Right now, two things are taking over my television set: NBA free agency and ads for the remake of the classically ridiculous Total Recall.  Believe it or not, I’m not actually here to make fun of the new Total Recall.  It looks like it could be the kind of gritty, Bladerunner-esque future that I love to see in Sci-Fi movies.  I like Colin Farrell and think that he’ll do an above average job as the 2012 version of The Governator. 

What I do like to make fun of, however, is Arnold Schwarzenegger movies featuring a scantily clad Sharon Stone and a ridiculous host of costumes that look like they were stolen off of George Lucas’ alien mulch pile and slapped onto the bigscreen.  While the remake doesn’t come out until August, the PR machine is in full effect, especially on ESPN and other channels frequented by “dudes.”  (*Author’s note: because clearly “dudes” are the key demographic for Sci-Fi movies.  Just ask the 4 trillion Prometheus ads that either feature beer or ESPN blowhard Stephen A. Smith’s broke ass.)

How does this tie into the NBA, you might be asking?  Everything ties into the NBA.  At least in my own, warped, mind.  Especially when the National Basketball Association has had another fascinating offseason.  I’ll be tying this whole loosely formulated idea together by utilizing the many faces of one of the best actors of his or any generation: Arnold Alois Schwarzenegger.

While I was watching the original Total Recall, I was playing a game I like to call “Pause-face.”  If you couldn’t guess by its name, the object of the game is to pause the TV while the person that’s on it is pulling the most ridiculous face.  You can frame-by-frame it, try to go for a straight pause, or even try the jump-back pause if you’re up for a challenge.  The Governator is the Edwin Moses of Pause-facing.  If you made a Mount Rushmore of the sport, he’d have all four faces.  And they’d all be sublimely ridiculous.

This most recent game of Pause-face gave me an idea: why not set up a ranking system for the NBA’s most fascinating offseason moves, by looking for a few of the internet’s best Schwarzenegger pause-faces.

Ray Allen to the Miami Heat

(*Author’s note: I’m I the only one left that still calls Ray, “Jesus Shuttlesworth”?  All hail, He Got Game!)

Allen, he with the most 3 pointers made in NBA history, found himself in a strange position this offseason.  He had gone to Boston, a big piece of the original “Big 3”, — a group people seemed to hate far less than the current rendition that’s standing atop the league at the current moment — won a title and was highly successful in the shamrock green and whites.

But, he’s old.

At 36, he’s roughly 65 in basketball years and his age/nagging injuries seemed to catch up with him towards the end of the Celtics’ playoff run.  So how did the Miami Heat lure Jesus Shuttlesworth away? 

I’m guessing that they got his Denzel Washington looking father out of the state penitentiary — by way of a corruptible warden that is a die-hard Heat fan — and tried to convince him to play his wayward-father-still-bearing-influence-on-his-emotionally-damaged-child card.  And there’s probably a gratuitous 3-way mixed in there as well. 

All He Got Game references aside, a saavy veteran like Allen taking less money to head to a team where wide open 3 point looks abound?  Not that shocking.  The fact that he went from Celtics to Heat, thereby baiting the over-the-top hatred and scorn of the borderline psychotic Boston fanbase?  A little shocking.

Pause-face level of excitement/shock:

Jeremy Lin to the Houston Rockets

Linsanity exploded onto New York this year.  Coming from nowhere, or as nowhere as an Ivy League college can ever be, Jeremy Lin got up from crashing on his brother’s couch and crashed the National Basketball Association’s party.  The ensuing aftershocks, replete with terrible puns, racist Asian jokes, and heaping, steaming piles of cash, were enough to propel Lin to a position of power in the free agent market.

Then James Dolan happened.

Yes, the guy who let Isaiah Thomas carbomb the entire franchise.  Yes, the same guy who just went out and got a 39-year-old Jason Kidd (*Author’s note: who celebrated his highway robbery by getting loaded and crashing into a lightpole) and Raymond “I’ll Have the Quarter Pounder Meal, Large Sized” Felton.

After telling Jeremy Lin that he should feel free to shop his talents around, and implying that they would match any offer Lin could get to retain his services, the Knicks became suddenly defensive when Lin did just that.  The Rockets, still counting their piles of money from their last Asian market crossover star, promptly offered him a massive deal and when it was suddenly Dolan’s turn to keep his word, he balked.

Can Lin continue his meteoric rise to the heights of the NBA?  Or will the ever-present turnover issues de-rail him?  I’d guess somewhere in between.  Do I believe that the Knicks, who reports have estimated have already lost somewhere in the $50 million dollar range on their value since losing Lin, should have kept this young, talented PG?  Definitely. 

Dolan is the guy that tells his girlfriend, “I think we should see other people.”  And then when he sees his girlfriend out at a candlelit dinner with a Jockey underwear model, he loses his shit and sends her a bunch of angry, emoticon-filled text messages.

Pause-face level of excitement/shock: 

Steve Nash to the Los Angeles Lakers

There’s, legitimately only 1 guy in the league that will make your fan base happy that you just went out and spent assets to get older, whiter, and more unintimidating.  That’s Nash.  He’s a 2-time MVP, even if his back to back wins for the award seem a little flawed, and one of the best passers the league has ever seen.  He should hopefully rejuvenate the bearded corpse that was Pau Gasol, take a little of the pressure off of Kobe, and bring some fluidity to an offense that had all the flow of Jiff Extra Chunky during Mike Brown’s first season at the helm.

Will his body hold out?  He’ll turn 39 next year and his back will be celebrating it’s 123rd birthday on opening day of the season.  Nash is notoriously good about taking care of his body, though, and played exceedingly well last season considering his second best player was Marcin Gortat.

Pause-face level of excitement/shock: 

(*Author’s Note: Yes, that’s Schwarzenegger.  He decides to sneak onto Mars disguised in a fat, terribly constructed woman suit that promptly malfunctions.  Turns out the Governator sucks at being the Undercovernator.)

Dwight Howard to. . .Wait, You Mean He’s Still on the Orlando Magic?!?!  What the hell!?!?

Yes.  Dwight Howard is still with the Magic.  No, I don’t think anyone has the slightest F-ing clue if he’ll ever get traded.  Every morning ESPN trots out a bevy of whack jobs (captained by the notorious and aforementioned Stephen A. Smith) who all claim there’s been movement on some kind of deal sending Howard somewhere.

I’m not sure what Dwight envisioned for himself, but I’m guessing this wasn’t it.  He’s quickly become the most reviled player in the league, even though some of us still hold a special, contemptible place in our cynical hearts for LeBron, and he has made blunder after blunder after bungle.

Will Dwight end up in Houston?  Will he end up somehow getting shipped to the Los Angeles Lakers?  (*Author’s note: Damn, I hope so)  Did he hire the same PR firm that masterminded “The Decision” and the “Mission Accomplished” banner from the early 2000’s that haunts Americans to this day?

The fact that he’s still in Orlando, untraded, despised, and that Brooklyn decided to massively overpay a dude named Brook instead of continuing to try to make moves to acquire him leads me to this. . .

Pause-face level of excitement/shock: 

FIN

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Comments
  1. d says:

    Brilliantly done! I bet you could do so many articles of pause-face comparisons from Total Recall, it boggles the mind.

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