fairy money. And she was such a sucker that she never made the connection. She was like, "Hey, the Tooth Fairy left this!" And I was like, "Oh, well, she gets a little clumsy sometimes! I'll FedEx that right to her." And the kid bought it. They're so easy to lie to!


Whilst walking across campus last week, I was unfortunate enough to find myself in the presence of this big guy singing at the top of his lungs. He was wearing Beats and just belting it out. And, honestly, he wasn't bad. But still. He was singing along with music no one else could hear, and it was annoying. I'm on a big campus, and he was going the same way as me, and I swear he was doing his best to keep up with me because he knew I hated it. So is this brand of noise pollution acceptable? What do I do about it in the future?


People do this at my gym a lot. They walk into the locker room with their cans on, singing out loud as if this is some kind of private recording studio. And they're always bigger and more muscular than me, so I never say anything. I just get the fuck out of there as quickly as possible. I don't know why people do this when they must know everyone will stare at them like they're a fucking subway hobo. No one is like, "That man is singing with such joy that now I want to buy the world a Coke!" This is strictly a matter of some dickhead bringing attention to himself, like a dude on the street talking loud on a cell phone. It's musical assault, is what it is.

So citizens of the world, I beg you: Stop doing this. No more singing along to your headphones in public. Your music is terrible, and I hate you.



I'm a 26-year-old working for a buttoned-up corporate America company. Most mornings, I purchase (and toast) strawberry frosted Pop Tarts purchased from the vending machine in the kitchen. This happens while every other adult is brewing their coffee (which I don't drink). This decision to have Pop Tarts is usually met with laughs and scorn and comments like, "Wow, Pop Tarts, really?" and as I walk back to my desk, I feel the need to hide them as if I'm smuggling contraband back to my desk. Who is in the right here? Are adults allowed to eat Pop Tarts? At what age do I have to stop eating Pop Tarts? Or, is this my one way to say fuck the man and maintain my individuality before I go full sellout?


Why are people mocking you for eating Pop Tarts? Pop Tarts are fucking great! If health weren't any consideration, I would eat enough Pop Tarts to fill an industrial sheet hamper. It KILLS me that I can't go to town on a box of brown sugar Pop Tarts without remembering what it will do to my body. So if you're bold enough to disregard the threat of diabetes, no one should be ripping you at the office for that. Secretly, they wish they could have a bite. They lust for your frosted strawberry goodness. Their snide comments are a symptom of personal repression, I tell you. They WISH they had the balls to throw that box of plain Cheerios out the window and smother their faces in replica strawberry-jam goodness. Stand tall, amigo. You have chosen to live.

Email of the week!


When I first moved to D.C., I got a job working for one of those "young leaders" organizations... you know, the ones that import hundreds of high school kids each week and unleash them on the city in ill-fitting suits and large white name badges. One day, our group was on Capitol Hill, and the students had about four hours to get lunch and explore. The only rule was: Don't leave the Hill... remain within the boundaries of the map you've been given. If students needed anything, the map showed where staff members are posted.

My fellow co-workers and I are in the Supreme Court cafeteria, enjoying the few precious hours we had that week to sit down, relax, and enjoy a meal. A young man—let's call him Steven—approaches our table and shyly asks for help. He's about 17, baby-faced, but a big kid. I was at the end of the table, so I slid out and walked him just out of earshot of the other staffers to discuss his issue in relative privacy. He says he's "just not feeling well" and he'd like to return to the hotel. Normally, when a student is that vague, it just means they don't want to participate in whatever they're supposed to be doing. Which is why their options are actually quite elegant. A student can either (1) go to the pharmacy, (2) go to the ER and wait hours to be seen by someone, or (3) rejoin the group. Neither of the first two options ever sound very enticing to a student who's faking it, so the third option is there as an escape hatch—a way for them to bail out of the ruse gracefully.

I remind the kid of his options and he says none of those work for him. He just "doesn't feel right" and wants to go back to the hotel. I'm sympathetic, because I'm suffering from a cold myself and I'm having to work through it on very little sleep. I'm all stopped up. I can't taste or smell anything. But I tell him no, returning to the hotel just isn't possible. He's visibly frustrated, but he says he'll suck it up and take Option 3. "Sounds good," I tell him. "Let me know if you change your mind." He walks away.

A few minutes later, he returns, now obviously distressed, his brow covered in sweat. Which isn't throwing any alarms for me, since it's the middle of July. We're all in coats and ties and we're all sweating. I tell him again, "No, sorry. Not gonna happen." Out of the corner of my eye, I notice my coworkers shifting in their seats. One of them is trying to get my attention. On the verge of tears, Steven sighs and walks off. My coworker grabs me by the arm, pulls me close, and whisper-yells in my ear, "LOOK AT HIS PANTS." I spin around just as he's leaving the room and see brown stains all over the back of his khakis. I look back at the table, where everyone is holding their hands over their mouths and audibly gagging from the smell, from which my cold has spared me.

I catch him just outside the cafeteria. " you, umm...need to go back to the hotel and change?" "Yessir, I really do." "Okay, no worries man. We'll take care of this. Come with me." I tell him to tie his blazer around his waist. I call up the girl who's on medical duty—let's call her Pamela—and tell her she's going to need to transport a student back to the hotel. She says she's headed there anyway. I can see the relief in his eyes. But neither really know what's in store for them. I haven't told Pamela why she's taking him back to the hotel, and I haven't told Steven there will be another student along for the ride who left behind her meds that morning.

The extremely compact four-door pulls up. Steven sees the pretty blond girl in the front passenger seat. His head drops and his jaw clinches. He opens the back door as I crouch down to talk to Pamela. I calmly and discretely whisper to her what she's about to endure, with a delicacy matched only by the high-wire act behind her: Steven is lowering himself onto the backseat ever-so-gently, in a futile attempt to minimize displacement. Without taking her glare off of me, she lowers all the windows and kills the A/C. Just as she shifts into drive and pulls away, Pretty Blond Girl begins to squint, then wince. And the three of them drive off down Constitution Ave, for the 40-minute trip to Maryland.

We couldn't get the smell out of the car and had to take it back to the rental place for a swap. The manager nearly wept. Oh, and Pamela and I were dating at the time. I slept alone for the remainder of the conference.


Drew Magary writes for Deadspin. He's also a correspondent for GQ. Follow him on Twitter @drewmagary and email him at You can also order Drew's book, Someone Could Get Hurt, through his homepage.

Image by Sam Woolley, photos via Getty.

The Concourse is Deadspin's home for culture/food/whatever coverage. Follow us on Twitter:@DSconcourse.

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