On today’s Inbox Wars, I go head to head with Los Angeles-based but Dallas-born comedian Mark Agee as we build to the Pelicans vs. Mavericks in the Smoothie King Center on Saturday night.
My Pelicans are playing your Mavericks this weekend in New Orleans. It’s early in the season so playoff predictions are kind of silly, but regardless, I’m going to make one. I predict that if my Pelicans can beat your Mavericks this Saturday night and five more times in the regular season, that we’re making the playoffs and you are not. Trust that I realize this is a very bold prediction, but fortune favors the bold, and this season I’m trying to make a fortune. Anyway, so, what are you going to do in late April when your team isn’t playing basketball? Or do you even understand the concept of planning that far in the future?
Nah we’ll be playing in April. Don’t forget the Mavericks were the only team that gave the Spurs any competition in the playoffs last year. I think we’re probably a 4 or 5 seed. The Pelicans are probably a 3. Not a 3 seed, just a 3. Honestly, it’s kind of hard to look in the future with this Mavs team considering our average age is 83. (I think some of our guys played in the ABA.) Tyson Chandler’s back and we’re resigning J.J. Barea, two guys from the 2011 championship team. It has a very “getting the band back together” feel. Just a bunch of old dudes on one last mission. I’m not sure if this will be awesome, like the idea for “The Expendables,” or terrible, like “The Expendables.”
In contrast, the Pelicans are the second-youngest team in the Western Conference. And it looks like you’re really growing with your big acquisition this summer… Omer Asik? Didn’t he spend all of last season on Houston’s bench yawning and using an emery board? I know the advanced metrics guys love Asik, but his actual stats are comparable to mine.
It is hard to hate the Pellies, though. Anthony Davis is such a beast. Really smart to surround him with Holiday, Gordon and Evans, three guards who won’t throw him the ball. And when he does get the ball, it’ll be fun to watch him try to drive the lane with Asik camped out directly under the basket, the only place he’s actually a threat.
Is it weird that both our teams’ biggest adversary this year will be injuries, considering the age difference? There might not be a bigger gap in iPod content in the league than between these two teams.
Funny you mention iPod content. I just had to delete a bunch of Polyphonic Spree that a friend put on mine as a terrible prank. They are the most famous people from Dallas, right? Do they go to games? Is it even fun to watch games in Dallas? I would rather eat a truckload of that famous lackluster Dallas BBQ than have to drive to Dallas and watch a game there.
Asik is gonna be great for us. I’m not surprised you don’t like him because Texas NBA fans are required to have irrational problems with quality players from other Texas teams until they sign with your team. Then they are efficient, team oriented, and the missing piece to a championship.
I do like Mark Cuban a lot, though. He’s the guy that made Fubu that’s on that Bar Rescue show, right?
There’s lots of famous people from Dallas. A lot of big televangelists are based there, plus there’s Lee Harvey Oswald and the Dixie Chicks. And come on, insulting barbecue? It’s good, but I’ve never gotten into the barbecue wars. It’s meat over fire. It’s impossible to do badly unless you drop it in the dirt.
And we get it, New Orleans has great food. Everyone who’s been there knows that, even if they didn’t enter a restaurant. Because let’s just say the Pelicans sell a lot of XXXL t-shirts.
You’re pretty cocky considering your franchise’s main impact on basketball in the past decade was playing a season in Oklahoma City that went pretty well, attendance-wise, so you cost Seattle the Sonics. (One of the relatively-untragic but still bad effects of Hurricane Katrina is that it destroyed sports in Seattle. This my NBA chaos theory.)
But I’m also excited about your team. I can’t wait to see Austin Rivers embarrass his father the two or three times this year you guys are on national television.
I only insulted BBQ to get under your skin, but that didn’t work so I apologize. You know what else won’t work? Getting the band back together. It’s kind of the basketball equivalent of “dropping it in the dirt.” I was happy that the Mavericks beat the Heat a few years ago but it kind of has a New York Giants Super Bowl feel to it – very forgettable to everyone outside of Dallas. Also did you know the 4th fattest city in the country right now is Dallas? San Antonio and Houston are ranked in the Top 10 as well, but not as high as 4th so that’s another way they’re better than D-Town. Do people call Dallas D-Town?
OK, the BBQ thing didn’t work, but I will not stand for you insulting the most memorable championship run of my lifetime. Dallas was the underdog in every round, and underdogs never win in the NBA playoffs. (You may not be aware of this as a New Orleans fan, but the playoffs consist of seven-game series.) We crushed the Lakers in round two. I was at game four when we finished the sweep with a kazillion-point blowout and I saw Kobe Bryant quit on his team in the middle of the third quarter. The most competitive psycho I’ve ever witnessed play basketball — I’d argue he’s destructively crazy, as opposed to Jordan’s constructive psychosis — hung his head in shame and asked out of the game repeatedly. That was Phil Jackson’s last game as a coach and he didn’t even bother watching the last 20 minutes. He just stared into the middle distance, like he was trying to come up with a new zen koan. “What is the score of one team playing?” or something. You don’t think those two remember that Mavs team?
That 2011 run was also at the height of the Lebron hate, so during the finals for two weeks the Mavericks became America’s team. The city of Cleveland was throwing Mavs watch parties. There was a #CAVSforMAVS hashtag for Jeebus sake. A hashtag! Hashtags are the only reliable way to gauge Americans’ feelings about anything nowadays. (I don’t trust those electronic voting machines.)
I was apartment hunting in Los Angeles at the beginning of the finals and hadn’t spent much time here prior to that. I was watching game two at a bar and everyone was rooting for the Heat, because they’re bandwaggoners, Lebron is dope and we’d just crushed the Lakers. Wade hits a three with seven minutes to go and celebrated right in front of our bench. We were about to go down 2-0. The series was over, we’ve seen the Mavs choke before, yada yada. But then Dirk happened. We went on a 20-2 run and ended up winning by two. THE BAR SWITCHED SIDES, CHRIS. Dirk physically moved the entire city of Los Angeles from one bandwagon to another.
When you can move L.A. away from the cool team that wears sunglasses and pastel man capri pants to the club, that’s memorable. Speaking of memories, do you still have any of New Orleans’ last basketball playoff run? Wasn’t Pistol Pete on that team?
The last New Orleans playoff run started with a first round win over the Dallas Sad-ricks (does that work?) in a 7 game series in 2008. But you’re right, there hasn’t been much since then. I’ll give you that. I’ll also give you that championship story – to be honest, I was happy for you all.
Look, it’s too early in the season for us to get into anymore of an internet knife fight. Our teams are going to be playing each other a lot. We’re going to be monitoring the playoff standings a lot. Let’s not spend anymore of our time getting worked up until it means something. Then I’ll be sensitive when your season comes to an end at the hands of the NBA’s future dynasty, the New Orleans Pelicans.
Are we cool, Mark?
Oh yeah, we’re cool. Honestly, I like almost everybody in the NBA outside of Kobe and Dwayne Wade. We’re talking about a league where Chris Bosh does computer coding in his spare time, Russ Westbrook dresses like Space Urkel, and Josh Smith is currently in a literal feud with the concept of dreadlocks. It’s just a fun time.
Looking forward to the game Saturday night. Davis looks like a monster. He’s really coming into his own, not to mention his eyebrow looks like it’s moving into the pupa stage. I sincerely hope he looks amazing while getting a triple-double in a 15-point loss.
I’m so excited the NBA is back.
Mark Agee is a comedian who’s written for a couple of now-cancelled television shows. He’s currently developing a half-hour comedy for FX. If you’re in L.A. and like old hip hop and laughing, he also co-runs a monthly show at Meltdown Comics called “Can I Kick It?” Follow him on Twitter @markagee.