While watching Game 2 of the NBA Finals on Thursday night, I was pleasantly surprised/amused/elated/confused/ bewildered/amazed/adjectives at just how much flack Mario Chalmers gets from the rest of the Miami Heat team. While it's totally cool for LeBron James to hoist up jumpers and play like he's holding down the playmaker stick and turbo buttons every game, and Wade can just spin around all day, and Joel Anthony is allowed to eat the last piece of cake, Chalmers makes mistakes and they're immediately pounced on, earning him superstar Eeyore status.
So I got to thinking: "umm, omg you guys (because yeah, I abbreviate and my inner monologue is that of a 12-year-old tween) Mario Chalmers is Jerry (real name Garry) Gergich from Parks and Rec."
Okay so not everyone has seen the show, and if you haven't, stop reading this and start it. You can find it lots of places. Netflix has it. Hulu used to if anyone still goes on Hulu. The internet has clips on clips on clips. Or buy the DVDs, I'll even let you use my Amazon Prime account if you ask me nicely.
The thing about Jerry is, yeah he screws up -- and it's always comical when he does -- but what makes the bit so funny is that everyone immediately harps on him for it.
Chalmers is just the same. His blunders have this weird Kunderaean (new word alert) way of mattering more in the grand scheme of things because they happen when they do and because they happen by Chalmers. If someone else committed a silly foul, it goes unnoticed. If someone else dribbles it off their foot, it isn't when a team is furiously trying to mount a rally against the Heat.
And naturally, Chalmers fits his role perfectly. Even when everything's coming up Mario, LeBron, Wade and Bosh will find a way to laugh at Mario's expense or pick on the minor details. It's comical and tragic like that sad clown thing all the kids are talking about these days.
Just look at some of the tweets from the game on Thursday night:
These extra-long timeouts are so everybody on Miami can get a chance to yell at Mario Chalmers.— John Hollinger (@johnhollinger) June 15, 2012
It's funny seeing Chalmers getting yelled at, but man, that he hasn't broke and still plays well tells you something about him...— SebastianPruiti (@SebastianPruiti) June 15, 2012
The one thing I don't like about the Miami stars is how much s*** they give Chalmers. Better hold everyone to that standard, not just him.— Raphielle Johnson (@raphiellej) June 15, 2012
Wally Szczerbiak (@WSzczerbiak) June 15, 2012
new NBA meme idea: famous people shouting at Mario Chalmers— Evan Dunlap (@BQRMagic) June 15, 2012
Can't wait for the roast of Mario Chalmers on Comedy Central this summer— Mike Prada (@MikePradaSBN) June 15, 2012
Maybe Chalmers just has a thick skin, and the rest of the team knows he can be the punching bag because he'll get right back up again. They can blow off steam, and he can absorb it, using it to fuel whatever strange mental quirk that Mario has going on. Maybe it's unfair entirely to beat down a guy who is still in the NBA and just as much a member of the team even if he's not a superstar. Maybe we need the Meg Griffins and Milhouses and Brittas and Neville Chamberlains and Zunes of the world for some kind of cosmic balance.
Regardless, I just can't stop laughing at the idea of LeBron James voiced by Aziz Ansari yelling at Mario Chambers after he falls into a creek to try and get a burrito that he dropped.