Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Damion James Is An Odd Duck

(Edit: I'm an idiot. As the first comment below pointed out, the guy's name is Damion JAMES, not Damion JONES. The screw-ups have been fixed. Please forgive my Tim McCarver moment.)

I don't watch a ton of college basketball, but I happened to catch the last few minutes of regulation and both overtime periods of tonight's Texas A&M-Texas slugfest.

It was my first exposure to Kevin Durant and Acie Law, and I have to admit to being impressed with both players. In addition to being exceptional basketball players, each proved himself to be in possession of incredible guts - Durant by hitting some big free throws down the stretch and Earl by draining threes to tie the game at the end of regulation and the first overtime. As a Celtic fan, I wouldn't mind seeing either guy in Boston next season (although really, the last thing that team needs is another guard).

One thing about the game struck me as odd, however: the antics of Longhorn freshman Damion James. Maybe he was happy about having a career night with 22 points, or maybe he was excited that the Longhorns came away with the hard fought win, or maybe he's just strange, but the camera picked up James doing two things down the stretch - neither of them really offensive in any way, just weird - that caught my attention.

First, as the second overtime was winding down, the camera cut to a shot of the court just in time to see James smack teammate A.J. Abrams on the ass. This wasn't a love tap, a "Let's make a play here and win this thing" type of deal, the sort of thing you see from baseball players all the time - it was an "If you mess up, I OWN this ass" slap. He hit the dude hard.

Abrams at first appeared understandably upset by the incident, snapping to attention and whirling around to confront the transgressor. When he saw that it was James, he backed off, presumably because

a) they still had a game to win
b) he's come to expect this sort of thing after playing with James all season
c) he knew James was merely perfecting some post-game moves

Still, for a second there, I thought I was going to see my first ever basketball fight between two teammates.

Then, of course, there was the second incident. After A&M missed the last shot and the game ended, one of the Texas players came away with the ball and began walking toward the bench, at which time James ran up to him and wrestled the ball from his grasp.

"Okay," I thought to myself. "Not exactly the best way to go about it, but this was a huge win and he had a great game. He probably wants the ball as a keepsake, something to remember the night by. Certainly better than proposing marriage to one of the cheerleaders."

That's when he threw the ball into the crowd.

I was too surprised by this sudden turn of events to pay close attention, but I'm fairly certain the reaction of the teammate was, "Dude, what the fuck?"

Dude, what the fuck, indeed. All of this struck me, as I mentioned earlier, as kind of odd. Maybe there were reasons for the way James acted. Maybe he was getting loopy after logging 43 minutes in a tough game. Maybe he likes the way A.J. Abrams' ass looks in those shorts. Maybe he believed that the fans deserved a game ball after the win. Or maybe he's just a little on the nutty side.

All things considered, he might be my new favorite player.


Mini Me said...

Ok I saw the clip and that had to have hurt haha.

Anonymous said...

It's Damion James, not Jones.

Marco said...

I watched that whole game and didn't notice that until now....but man is that funny

Geoff Ketchum said...

Longhorn men can't keep their hands off other men's butts. What do you expect from the only school in the country that castrates it's own mascot?