Friday, February 6, 2009

Act II

F. Scott Fitzgerald (or possibly it was Scott Williams) once said that there are no second acts in American life. It’s quite possible he was talking about the ashes of his own once-glorious career, which collapsed when he left the warm comfort of South France (Jordan’s Bulls) to pursue fame and fortune in suburban Baltimore (the Sixers) with a mentally unbalanced wife (Derrick Coleman), ultimately dying at the age of 40 from alcoholism (getting traded to the Bucks). Now, I don’t like to disparage the sage wisdom of one of our greatest writers (and the man who backed up Shawn Bradley), but I would like to point out that we are in the process of witnessing a rare exception to his famous dictum.

I’m talking about the rejuvenation of Samuel Davis Dalembert.

For some, the season-ending surgery to Elton Brand is tragedy writ large; an excuse to wallow in another season of self-pity and a welcome retreat to the familiar cocoon of lottery-watching. But I know I speak for the entire Dalembert Report, and for Samuel Dalembert himself, when I say: count us out!

A week ago, the Dalembert we knew and loved was scarcely recognizable. A half-season of fractured minutes, disparate coaching ideologies, and abortive attempts to integrate his frontcourt partner had rendered Sammy confused and tentative. His playing time was reduced and his style was cramped as Coaches Cheeks and DiLeo sought to find a place for Brand, the Sixers free agent prize. There was even hushed talk amongst some Dalembert cognoscenti that Sammy’s time in Philly could be nearing its end. But with last nights news that Brand would be lost for the season, Sammy was finally free.

Unshackled from his Brandian bonds, the Haitian One unleashed his exuberant brand of basketball mayhem on the unsuspecting Pacers. 18 points and 20 boards later, and the old Sammy D is back, which can only mean great things for the Sixers, and for society at large.

Brand’s injury means the remainder of this campaign will see the Sixies revert to their natural madcap style, getting steals, running the floor, missing free throws and generally treating the court as their own personal Jackson Pollack painting. It means more ‘Reese, more ‘Reg, and more Sammy D. It may mean the playoffs, and more; even Brandless, I still believe we are the 5th best team in the East. Elton Brand can go back to doing what he does best: producing Werner Herzog movies. Maybe next year he will return a changed and healed man, ready to take us to the Promised Land. But for now, let us treat his injury as the benediction it surely is.


  1. Elton pulled a fast one on us, I do believe. We were distracted by his deceiving numbers for a shitty team and his golden heart, pure intentions, and well-rehearsed media two-step. That being said, maybe he will get on steroids and contribute down the road. But being someone concerned with the immediate future and the personal and professional growth of Samuel D. Dalembert, I say, Fuck you Elton, God wanted you to get hurt because God is from Haiti and/or God roots for happy people like Sammy on a regular basis. I do believe 18 & 20 is a surefire sign of things to come.

    Scott Williams had a few runs with the Sixers, right? Am I wrong thinking he was around in the dark days, left to become a steady backup for a good team, and returned to collect a paycheck as a huge fat midrange jump shooter lumbering up and down the court? Or was that someone else...

  2. When E Brand's season ended I thought long and hard of comparable disappointments. Danny Tartabull came to mind. Chris Boniol. Kevin Millwood. And yes, Scott Williams. Not because he was supposed to be a great player and wasn't, or even because he made more money than he deserved. No, because his name became synonymous with a certain flabbergasted nod of the head. Go out and find a sixer fan, say the name Elton Brand, and watch for the nod I'm talking about.

    Speaking of Scott Williams, anyone remember the 2001 playoffs when he nailed AI with a vicious cheap-shot? I've never wanted to kill anyone so inconsequential before. Except maybe Chris Boniol.

    On the bright side, Marreese Speights is threatening to make Elton Brand an afterthought by 2011. He plays with a special credulous enthusiasm that us Dalembert fans appreciate to the utmost. This young fella could be next in line for a special blog.

  3. Adam Eaton anyone?

    Jevon Kearse?

    Toni Kukoc?

    Matt Geiger?

    Jose Mesa?

    Mark Simoneau?

  4. Freddy Garcia?

    Eric Montross?

    Jeremy Giambi?

    Matt Harpring?

    David Bell?

    Lance Parrish?

    TKO Spikes?

    Billy Wagner?

  5. Keith Van Horn?

    Joni Pitkanen?

    Sean Bradley?

    Bobby Hoying?

    Freddy Mitchell?

    Kevin Kolb?

    Travis Lee?

    EDG. Nice work on the Photoshop.

  6. Did Bad Lieutenant really need to be remade?
    Scott Williams was a total bum but a really nice guy, I met him in Atlantic City and he gave us a book of tickets to the rides on the boardwalk.

  7. These are both from Sammy D's wikipedia page, I really hope they are both true:
    Instead of milk, he floods his cereal with orange juice
    At halftime of every home game, Dalembert sends one of the towel boys out to the concession stand to get his ritual mid-game snack: a soft pretzel with extra cheese

  8. I can't believe we didn't write Sammy's wikipedia page.

    And it might be more difficult and appropriate to name dudes who didn't suck or disappoint upon arrival in Philly. Here's the list:

    Moses Malone
    Brad Lidge

  9. Kenz, great call:



  10. Also from Sammy's wiki page: "He can tell how fresh a fish is by looking into its eye."

  11. Young Thad and the Speights report steppin' up!

  12. Oh, and let me just say for the record, that I've been saying A-rod was a roid-head for years.