Friday, February 04, 2005


Faces of A Franchise

My sit-down interview with Kendall Gill, Derrick Coleman, Keith Van Horn, Benoit Benjamin, and Byron Scott

So guys, with the Nets nearing a move to Brooklyn and the end of an era, we thought it would be a good time to get together some of the faces of the franchise and talk with you all about your time with the Nets, in the NBA, and what you are doing now. For no apparent reason, I will be conducting the interview as Duncan, the Nets former and inexplicable dragon mascot. First off, does anyone know where Derrick Coleman is? And how about Kendall Gill?

Benoit: Kendall said he might be a little late; he was going to be coming straight from his hair tip-frosting appointment. He says he has been working on his shot all off-season and he is ready to have a great year for the Nets.

Duncan: Really? He must have thought he was talking to the Nets beat writers on the first day of training camp, any year from 1996-2000.

Benoit: Yeah, he wakes up every day and says that. That frost stuff has seeped into his brain. At least he has the energy to get up in the morning – this living thing is tiring man.

Duncan: I understand. Well, thanks for joining us on speaker phone from your giant bed. Where I understand you have been living since the Jayson Williams trial ended?

Benoit: I don’t know why people get all bent out of shape about that. Look, it was a long trial and I was tired. When that guy asked when I would wake up I said “someday” and he thought I said “Sunday”. So then Sunday comes and everybody is all “Where is Benoit? Where is Benoit? Did Jayson pay him a visit?” Damn people, let a brother sleep! People don’t understand the toll it takes on your body to consistently give 40 – 45% every couple of nights for however many years I played basketball. In fact, its time for you to move on and ask someone else a question – this is exhausting man.

Duncan: Okay, that is certainly understandable, all those years of carrying around the burden of being the biggest waste ever would tire anyone out. Anyone seen DC?

KVH: (yawn) I don’t know. I told him it was practice so maybe that is why he is late.

Duncan: Fantastic. Well Keith, most Netsfans out there remember your rookie season with such pride and optimism. My fondest personal memory of that year was you faking Charles Oakley out of his sneakers and driving to the hoop in a great home win against the Knicks. Many called that your coming out party. So Keith, what have you been up to since that night? Did you go back in? Why no party?

KVH: I am apparently in Milwaukee now. Its perfect for me – nobody knows I am there so there is no pressure. Nobody calls me soft or anything. People up there are so happy to have anything to do, they don’t even care how I play. Sometimes, when we wear our home uniforms, my “so pale it is clear” body just fades into the background so that all anyone can see is a ridiculously tall pair of socks. Just the way I like it. But hey, wait, I was pretty big in that first run to the NBA Finals in NJ you know? Until the finals and, I mean, so many people were watching, even back in LA where I claim to be from even though I am clearly from Utah. And there were so many cameras and celebrities and eyes and Kenyon would yell at me and…”stop yelling at me Kenyon! I’m trying! I’m trying!”

Duncan: Hmmm, okay, Keith had to step out for a minute. I hope he’s okay, he was looking a little pale. Get it, pale – he’s always pale! Okay, let’s move on. Byron, you were the coach of those Finals teams Keith talks about. What do you remember about those glory days?

Byron: I remember how great a coach Byron Scott was. Man oh man, Byron was a good one.

Duncan: Hey, why don’t you join us here at the table? You don’t need to stand over there with your arms crossed the whole time.

Byron: That’s the way I like to do things, I feel more comfortable. See, Byron is what Byron would call a CEO coach. Delegate responsibility and then stand on the sideline with my arms crossed feigning interest.

Duncan: And what are you really thinking about standing out there on the sideline?

Byron: Well Duncan, I’d picture how much better we would be if we had Byron Scott of the NBA dynasty Lakers playing out there. Then I’d stare at Joumana for a little while. Then wish I was coaching the Lakers. These are the responsibilities of the CEO.

Duncan: What do you think CEO stands for?

Byron: Coach Elephant Ostrich

Duncan: Wow. I am speechless. Hey Derrick Coleman, thanks for coming! You are 30 minutes late you know?

DC: Whoop de damn doo!

Duncan: So DC, since you were traded from the Nets, all we really know is that you bounced around the league a bit and ate Dennis Hopson. What else is going on with you?

DC: No more questions! I’m out of here – this was worse than actually practicing. Ugh, practice. I am so glad to be out of the league.

Byron: I know – never be a coach, they have them like every day. And they expect you to pay attention. And draw up game plans and stuff AFTER practice. J-Kidd was always coming by “coach, do you have any game plans or what?” I’d tell him, “yeah, I have PLANS to play a GAME of golf.” I think J-Kidd always knew I was in charge though. That is just how a Coach Elephant Ostrich operates. Yeah, me and J-Kidd are on great terms.

Duncan: Byron, a lot of people were critical of your coaching against San Antonio in the Finals, especially Game 6. Anything you would like to say to the critics?

Byron: Yeah, I’d like to see how hard they would all work if they expected to be on vacation by the end of April and they still had to work in June. Talk about working OT. I couldn’t even unseparate my arms for a week after that season finally ended. How am I supposed to think of putting Kittles back in the game when I can’t even feel my arms? That is why I like New Orleans, no worries about that there.

Duncan: Because the team is so bad?

Byron: No, because so many people have those wispy porn moustaches like me. I like that.

Bill Raftery ducks his head in: ONIONS!

Duncan: Okay, well, that was weird. Any other thoughts about the Nets organization Byron?

Byron: Yes, tell those guys in the front office they owe me $4,737,901 for all the extra time I had to work during the playoffs. That was not in my contract. They can send the check to Byron Scott, CEO of the New Orleans Jazz.

Duncan: Hornets

Byron: Whatever man – I’m going to play golf. Tell Joumana Byron says hi. (Byron Scott shuffles slowly out of the room, arms still crossed).

Kendall Gill: Hey guys, the real KG is here! Hey, where is everyone?

Duncan: Well, Benoit Benjamin is home napping, Byron Scott went to go untangle his arms and play golf, Derrick Coleman made a quick Taco Bell run and never came back, and Van Horn is in the corner cowering in fear.

Kendall: I don’t see him.

Duncan: Yeah, the wall is really white so he blends in – you can see his tears as they drop to the floor.

Kendall: What is that he keeps saying?

Duncan: “Yes Kenyon, I am your bitch. You are the man. You are the bad ass yellow boy and I am your bitch. You are the man.”

Kendall: Weird man – so its just me here? Well, me and my awesome hair?

Duncan: That’s right – you are all alone like Stephon Marbury. Well, this whole experience has made me want to shoot myself. But first, anything you have to share with Nets fans out there?

Kendall: Oh yeah! I want all the fans out there to know that I have been working on my shot all off-season and I am ready to have a great year for the Nets!

Duncan: Wow. Can somebody get a drunken Jayson Williams over here?

Lane Sorkin can be reached at

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