I'd wager that more than a few of you clicked on this link because you saw the title and thought I was doing something serious like stating a case as to how Brendan Haywood was precisely the rangy, athletic big the Spurs needed to grab during the upcoming offseason. Well, you were wrong. It's way more serious than that. Follow me inside. There's candy in there...
Brendan Haywood is a player that many of us will initially take a look at and decide that he's exactly the kind of serviceable big that could fill in spot minutes in a rotation needing size and mobility. For starters, he's a seven footer that has, on occasion, displayed a modicum of athletic ability while perpetuating the con that he also possesses Basketball I.Q. to accompany. It's hard to admit that one could easily be fooled by the Brandan Haywood Dossier. He's tall, first and foremost, which is what many past NBA Greats have allegedly been as well. His jersey number is 33, which was worn by useful players like Ewing, Pippen, Kareem, Larry Bird, and others. He even does things like wear a headband, which is the universal basketball sign for "I go hard in the paint.", or "I am Stephen Jackson." At second glance though (which is really all it takes, even though OSHA would recommend that you take at least nine, for safety), we find that Haywood is actually none of which he advertises himself to be, and actually the personification of a hurtling descent toward negative basketball hyperbole.
My friend Jake (who is mentioned by name out of thanks for notifying me of Haywood in much the same way as one notifies you as a friend that you're unwittingly preparing to drive through lava with the top down) and I have actually taken to studying Haywood with mindful eye towards science and community service. Despite the fact that both of us tend to look at things through the perspective of Devil's Advocate, we quickly fell on the unfortunate conclusion that Haywood has no redeeming qualities, and whose actual performances on the court far surpass our jokes of him, which were previously thought to be Gary Larson-esque forays into exaggeration. Though that might strike some as being unfortunate for a player whose sole contributions to his team are always being at the wrong place at the wrong time, and starting fast breaks in a direction detrimental to that of the Dallas Mavericks, the reality is that Brendan Haywood has in fact transcended the game of basketball, and become a real world application to describe the malady and malaise of any given situation. See for yourself in a variety of real world situations, where Brendan Haywood is used to accurately convey the weight of the moment.
Haywood, right, seen in last night's Game 2, fouling and otherwise not accomplishing anything.
- -"Dude, whatever you do, DON'T look over your shoulder. There's a girl at the bar looking at you. Total Haywood though. Just foxhole it, and keep your head down."
- - "I don't know what happened, man. We were all set to go on that presentation this morning, until Roger pulled a Haywood and sat on the model. Now we're screwed..."
- - "Look, I'm trying to be a team player about this. You agreed to be my wingman, and now you're backing out. Quit being such a Haywood."
- - "I'm telling you, Skylar. The date started off well enough, but the more I talked with him, the more I realized that he was just... 'off'. Believe me. That's the BEST thing I can say about these Haywoods you keep setting me up with.
- - "I know I screwed up, sweetie, and I'm sorry. It was a real Haywood thing to do. I don't know how I'll make it up to you, I just hope that you'll forgive me."
- -"You're damn right you screwed up. I mean, I'd almost be willing to understand if it had been some other girl, like a supermodel or something. But what I don't get is why you'd just go off with some Haywood... I just don't think I'll ever understand."
- -"LOOK! WE DON'T HAVE TIME FOR THIS! THERE'S CHARLIE CRAWLING ALL OVER THIS PLACE! WE HAVE TO GET TO THAT RADIO AND CALL IN AIR SUPPORT TO GET US OUT OF THIS HAYWOOD! COVER ME!"
- -"Billy, look. I mean, where do I start. I don't want you to think I'm as upset as your mom, but the fact of the matter is that you have to apply yourself. Try harder. You're way too smart to be making these grades. I mean, for God's sake. People are gonna think you're some kind of Haywood."
- -"Well, Matt. Some days you just don't have the stuff. I mean, Beckett started the game off strong, striking out five of the first eight batters he faced. Toward the middle innings though, we could see that the fatigue was starting to set in. Francona decided to stick with his man, but you see here he lost the gamble this time, as Beckett leaves a fat Haywood over the middle of the plate. It never had a chance.
- -"Alright. We've been in situations like this. This is why we practice. Manu's gonna inbound the ball to Tony, and we're gonna work some clock near the top of the key and make sure we get the last shot. Timmy's gonna set the high screen, and Tony, you're gonna penetrate and look to kick it back out to Manu. He should have an open look. QUALITY SHOTS though, Gentleman. We got here with teamwork. If the shot isn't there, Manu, look for Timmy. He's our go-to down in the post. Don't just be throwing up some Haywood out there. We've come too far."
- -"If Coach tells you that I missed Haywood, then that's that. I may have missed one Haywood this year but if somebody says he missed one Haywood of all the Haywoods this year, then that's enough to get a whole lot started. I told Coach Brown that you don't have to give the people of Philadelphia a reason to think about trading me or anything like that. If you trade somebody, you trade them to make the team better...simple as that. I'm cool with that. I'm all about that. The people in Philadelphia deserve to have a winner. It's simple as that. It goes further than that. If I can't Haywood, I can't Haywood. It is as simple as that. It ain't about that at all. It's easy to sum it up if you're just talking about Haywood. We're sitting here, and I'm supposed to be the franchise player, and we’re talking about Haywood. I mean listen, we're sitting here talking about Haywood, not a game, not a game, not a game, but we're talking about Haywood. Not the game that I go out there and die for and play every game like it's my last but we're talking about Haywood man. How silly is that? ... Now I know that I'm supposed to lead by example and all that but I'm not shoving that aside like it don't mean anything. I know it's important, I honestly do but we're talking about Haywood. We're talking about Haywood man. We're talking about Haywood. We're talking about Haywood. We're not talking about the game. We're talking about Haywood. When you come to the arena, and you see me play, you've seen me play right, you've seen me give everything I've got, but we're talking about Haywood right now. ... Hey I hear you, it's funny to me too, hey it's strange to me too but we're talking about Haywood man, we're not even talking about the game, when it actually matters, we're talking about Haywood ... How the hell can I make my teammates better by Haywooding?"
Surely you, the reader, have found yourselves in a variety of similar situations, with some of you perhaps even experiencing one or more of the ones listed above. With practice, you'll find yourselves effortlessly able to describe any such event you find yourselves in for what it really and truly is, a "Haywood".
Have a great weekend, and remember, Haywoods are contagious. Be Safe.