July 17, 2012; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers forward Samardo Samuels (24) takes a shot over Phoenix Suns center Patrick O'Bryant during the game at the Thomas and Mack Center. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-US PRESSWIRE
This is the third in a series of revelations from the mind of Martin Rickman. The first, an examination of Mario Chalmers as Jerry Gergich from Parks and Recreation, can be found here. The second, comparing Dwight Howard to Hannah from HBO's Girls is here.
Samardo Samuels was in a weird place. He won a surprise roster spot and was coming off some momentum in a rookie season where he fought for everything he had.
Then all of a sudden he got complacent, stopped trying, lost his stuff and couldn't even go to Toronto during the 2011-12 season and Byron Scott got all mad at him.
Well, even according to him, he had to be more focused. He had to be better. He had to try harder. He had to do more than talk about it.
Samuels came into Summer League looking like a different person. He lost a bunch of weight, cut his body fat percentage down, was driven and bouncy. He looked like a newly-single person with a purpose trying to get the opposite sex to notice him -- well, or a basketball player trying to get the coach to notice him.
Me being me, I thought of only one natural comparison, Bridget from Bridget Jones's Diary. You all know Bridget Jones's Diary, yes? The book (and movie) about that British girl who makes jokes and talks about her knickers and smokes lots of cigs and stuff? Okay.
So yeah, here's a couple chapters from Samardo Samuels's Diary: The Edge Of The Season.
An Exceptionally Bad Start
10 p.m. Cleveland. My apartment. It was All-Star Weekend, in my second year in the NBA.
Once again, I found myself on my own and going to the Bahamas to get the passport I lost during the lockout. I wasn't sure back then if we'd ever play again. I took it for granted. You know how those things go.
I'd been waiting my whole life to play professional basketball, to play for a coach like Byron Scott. And here I was stapled to the bench. Mr. Scott is disappointed in me. I'm disappointed in me.
I suddenly realized that unless something changed soon I was going to live a life where my major relationship was with a bottle of wine and I'd finally die fat and alone and be found three weeks later, half-eaten by wild dogs.
I can hear it now, Eric Carmen's ‘All By Myself' playing in the background.
When I was young
I never needed anyone
And making love was just for fun
Those days are gone
All by myself
Don't wanna be
All by myself
And so I made a major decision, I had to make sure that next year, I wouldn't end up listening to Michael Reghi on AM. I decided to take control of my life and start a diary.
To tell the truth about Samardo Samuels.
The whole truth.
Resolution number one - obviously will lose 30 pounds.
Equally important - will find nice sensible foods and won't continue to form attachments to any of the following: wings, fries, Awesome Blossoms, ribs, Baconators, Son of Baconators, anything in Little Italy, that Terminal Tower thing from Sweet Moses.
Noon. Being a basketball player is worse than being a woman - there is so much to be done. Clipping fingernails, shaving heads, uniforms, jerseys, tape, shoes pumped, laces tied. The whole performance is so highly tuned you only need to neglect it for a few days for the whole thing to go to hell. Sometimes I wonder what I would be like if left to revert to nature. Ugh. Ugh. Is it any wonder some of us have no confidence?
3 p.m. No pressure, Mardo, but your whole future happiness now depends on how you behave at this very moment. Summer League means everything. Will he notice me?
"Where'd you come from? Did we get a new player?" Mr. Scott said. "Your body, what an amazing transformation. You've obviously taken this coming season very seriously."
"I looked in the mirror and wanted to change all the bad stuff, just cleared my head and came back a new player. That's what I did."