A letter to Larry Bird

By Jason Wojciechowski on July 21, 2008 at 7:40 AM

So: this. Shawne Williams is rolling with this friend and gets pulled over. The cop writes up Williams for window tint and seatbelt violations. Shawne's friend, in the passenger seat, is found with a small amount of marijuana and is arrested. It's a small enough amount that the only charge is a misdemeanor. Larry Bird's response to this? "While Shawne Williams was not involved in any arrest or any criminal wrongdoing, we are extremely upset and hugely disappointed he once again has put himself in a position that jeopardizes Shawne's future as a member of the Indiana Pacers."

Thus:

Dear Larry Bird,

Don't be a huge dick.

Your player, the only guy in this whole incident (if it even rises to the level of the word "incident") who you can concern yourself with, did nothing wrong besides jeopardize his own safety by not having his seat belt on. The seat belt thing is worth talking to him about because you've made an investment in his career and you don't want him going all Jay Williams on you. I guess even the window tint might be worth talking to him about because you don't want him pissing off the cops. (And when the cops in Indianapolis see a black dude in an expensive car with too much tint, you can bet your ass they're pulling him over.)

But you know what? I get the feeling that this "jeopardizes [his] future" business isn't referring to window tint or a seat belt. No, I think you're concerned about Shawne's friend with the joint. Which, I have to tell you, Larry, strikes me as a tad silly. We're not talking Brad Miller or Jeremy Giambi or Damon Stoudamire here. We're talking about a guy whose friend had some weed. A guy whose friend had little enough weed that a middle-of-the-country red state could only charge him with a misdemeanor. I mean, my god, what would have happened to you, Larry Bird, if you'd had a friend who smoked weed? You probably would have ... um ... well, you probably would have been a Hall of Fame basketball player for the Celtics, famous for hustle, sweet shooting, a perm and some tight-ass shorts. Which you'll notice is exactly what you did become. You see what I did there, Larry? I used a cheap device to make the argument that if you'd had a friend with weed, it wouldn't have affected you in the slightest. And my argument extends by analogy to your buddy Shawne Williams.

Look, if you want to set the kid straight, you should teach him how to rebound. But this weed thing? Just leave it alone. Really.

Yours,

Jason Wojciechowski

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