Welcome to NBA Inbox Wars, a new feature here at Baller Ball where I exchange emails with a notable fan from the team opposite my New Orleans Pelicans.
My first guest is Ashley Burns. When Ashley Burns isn’t draining granny shots from the free throw line or practicing his sickest layups on a vintage Nerf hoop, he’s writing about all things fun and food at UPROXX, while making jokes about sports and sharing photos of his dog on Twitter. He dreams of one day coaching the Magic’s Over-50 Legends Team, if that is ever a thing.
I’m so happy that my New Orleans Pelicans are opening up the season against your Orlando Magic. Everyone is wondering if we are going to make the playoffs this year but nobody is wondering whether or not we’ll be victorious in the first game. I met a guy from Orlando in a Crossfit class and he told me that he doesn’t think the Magic will be any good this year. Do you agree with him? How many pull-ups can you do?
I’m so glad that you could take time away from eating crawfish, drinking hand grenades and puking on Bourbon Street, which is how I imagine all citizens of New Orleans behave daily. As for the first game of the NBA season between our teams, it will be nice for Ryan Anderson to look at the uniforms of the team that actually took him to the playoffs. I bet he misses Orlando a lot, since all those beignets must have made him gain 200 pounds. I think the Magic are going to surprise a lot of people this year, win about 40 games and sneak into that 8th spot in the East, since you, me and three cardboard cutouts of Alan Ogg could do that. Also, I can do three pull-ups.
Thanks for writing back so fast. How was Disney World today? I know you’re there as often as possible, since it’s in Orlando and all. That is so cool that you think the Magic are going to surprise a lot of people this year. It’s so much more fun to be optimistic when it comes to sports. Elfrid Payton seems cool and it will be nice for him to spend the beginning of his rookie season in his home state of Louisiana, recently named the happiest state in the country in a Harvard study (not sure where Florida ranked, but second place is the first loser IMO).
What are you going to do the second half of the game? I know the Pelicans will be up by a lot and it might not be as much fun to watch. Maybe you could go to the beach and look at the stars? Are there beaches in Orlando? Three pull-ups? With or without a band?
My friend, Disney was lovely this weekend. I spent some time in Tomorrowland, where they have a collection of NBA Championships for the next several decades. I was shocked to not see a Pelicans banner in there, but then I found it in Fantasyland. Elfrid Payton has me filled with hope for the future of the Magic, as I think he could end up being the point guard the team desperately needed when Dwight Howard was always shoving Jameer Nelson in front of a bus, and then farting on him. Maybe he’ll be as good as Chris Paul, but remain with the franchise that drafted him, instead of abandoning the S.S. Sinking Hornet.
I figured for the second half of the game, I’d just sit in front of the TV and cackle as the Magic’s bench comes in and expands the team’s lead over the PeliCAN’Ts to 50 or so. Maybe you could go to Channing Tatum’s bar and shoot your sorrows away. Remember, it’s only one game. There’ll be worse losses ahead.
And my pull-ups, unlike everything that happens on any given day in New Orleans, come without a band.
What’s up Ashley,
I was wondering if you had any insight on what it’s like to watch your team make it all the way to NBA Finals and then get crushed against a Western Conference opponent. It’s happened twice in your lifetime, right? Do you ever really recover or is basketball life just one big What If? Like, What If Nick Anderson wasn’t Nick Anderson? Or what if Shaquille O’Neal was dumb and stayed in Orlando? I’ve honestly never gotten to talk to anyone in your position (fan of a team that has come close, kind of, but is ultimately a “whoa I had no idea they were in the Finals” blip on the NBA Finals losers wikipedia page).
Anyway, it’s a beautiful day outside. I’m going to go hang with Channing Tatum, Drew Brees, Elvira, John Goodman, and Peyton Manning’s high school football coach. Do any celebrities live in Orlando? Does anybody live in Orlando? If yes, why?
Okay, first thing’s first – Orlando has a lot of celebrities. And we don’t need John Goodman to pretend like he wasn’t born and raised on St. Louis baseball so we can brag about it. (Elvira’s pretty rad, though, so I’ll give you boob, I mean that.) I’ve watched an inning of baseball with local legend Chris Kirkpatrick (he’s a Pirates fan) at our favorite watering hole, so I know a thing or two about rubbing elbows. Also, Erika Christensen calls Orlando home, as she helped open the world’s largest Scientology center. Can your city brag about the girl from Swimfan warding off Xenu? Didn’t think so.
It hurts to see my favorite team go the distance twice only to lose in the Finals, yes. I cannot pretend that it doesn’t. Know what else I can’t pretend? That the pelican is a good mascot. Someone tried to tell me that pelicans are fierce, but they just look like big, drunk, hungry birds to me, which is great considering the city. We’ve got a dragon, bro. A wizard dragon. He blows party favors out of his nose and feels up the women sitting in my row. Your Pelican set the internet on fire with his creepiness last season so much that I expect Chris Hansen to have courtside seats this year.
Ashley, Ashley, Ashley,
Can we stop fighting? It’s bringing out the worst in you. Pierre is already a legendary mascot across all sports and the Pelican is the most relevant and glorious team name in the NBA. Magic isn’t real, just like your playoff hopes. Just like Scientology. Just like your Eastern Conference Championship banners. Well, those are real, but forgettable. Can we please stop fighting and just enjoy the fact that our squads are tipping off the 2014-2015 season?
My finely-bearded and hilarious friend, you are correct. As the fans of two perennial lottery teams, we should be civil. After all, you have Anthony Davis, who is well on his way to becoming an elite big man the likes of Kevin Durant and with a maturity already decades ahead of Dwight “I Wear Diapers” Howard, and I have Victor Oladipo and Elfrid “On a Shelfrid” Payton, as well as a core group of young talents that play well together, to be excited about. If anything, both of us should be eager and supportive in watching our teams bring down the Big Shoe movement to keep the same 8 teams winning championships. Down with dynasties, up with the small market underdogs, I say!
But don’t you bad mouth those ECF banners. One day, when the Magic have moved to Kansas City, I’m going to buy one in an auction and then have you over for some BBQ so we can use it as a tablecloth. Until then, best of luck to your vicious Pelicans.
Chris Trew is a nationally touring comedian and Pelicans season ticket holder. Follow him on Twitter: @Trew2theGame