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‘Her name is probably not really Sparkle Smith’ and other lessons for NBA rookies

Aug 8, 2014, 11:11 AM EDT

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I have a vague sense of what happens at the NBA Rookie Transition Program – and a better of what isn’t supposed to happen.

The league tries to educate its new players on life in the NBA, teach a few life skills and prevent issues down the road.

But what exactly does that involve?

Thanks to Sarah Lyall of The New York Times (hat tip: Barry Petchesky of Deadspin), we have a pretty good look at one segment of the program.

The advice ranges from oft-repeated (“When you walk outside the house, assume that someone is watching you”) to hypocritical (“In business, you have to fit in and you have to stand out”) to salacious (“Her name is probably not really Sparkle Smith”).

Here’s everything Lyall revealed, and it appears her notes were thorough:

I’m left with a big question: If you don’t butter your entire piece of cold bread and chomp, what do you do with it? Please help. Thanks.

  1. ljl2 - Aug 8, 2014 at 11:26 AM

    “if you don’t say something when someone’s pants are sagging, that person might be the person who ends up robbing and killing you.”

    Uhm… Did George Zimmerman prepare this portion of the speech?

    • fanofthegame79 - Aug 8, 2014 at 11:58 AM

      Possibly. I know that Donald Sterling would approve of that message. (sorry, I couldn’t resist kicking the dead horse)

    • urallstupid - Aug 8, 2014 at 1:23 PM

      wow surprised the nba let that statement be used.

  2. karlton3 - Aug 8, 2014 at 11:43 AM

    I’m sorry, you cannot match navy and black suit separates.

    • fanofthegame79 - Aug 8, 2014 at 11:59 AM

      I agree. I always thought of a bruise when people mixed black and blue.

    • genericusername93 - Aug 8, 2014 at 1:50 PM

      You can do a navy shirt with black pants or vice versa. If a sport coat is involved, black pants and a navy sport coat with a black lapel is nice.

  3. coffeeblack95616 - Aug 8, 2014 at 12:06 PM

    Because doctors, dentists, CEOs, teachers, and all sorts of successful and refined people sag their pants. Oh wait, it IS mostly teens and uneducated adults who sag. But let’s pretend it’s not dare we think we are being somehow offensive despite the truth.

    • asimonetti88 - Aug 8, 2014 at 12:13 PM

      Yes, but not everyone who sags their pants ends up being the person who murders you.

    • chicitybulls - Aug 8, 2014 at 12:17 PM

      Wow. That’s not a generalization at all, coffee. I have one for you. “Clothes dont make the man, the man makes the clothes.” And here’s another….”You can’t dress up a turd”.

    • bougin89 - Aug 8, 2014 at 12:42 PM

      People who sag there pants are 82% more likely to rob and murder you.

      68% of all statistics are made up on the spot.

    • genericusername93 - Aug 8, 2014 at 1:52 PM

      That is indeed the definition of a false equivalency. Grow up and learn to view people as individuals capable of defying your lazy stereotypes.

    • pburghballin - Aug 8, 2014 at 2:54 PM

      Sometimes my pants sag, just a bit, not falling off my behind. It’s a little bit of fashion, depending on the overall outfit, and I’m 32yo. I’m not going to murder or rob anyone.

      Heck, just yesterday I helped an elderly woman push her grocery cart across the street, which was a small incline, and to her sidewalk. Today I held the elevator for someone in my OFFICE. But, my pants may have been sagging a little bit….I bet both of these people were hoping I didn’t murder them…

      Sometimes I can dress for comfort (physical and mental) and still look damn good.

    • mackcarrington - Aug 8, 2014 at 4:33 PM

      You people do realize, don’t you, that the whole “sag” thing originated from jailhouse culture, where they don’t give prisoners belts to hold up their pants. Therefore they sag. The original purveyors of the “sag” style were most likely people who robbed or murdered someone.

      • mackcarrington - Aug 8, 2014 at 5:28 PM

        You can click “thumbs down” but what I said is absolutely true. Where do YOU think that style originated from? I’m interested to know.

      • pburghballin - Aug 8, 2014 at 6:55 PM

        I didn’t thumbs down you. At least I don’t think I did. The first sentence of my reply stated that I DO know that’s where the look originated from. Apologies if I didn’t make that clear.

      • mackcarrington - Aug 8, 2014 at 7:18 PM

        I wasn’t referring to you personally, but to whoever clicked thumbs down.

  4. asimonetti88 - Aug 8, 2014 at 12:11 PM

    “LaRue Martin tells NBA rookies that he used to have President Obama’s cell phone number.”

    lol what? I guess they’re both about as good at their respective jobs, but this one was a head scratcher.

  5. ravenswhat - Aug 8, 2014 at 12:25 PM

    Sounds pretty damn racist and offensive in general.

    • hwatt - Aug 8, 2014 at 1:20 PM

      i have a feeling that a lot of those are there bc 1 guy did at least one of those things wrong in the past.

  6. davidly - Aug 8, 2014 at 1:25 PM

    That door swings both ways, y’know. “You think his name is really Magic Johnson?”

  7. apkyletexas - Aug 8, 2014 at 2:53 PM

    Best line – The meat is dead; you do not have to kill it again.

  8. coffeeblack95616 - Aug 8, 2014 at 4:17 PM

    Look at the morons who actually are racist. I post something about sagging clothes and people conclude it’s about race. Like guess we can see who the racists are–those who see it when others don’t. It’s clothes. And yes, clothes make the person. You choose how to dress. Dave Chappelle said it best in his stand-up (Killing Them Softly).
    And of course these are generalities! That’s what every post in the article was! When talking about a general population, one makes generalities. It’s logical. When dealing with individuals in individual situations, one can forego generalities.
    But again, the idiot racists who claim not to be racist only think it has to do with race.

    • pburghballin - Aug 8, 2014 at 7:07 PM

      I’m curious who were the ones to conclude it’s about race?

      Also, I think people are just commenting on the overall absurdity of 80% of what they are “learning” at this symposium. Not necessarily the pants thing specifically. And it SHOULD be obvious…OF COURSE you dont’ wear sagging pants to an interview! Or to a formal place! Or act like a pig at dinner! But in a casual setting…so what? Where what you’re comfortable and confident in. That’s that. And as I stated above, anyone with their pants below their behinds, sagging…as you say you can’t walk/run…that’s idiotic. Frankly my comments are/were about a slight sag, just below the hips (if of course you can pull that off).

      And what I get from the above article/tweets, about the statement about sagging pants and that being the person who might rob/kill me is: They say to say something to the person next to me with sagging pants? Say something to them? Tell them to pull their pants up? So…I’m to tell the person next to me, apparently the person MOST LIKELY to rob or kill me, to pull their pants up?? LOL. How is that the smartest/safest/most logical thing to do?

      I’m probably going to want to avoid and not make contact ANY person who is most likely to rob or kill me. Saggy pants or no…

  9. coffeeblack95616 - Aug 8, 2014 at 4:19 PM

    So why exactly is sagging pants such a good statement? Why do schools consider it a dress code violation? Why do people need to see your underwear or crack? Why don’t refined and dignified people sag?
    To a lesser extent, it’s the same reason why (mature) adults don’t wear backwards hats.

    • longtallsam - Aug 8, 2014 at 10:50 PM

      Agreed…nothing says doofus quite like a backwards cap.

  10. coffeeblack95616 - Aug 8, 2014 at 4:26 PM

    @ ravenswhat

    So where did you read racism in this all? I think your comments reflect your natural racist tendency as there was nothing racial mentioned.

  11. coffeeblack95616 - Aug 8, 2014 at 5:27 PM

    @ mackcarrington

    I’ve heard that several times, and even if it’s not accurate, can’t we just look around and see WHO is sagging? Last I checked, it’s not the valedictorians, the college students, people with careers and not jobs, people at work, etc. Sure, there are exceptions, but the MAJORITY, the GENERAL RULE, is that sagging is a reflection of a lack of refinement. We are talking about people who wear their pants so low they can’t run and their underwear is plainly visible. If you dress like that, you’re dressing like a slob, and you’re clearly not working a real job.

  12. Lujah - Aug 8, 2014 at 6:29 PM

    Is this a joke?

  13. campcouch - Aug 8, 2014 at 7:07 PM

    After reading those tweets, I had to stick my head in the sink for a minute. I’d probably leave after the fifth statement and take my lumps from the league and team.

    • pburghballin - Aug 8, 2014 at 7:10 PM

      Yep. I wouldn’t have been able to allow myself to sit through that much torture. Take the (probably) small fine, whatever. I’d have been insulted to be quite honest with you.

  14. devarajaswami - Sep 8, 2014 at 5:54 PM

    My favorite:
    “You do not dump your hand in your soup bowl.”

    Especially if your hands are as huge as Shaq’s.

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