Contrary to popular belief, I am not actually retarded
May 5, 2005 7:17 AM   Subscribe

Paul Shirley's blog returns for the NBA playoffs. Shirley is the last player in the depth chart on the potential NBA champion Phoenix Suns. As ESPN's Bill Simmons wrote about his original blog, "we could finally have an answer to the question, 'What would it be like if one our friends was an NBA player and sent us e-mails about his life every few days?'"
posted by casu marzu (10 comments total)
Thanks to his blog, I have officially developed a huge crush on Paul Shirley — to the point that I, a complete and utter non-sports fan, now desire to watch a Phoenix Suns game, if only to enjoy this "extemporaneous" basketball he describes, and to possibly catch a glimpse of my beloved warming his end of the bench and cheering enthusiastically.

Note to self: must figure out which teevee channel is ESPN.
posted by junkbox at 8:29 AM on May 5, 2005

Oh Paul. Is it just me, or does everyone who likes Bill Simmons now try to write exactly like Bill Simmons. Read his mailbag for example.
posted by panoptican at 9:00 AM on May 5, 2005

Panoptician: I wish you could buy stock in somebody saying "everybody who likes Simmons writes just like him".

It's simply not true. I will not argue about this. ;-)
posted by 27 at 9:45 AM on May 5, 2005 [1 favorite]

I am an okay basketball player, but I am not better than the players in front of me in the rotation.

Wow. That is either stunning honesty and humility or a deep lack of required athletic confidence.

Steve Nash didn't get to where he is by believing the players ahead of him in the rotation were better than him. He got there by believing he was better and proving it [i am assuming].
posted by srboisvert at 9:53 AM on May 5, 2005

He's smart. Or at least he writes like he is. Big words, he uses. He's also the kind of guy who reminds me why I like sports. He knows he's got a good gig, and he likes what he does. Good for him.

Thanks for the link.
posted by dpx.mfx at 10:15 AM on May 5, 2005

srboisvert, in an interview from a few years back, 5'5" point guard Earl Boykins said: "Most of the guys in the NBA believe they are the best ever. Even the ones who aren't good." Shirley is just refreshingly honest. He is behind Amare Stoudemare in the rotation, after all.

junkbox: there are many (like me) who agree with Paul when he says that his team is "maybe the most fun basketball team to watch in ten years". So if you never see another NBA game before or after -- be sure to catch the Suns in the next few weeks.
posted by casu marzu at 10:27 AM on May 5, 2005

This guy is great. Awesome to read. I usually don't trust people with two first names, but this guy's got me.
posted by ORthey at 11:38 AM on May 5, 2005

I've got to say that ever since I read his original blog, I have wondered how the heck Paul Shirley ended up a professional basketball player. I mean, obviously it's 'cause he's a hell of a lot better at basketball than most people, but still, I wonder how someone manages to develop the ability to write well AND play basketball at such a high level, while remaining intelligent, witty, etc.

That's not to say that I think professional athletes are dumb. It's more that people who develop a skill to the extent that they are one of the best 300-or-so people in the world at what they do, usually don't have much for developing other skills.
posted by dersins at 12:03 PM on May 5, 2005

Paul Shirley was a walk-on that became a starter in college for Iowa State University and was always on the all Big 12 academic teams. ( I think he was an engineering major, but I could be getting him confused with the quarterback ISU had who pulled like a 3.9 GPA in Mechanical Engineering while playing football.) I know they made it to the NCAA tourney while he was starting, and I think they may have even been to the Sweet Sixteen.

Thanks to google, here is a good story about him from the Iowa State Daily.
posted by gus at 1:35 PM on May 5, 2005

I like Bill Simmons, but I think this guy's writing is a little more contemplative and therefore more entertaining for me. Perhaps this is because Shirley writes only to please himself.

Then again, maybe I need to read for more than one day to see how many jokes get recycled. Did you see how I did that? Watch this again... watch this right here... BAM!
posted by manicroom at 2:09 PM on May 5, 2005

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