January 09, 2009
The D-League showcase is the minor league basketball family reunion. You see all the guys you haven't seen in months loitering around the lobby of the same hotel.
At this year's reunion, everyone was asking me when and why I left France. They quickly followed that question with "Can I get a Boom Tho shirt?" and "Where the heck did you get those Stewie Griffin slippers?"
I spent my time in the lobby of the Provo Marriot answering a lot of questions.
The Boom Tho shirt questions led me to realize that a lot more players were buying into the Boom Tho movement than last season. There will be a lot of guys in '09 Boom Tho gear, in TMRB posts and starring in videos sooner than you think. The hype and love made me feel good to be back stateside.
The Stewie Griffin slippers sparked a lot of dialogue amongst the guys. I told them that I was just feeling really casual right now. I was just really relaxed. Then there was one guy who said, "You know what NBA player looks exactly like Stewie Griffin, don't you?"
"No, I definitely don't," I answered.
"On your computer go check out the Washington Wizards," he said.
I had my laptop right there so I opened it open and went to NBA.com, then to the Wiz page.
"Alright go to the roster and look at Oleksiy Pecherov."
I was a little skeptical because Stewie looks really jacked up. The fact that a real human could look like him was a little hard to swal— the page finished loading and interrupted my train of thought.
Pecherov looked as close to Stewie Griffin as a human could look. (Ed. note: It's true.) There is no doubt that when this kid (a seven-footer) was a baby, he looked just like Stewie.
I now wear Oleksiy Pecherov slippers.
We played our first game against the Iowa Energy on Tuesday afternoon. My stats weren't awesome, but I felt like my legs were back working the way they should be. I converted a couple three-point plays and played some pretty good defense in crucial situations that helped us get the victory against the league's best team. (That, and my teammate David Bell's 28 off the bench.)
After the game I did an interview with D-League.com. I checked out the interview the next day and I thought it adequately described me return experience. You should check it out.
Now we're in Sioux Falls for a game tonight and tomorrow. Time to get grimy.
Rod Benson is a Cal grad who plays for the D-League's Dakota Wizards. When he's not busy answering questions, he blogs one or two times a week on Ball Don't Lie. Read his archive, pay a visit to TooMuchRodBenson.com and always support the Boom Tho movement.