Jared Reiner: Never Ending Bus Trip
by: Zack Rosen - NBA Draft Prospect Blogger
December 9, 2010
Being on a bus with a teammate who smells of big foot's feet, Middle-Eastern cooking, and baby poop has turned this road trip into a nightmare. I am hoping my olfactory organs will be able to recover and work normally sometime in the next year. Because of weather and traffic, our original seven-hour trip is at eleven hours and counting. To make matters worse, our toilet is broke. If I didn't have my kindle and the Boston Legal series to watch, I might have gone insane hours ago.

Another example of the bad luck we have had this year came in November. We finally got a winning streak going and then we had a seventeen-day break without a game. For those of you who are keeping score at home, in Europe that means practice, practice, and then more practice. I didn't get to travel and see the sights like most people think ex-patriot athletes do while in Europe.

Then, we lost in overtime last weekend on the road in a game we should have won. That unneeded break definitely was not good for our mojo and ruined our game rhythm and timing. (A special thanks goes out to the genius scheduler who gave our team a seventeen-day break in November but no break for Christmas. Kudos.)

To add to the bad luck bug, during the last game I was hit pretty hard in the head. As a precaution I went to the emergency room right when we got home that night. The team trainer and I got to the hospital at 11:30 P.M. and four seconds later we realized no one was there. When I say no one, I mean nobody was around, not even a useless rent-a-cop.

The only sign of life was the receptionist's purse sitting on her seat. It was like they just dropped what they were doing and left. It is an eerie feeling walking thru a seemingly abandoned hospital in a foreign country.

Did I act like a child and go thru a couple drawers? Maybe...

Did I do the anal prostate exam joke to our trainer while I snapped a rubber glove on hand? Why wouldn't I?

After my comedic routine waned, we found an emergency phone and asked an operator for assistance. Fortunately, I wasn't seriously injured, otherwise Denny Crane would have represented me in my negligence lawsuit against the hospital. But since I was of able body and near able mind, I just cracked some more lame jokes. Most pertained to how the doctor and nurse were probably occupying their time.

When the doctor finally did show up ten minutes later, to say that he was less than stellar is a compliment. This cat was ignorant enough to be on Google while I explained for the fifth time that I was elbowed in the head during a basketball game. I told him over and over that I just feel a bit cloudy but I still remember everything. When he realized that his back was to me and I could see the screen, he quickly minimized the Google tab. Then he actually had the audacity to ask me what had happened, again. If I were just making things up, it couldn't sound any better.

Unfortunately, I just heard someone say that we still have over two-hundred kilometers to go and I have to go, literally. Looks like peeing in a bottle Dumb and Dumber style is my only option since our bathroom isn't working. Just wish I had the sack to spill on someone like what happens in the movie when the cop asks for the bottle.

I wonder if I should use the ‘give me the booze, you little pumpkin-pie-hair cutted freak' line again? Since I am bored and love to amuse myself, I am going to try to recycle it. It was funny the first time I used it hours ago but the second time it probably won't even get a courtesy laugh. What I can guarantee is that no one will be laughing if we adhere to our schedule and practice right when we get there. Come to think, practicing might be a way to air out my clothes.

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Jared Reiner: Just Rolling With the Punches
by: Zack Rosen - NBA Draft Prospect Blogger
May 13, 2010
While waiting for the nail-in-the-coffin free throw with 3 seconds left in overtime, I see an opposing fan singing and dancing on the baseline only a couple feet from me. No, it wasn’t a kid, but a well-dressed man in his 50s. Then I saw one of our well-heeled fans in a put-your-dukes-up stance not far away. There is no way these guys are going to fight I was thinking to myself. After the opposing player makes his free throw, we lower our heads and walk to the locker room in defeat. That’s exactly when the crowd erupts and punches start flying.

In Minneapolis on Thursday afternoon I was relaxing at home after a light workout when my agent called to say a club in Puerto Rico is interested in me. Not thinking much of it, I told him to let me know. I have been around long enough to know not to get my hopes up. Having your agent say ‘a club is interested in you’ is way different than ‘a contract is ready to be faxed to you.’ In this instance the stars happened to be aligned and a couple hours later I was offered and only had a few short hours to decide.

By 7 pm I had accepted the offer and by 9 pm I was all packed and on my way to a mind-numbing migraine from all the stress. I guess barely knowing the who, the when, and the where while only knowing the how much had gotten to me. Or maybe I was just sad that due to her schedule Jennifer wouldn’t be able to come enjoy the journey with me. Either way, at 11 am the next morning I was on a plane bound for Puerto Rico to become a Gallito, which is Spanish for a small fighting rooster. They have only 2 and a half weeks left in their season and are trying to qualify for the playoffs with me as reinforcement.

I landed in San Juan late Friday and got checked into a hotel around 10 pm. On Saturday I was up by 6 am and was driven 2 hours to Isabela, which is a small beach community on the northwest side of the island, for an 11 am practice. After grabbing lunch with one of my new teammates I stopped by Wal-Mart. A few random things including new bedding were needed for my apartment, which happens to be 40 yards from the beach. A nap was needed before I was off to that night’s game, in which I played all but 2 minutes. Unfortunately, we lost in overtime.

On Sunday, I woke up and took my team-provided Dodge Ram pickup for a little drive to get my bearings and some groceries, but accidentally locked myself out of my apartment in the process. So I called our team liaison, Rocky, who was once ranked in top 20 in the world as a surfer, to see how we could remedy the problem. Just when I think I can maybe relax on my day off and enjoy the beautiful weather I have to find someone to help me unlock my door on Mother’s Day. The crisis could have easily been averted with a spare key, but apparently the player who was staying there before took the keys with him just for spite.

While waiting I ended up walking down the beach and relaxing at a restaurant for a couple hours before I went with Rocky to watch some of the NBA playoffs. Finally at around 10 pm someone came and basically ripped of my doorknob to let me in. Surprisingly only some of my groceries spoiled in the 85 degree weather.

So yeah, I am literally just ‘rolling with the punches’ down here with more on their way since we play against our arch rivals tonight. I guess the last time we played this team the game was stopped 3 times because of fights in the stands so this should be an experience. Maybe I will see a good fight or two, but more importantly I hope we can get out of there with a win.

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The 12 O'Clock Rule
by: Zack Rosen - NBA Draft Prospect Blogger
February 1, 2010
No matter if you just left your agent an f-bomb filled tirade that you both know has no bearing on reality but just needed to be said, laughed about, and then forgotten, or if you just had the game of your life, the 12 o’clock rule must be enforced.

The gist of the rule is you can’t let good or bad play affect your mood or carryover to the next day. If you try to follow it you don’t get too high or too low. When you play well you will still have to go out the next day and prove that you are really that good. If you play poorly you have to prove that you weren’t really that bad.

But before I get to that, I want bring you up to speed. I went to camp with Minnesota and played well, only to be released a couple days before season after a last minute trade. Close only counts in horseshoes and grenades, so I won’t bore you with details of that experience.

To clear my mind, I took a trip up to the north shore with the better 3/4, or 3/25 as one of my coaches put on a scouting report. I won’t say if it is a current or former coach of mine that has fractional ineptness but I will admit it was a man. He really must have thought that since a quarter is 25 cents then three-quarter fronting the post must be 3/25. Seems logical I guess…

Anyway, I then stayed in shape at home for 6 weeks or so while I waited for the perfect offer in Europe. It never came, but I did turn down an unreal offer in Iran for crying out loud. I guess their money is just as green as the next club’s, but I chose the riches of the D-League and my safety instead, since I am still young and need to play and not sit at home (OK, 27 isn’t the new 19, but at least I am not 34.)

(Insert useless self-promotion here)

Now to the 12 o’clock rule. Tonight was my first game back since I tweaked my back. Even though I had been working out in the pool and had three practices to get my timing, my coach told me that he still wasn’t going to play me much. With that being said, I still felt the need to leave a hilarious voicemail or four to let off some steam since I only played 7 minutes.

It ain’t my first rodeo, but sometimes it feels good to leave a message that sounds like it came from a guy from my 803-person hometown we aptly named (first name) mfbomb *$@# (Last Name). Sounds better with the real name and real swear words but you get the picture.

Now that I am healthy, I am looking forward to the next couple days back home to get my rhythm. And since I use that rule, I won’t worry about the bad game.

For those of you who are keeping score at home, you must realize that a D-League budget doesn’t allow for chartered planes or traveling masseuses or chiropractors, so having 3 of 14 games in January at home is tough. January made me feel like Steve Martin in Planes, Trains, and Automobiles.

We played ping-pong in puddle jumpers while we seemingly flew everywhere but our final destination this whole month. That is just not in the best interests of a seven-footer who is trying to use his body to make a living.

I just love trying to talk 5’8” people out of their exit rows. Don’t get me wrong, I love people that are 5’8.” Hell Jen is that height, but it is ridiculous when a person of that stature tells me that they have long legs and need the extra leg room. I wish I could just barf all over them impulsively then say ‘Oh I guess I have to sit there now.’

But no, I take the high road and smile while I cram into a small seat. But it doesn’t stop there, oh no. Nine times out of ten the person across the aisle will make a ‘You just don’t fit, do you’ comment. Thank You Captain Obvious.

Perhaps I wouldn’t have tweaked my back had a Good Samaritan stepped up and relieved an ogre of his discomfort. Perhaps not. But seriously, things could be worse: I could have my main man and assistant coach Vitaly Potapenko’s thighs.

You all might remember him from his 12 or so years as a moving refrigerator in the NBA. He seriously is less built for travel than I; he isn’t fat, he is just solid Ukrainian thick.

When I see him crammed in his airplane seat his jeans look like they are going to explode. When he asks people in his thick Eastern European accent, “Cahn you pleaze have the kurtizy of moving for us cuz we owr beeg” people still get scared even though he is well spoken. It is fun to watch people cower in front him, though. The shaved assassin head doesn’t help him much either.

And just like clockwork I happen to write that sentence and look at the clock turn 12:03. I now have a clean slate and can forget the ‘ease your way back’ game. I can’t wait to get up in the morning and take a much-needed trip home to my wife for a few days for her birthday.

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Jared Reiner: Waiting Game in the Dog Days of Summer
by: Zack Rosen - NBA Draft Prospect Blogger
August 14, 2009
Call me old-fashioned or lame, but I don’t feel the need to update people on whether my Browns were successful in that morning’s Super Bowl. That is why I don’t Tweet or use Facebook. My cell phone is so old it doesn’t even have Internet. I am obviously out of touch with all the new waves of communication, since I only blog.

That is the short end of an apology to my avid blog readers for the lack of intimate instant communication that I deprive them of. And since I see my wife everyday and talk to the rest of my family enough to keep them in the know, the other ten people who read my blog are S.O.L.

The long end is that I don’t really have much to report as far my career-updates go. I probably should have put at least one blog out there about how much the economy effects the market. A missed opportunity to blog about the launching of beer grenades at a wedding I went to this summer also comes to mind.

You would think I would get used to all the uncertainty that free-agency brings considering all five years of my career I have never ended a season knowing where I will be the next. Most of the time I would just blog as usual and laugh about what is going on during the process. But sometimes the anxiety gets old and I prefer to use the out of sight out of mind approach. That might be the motivation behind my lack of blogging.

Some people have even asked me why I have tried to make NBA rosters on non-guarantee contracts instead of just going to Europe right away. Maybe it has something to do with European training camps starting two months before their regular season. And these camps usually are held in some remote location in the mountains and entail miles and miles of running. Or maybe there is so much narcissism running through my veins compiled with such an inflated sense of self-worth that I crave the risk of being fired at a NBA camp.

The real reason probably is that my agent just hasn’t found the right situation yet for me in Europe, and that I have nothing else to lose. It sounds crazy, but living situations and cultural differences sometimes play more of a role than money when I debate taking a job in Europe.

I also know that carousing the basketball rumor and transaction sites probably isn’t the best remedy to lessen my anxiety during free agency. I use it for motivation for my workouts though. It is kinda like the dog who sniffs someone’s crotch in an elevator when he knows that he is gonna gets reprimanded by his owner. He knows better, but the temptation is just too great.

Who knows? Maybe tomorrow I will be browsing the Internet on an up-to-date phone and I will see a roster move somewhere in the world that will determine where I will be playing. Then I can update my Facebook and tweet my new situation. Then again, my agent will probably just send me a text to encourage me to keep doing what I have been doing and reassure me something will happen soon.

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Just part of the Journey
by: Zack Rosen - NBA Draft Prospect Blogger
April 14, 2009
Just part of the Journey I guess.

I have always been told to keep things in perspective and realize that sometimes the good times aren’t that great and the bad times aren’t really that bad. Sure hope the latter is true for our situation here in Germany. My team won one game of fourteen or so before I arrived and now we are 4-8 with me. For a while our ship had been righted, but now we are back in troubled waters. Usually the close losses even out during a season, but we just seem to stockpile them.

Most teams that can’t find the correct side of the win/loss column seem to give up this time of year. Still, we come out and play hard despite the fact that we have only a month left and a glimmer of hope to avoid relegation. We just can’t seem to find the right balance of playing hard and playing smart.

Take this weekend’s game for example. We traveled ten hours on a bus the day before the game and upon arrival practiced longer and harder than we had all week. Still, we managed to play our opponent down to the wire, but lost all the same. It is possible, but improbable that all those factors affected why we didn’t win, but all teams have to deal with similar travel situations in Europe. Simply put, we just can’t finish a win.

Even though things haven’t gone our way in terms of winning, we need still need to finish the season with professionalism. That sounds like an easy thing to do, but it is hard in this type of situation to not get caught up in negativity, finger-pointing, and Monday morning quarterbacking—having perfect answers to what went wrong in the game the day before.

For the record, no pro athlete can say that they don’t ever second-guess decisions that have been made through the course of a season. I just mean that all of that is futile now. We need try to make the best of the situation and stay as positive as possible without overanalyzing everything.

This is just a chapter in my basketball journey of ebbs and flows I suppose. Peaches and cream this situation sure hasn’t been, but that is life. Sure I can sit here and find numerous positives, but I am merely talking about us not winning. My blogs have also been losing in a way. The last two were thrown by the wayside like a Mick Jagger groupie, but for good reason. Keeping my career’s best interest in mind, my editor helped me realize that sometimes things are better left unsaid.

So even though I knew the situation was tough before I got here, I am still frustrated with our progress. We have loads of talent, but just can’t get over the hump. Hopefully we can find a way to string some wins together to end the season strongly. Either way, the lessons learned this year definitely will help each of us later in our careers.

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Awake or Not?
by: Zack Rosen - NBA Draft Prospect Blogger
December 30, 2008
On a Monday the 15th I found out that my services were needed in Europe. On that Tuesday afternoon I traveled for roughly twenty hours to Germany. On that Friday, I went through two fun-filled practices with some serious jetlag. On Saturday, I played surprisingly well against my former team considering I had the biggest case of noodle-legs ever. On Sunday morning, I boarded another flight back to the states for a four day Christmas break. On Christmas Day, I flew back to Germany.

So instead of worrying about getting over jet lag once, I had to put my body through it three times in less than two weeks. Hell, the powers that be might as well throw a supreme case of bubble guts at me while they are at it.

Interestingly enough, my first payment was handed to me in cash. Guess I can put up with some jetlag if I get paid in cash before I get my bank account set up. One of my teammates joked that I should go to a Casino and bet black on the roulette table. It would have been awesome to tell Jennifer that I doubled our money. On the contrary, explaining how and why I gambled that money away would not have been so good.

I know, I know, I know. You can’t win if you don’t put it on the table, right? But Jennifer has to put up with enough stress dealing with the uncertainty of this business without having to worry about my gambling our money away.

It was my teammate Mike’s birthday, so I decided to grab some beers with him and the guys instead. It was a win/win, since I was able to avoid losing all my money gambling, and I also got to know my new teammates better. Mike is American, but has the best European mullet ever. Or worst European mullet depending on your taste.

My break was awesome, but it went by in a second, or so it seemed. Was sure better than the lack of break that I got last year in Spain, so I am not complaining. I am just saying.

On my trip back to Germany, I wasn’t able to sleep much, since the cat next to me was all in my business. Even putting on noise canceling headphones didn’t stop him from talking to me. I didn’t even get to break in the new Kenny Chesney CD the right way. At least I have a couple weeks to blare it in my apartment until my sweet Jen gets here and says no to country all the time. As my old Skyforce Coach Mo McHone put it in his southern drawl, “I don’t like country music, I LOVE country music!”

So I am back in Germany, and just struggled through the first day of two-a-days with even worse noodle legs than before. My whole body feels like I have been a roadie on an Amy Winehouse Tour.

I did witness something really profound at practice that made it all worthwhile. One of my teammates got so frustrated by one of his turnovers that he proceeded to scream and ran up the wall like he was Spiderman. Yah, he literally ran at the wall and tried to climb it. Since he has such a calm aura about him, it made it that much funnier.

Later that night with Euro-Mullet Mike, I concurred the Spiderman incident actually happened and didn’t occur in a jet-lagged dream I had. I guess when you are playing in Europe you sometimes wonder if what you see is really reality. Then you realize that it is Europe, and anything can happen at anytime.

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Not a Starbucks within a hundred miles
by: Zack Rosen - NBA Draft Prospect Blogger
November 11, 2008
Hunting with firepower out in South Dakota is what I did after Philadelphia released me. I had called my brother Matt to inform him that my wandering in Philadelphia was over, so he offered his condolences in the form of a hunting trip. He did warn me that there wouldn’t be a Starbucks within a hundred miles, though. Much obliged, I headed west.

When I jokingly asked if I could wear Calvin Klein loafers out in hunting country, my bro just scoffed and informed me he would make the necessary arrangements. The local Cabelas had more than enough gear to bring this city kid back to his country roots.

He really went all out in making me look like a hunter. Kind of like Jared Reiner the golfer, I look like a pro, but looks can be deceiving. You can never have enough shells for your Camouflaged Beretta is what he kept telling me. Shells are cheap, so keep shooting is his mantra. Just picture Rambo on stilts.

Yeah, but I did say firepower in that first paragraph? If I ever need to start a war with someone, or if anyone wants to start a war with me, the first place I will go is my brother’s house. We could hold up in his bunkhouse like an old western movie showdown. Hiding behind a tipped over table, we could yell things like ‘Is that you Sheriff? We ain’t coming out til your yella behind comes in here and makes us come out.’ No crap, we could.

But Matt was right in that a boys’ hunting trip is just what I needed. Being released from an NBA team is especially tough, but this time it really hurt. Guess not many players can say they went to a team’s camp and didn’t miss a shot in a game. Ok, three for three isn’t that hard, but seven-foot white guys usually don’t get paid to score. I thought that I truly had played my way onto the team, but this just goes to show that sometimes things are out of your control.

I had my fingers crossed after they cut the roster to the maximum of fifteen players and I was still alive. A couple other people in business had even called me to congratulate me, but I told them to hold off on the pats on the back. Somewhere deep down inside I had the feeling that the killing just wasn’t done.

So now what? I have been mulling over different offers all across the world, including exotic places like China and Sioux Falls. Take the money and run in China? Take a risk and go to Sioux Falls and pray for a call-up? Or take a secure job in Europe?

What shall I do? I guess I will just need to get back on the horse and hope he isn’t headed for the sunset…

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Hey Guys, Can I Play?
by: Zack Rosen - NBA Draft Prospect Blogger
September 25, 2008
Explaining what it is like trying to make a NBA roster on a non-guaranteed contract produced the aforementioned comment from one of my friends.

After we all got a nice laugh at my expense, I responded with something to the tune of, “Yah, and if that doesn’t work. I say, Please. I even brought my own shoes!”

It wasn’t quite as funny as my brother Matt singing the Springsteen hit ‘Streets of Philadelphia’ to me over the phone when I told him where I was going. Trust me, he should stick to his day job.

I started to think about it and my friend’s joke is not far from reality. Sure there is obviously more to it like skill, timing, ability, opportunity, and a bit of politics, but the underlying principle is showing up and playing. Playing well, I might add.

Many things have gone through my head the last couple weeks leading up to my journey to the City of Brotherly Love. The first is the hope that I don’t gain too much weight on cheese steaks.

Another is the opportunity to see some college friends that play here in Philly. Reggie Evans played with me at Iowa, so I know first-hand that the word Reggie-ness should be added to the dictionary for the way he plays. In my opinion he doesn’t play dirty, he just plays a bit harder and grittier and more pain-inflicting than most.

I remember him ruining, for lack of a better word, all of our scrimmages and practices back at Iowa with Reggie-ness. It sounds crazy, but I am actually looking forward to playing with him again. Sure, he loves pranks and making people look and feel foolish, but he has this drive that, in my opinion, fuels competitiveness.

The other Iowa buddy is my old college roommate Sean Considine, who plays safety for the Eagles. We both stood up for each other at our own respective weddings, and are both from tiny Midwestern towns. He sure isn’t the biggest talker, but I guess I do enough for the both of us when we are together.

My most sincere apologies go out to all my readers for not writing more blogs this summer. Free agency is no fun really and just produces anxiety. I figured that you didn’t want to read about how I annoy my wife Jennifer with how much I visit basketball rumor websites. Then annoy my agent with what I have just read about.

I should have written more about all the ‘it must suck being tall’ comments I hear.

“Whoa, you cud gow goose huntin’ wit a rake!” was probably the best. It came from a bearded biker dude in a country drawl when I was back in South Dakota. We were using side-by-side urinals at the time, which added to the awkwardness.

So hopefully all the Reggie-ness produced bruises are kept to a minimum in the next couple weeks. Yah right, that is as likely as all the political commercials in the coming days remaining positive.

To be honest, I would rather have bruises like a bum fighter than have to call my brother and tell him I didn’t make the team. He would probably just mock me and sing one of the Boss’ newest songs, ‘All the way Home.’

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Jared Reiner: Tribute to The Freaks of Freak City
by: Zack Rosen - NBA Draft Prospect Blogger
June 2, 2008
Walking out of the gym after a playoff game, I heard the traditional pounding of the Freak’s drums. At least 100 ‘Freaks’ had formed a tunnel leading up to our team bus, and were waiting for autographs and pictures. The weird thing is that we had just got upset and we were headed home for good. They were still there acting like we had hung the moon.

I have been on teams in great cities like Phoenix, Chicago, and even a preseason in San Antonio, but the fans here in Bamberg really are something special. The ‘Freaks’ truly lived up to their reputation.

You know the feeling like you want to just lock yourself in a room and burn past lovers’ items while Melissa Etheridge is crying out her music in the background? That is how I felt sitting on the bus after we lost. I had the worst taste in my mouth as I looked upon our faithful ‘Freaks.’ Crying wasn’t in the cards for me though. Tom Hanks said that “There’s no crying in Baseball,” so why would there be crying in my sport.

Our team just couldn’t get things going in the playoffs, for whatever reason. We were the exact opposite of John Mayer’s love life. Really, he always overachieves with the ladies, and we underachieved in the postseason.

This season put a bad taste in my mouth and John Mayer unfairly has Jennifer Aniston in his. We all buzzed our heads and grew beards for the playoffs and made it look good. Mr. Mayer makes ugly faces while he sings and plays his guitar.

This just reiterates my feeling that life just isn’t fair. Just like the fact that some people try to eat right and do all they can to be in shape and look like an athlete while others in the business can eat whatever they want.

Case in point, I have a teammate that looks like Mr. Universe, but eats garbage. He looks like his response to a question about his diet would be, “I had two-hundred pushups and an apple for breakfast. Had fifty chin-ups as an appetizer for lunch then a 5-mile sprint for dessert. For dinner I had a chicken breast with wheat rice, and I can already see it on my hips.”

Once again it is the opposite. We had a bus trip the other day and his bag looked like a Seven-Eleven. He eats Pringles by the pound and Twix like the overweight kid that always had crumbs on his shirt in junior high. His pre-game meal, you guessed it, Mambas.

Cry me a river right?

So I now have to go home to America with a bad taste in my mouth, while John Mayer gets to taste his flavor of the month. My teammate gets to continue to eat all the junk food he wants and look like a body builder, while the ‘Freaks’ unjustly have no more games to attend. Who is to blame? I don’t know. Let’s just follow Milli Vanilli’s lead and ‘Blame it on the Rain.’

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Say Your Prayers. Eat Your Vitamins, and Throw Away Your Zubaz
by: Zack Rosen - NBA Draft Prospect Blogger
May 9, 2008
If any one out there knows Hulk Hogan please tell him that I found the only other person worldwide that still wears Zubaz pants. This cat also has a mullet but I will let that go since he wears it well.

I am not a ‘fashionista’ by any means, but at least the people in my inner circle would laugh out loud at me if I wore something this outdated. The worst part about this Zubaz-wearing “Hulkster” is that he works out at our gym and smells like he has two hamburgers and some onion rings in his pockets. I would like to go up to him and say in my best hulk voice, “Listen hear Brother. Thanks for all the support, but I am the only human still allowed to wear the Zubaz. P.S. Little Hulksters should also mix a shower with soap into the daily routine.”

Speaking about brothers. Has anyone seen Big Dog? My brother Ryan came to visit us last week but left Big Dog back in Omaha. There wasn’t any speaking in third person or barking, just a few crude remarks. Big Dog… I am not impressed.

Big Dog has been neutered. His sweet little girlfriend made the journey so he was all gentlemanly. Is that a word? Well, calling Ryan a gentleman is like saying a pig wearing a tuxedo is George Clooney. Kristin had him in check with a nasty chokehold so I didn’t have to babysit him very much. No shit. She’s used her meat hook a couple times when he was out of line. I now know that if I want to rack my bro I simply have to hit his girlfriend’s purse.

He didn’t even try to play blackout. Blackout for you churchgoing folk is when you basically drink with no regard for the perception that others might have of you. You have all seen people play this game, but Big Dog and all my guys from S.D. have perfected it. A friend of mine nicknamed Sirus is the Hulk Hogan of Blackout. Lookup Blackout in a dictionary and Sirus will be there. Believe it or not… Big Dog and Sirus both stood up for me at my wedding. They definitely put the ass in class.

My time with Ryan and Big Dog’s obedience trainer was cut short since we had a team bonding/conditioning/get ready for playoffs camp in Greece for a week. It was really unfortunate that I had to leave and stay in a beachfront hotel midway through their visit, but what could I do.

Despite all of the running and practicing, we did have some fun to pass the time and did bond as a team. I even lost a bet to a teammate that an orange couldn’t be thrown 110 yards from a fourth floor balcony into the ocean. Being the savvy businessman that I am, some of the loss was offset when he couldn’t do it with an apple. It was an amazing feat all the same.

However, the biggest feat of the week was when another one of my teammates wore a Breitling watch on a 4-mile morning run. When I called him on it, he said that he paid way too much for it not to wear it. That is at least justifiable. Maybe the cat with the Zubaz has just as good an excuse.

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