I've liked this kid from the very beginning. He plays hard all the time; doesn't talk mess; and is as athletic as hell. The girls basketball team I coach even has an inbounds play named for him. It sucks and almost never works, but I just like shouting "Iggy!" from the bench.
I left the interview thinking that we should set up a telethon to buy this kid an ego. First of all, there's no way he's ready to go to the NBA; he doesn't even know how to refer to himself in third-person yet. He kept referring to himself as "I" and talking about discipline and taking responsibility for one's own actions. I felt kinda light-headed and disoriented.
And then there were The Test results. (I put The Test in bold to see if anybody will subliminally find it important. It's actually just a bunch of either/or questions I made up about 35 seconds before he showed up. But I figure if I put it in bold, there might be somebody stupid enough out there--say, Fox News Network--to pick it up and run with it and perhaps even distort the national political landscape, like they did with the Paul Wellstone funeral.)
As for the test (I mean, The Test):
Q: "Speakerboxx" or "The Love Below?"
Andre: Oh, "The Love Below."
This is clearly the right answer. According to stats compiled by a super-secret branch of the Homeland Security Department, "The Love Below" has been played 18 bazillion times, while "Speakerboxx" is just now coming up on 2,000. And if you don't know what we're talking about, the duo OutKast creates what we enlightened old folks refer to as "good rap," as opposed to guys who live in mansions and earn street cred by rapping about private parts, sodomy, gunfire and rape.
Q: Ice-Statue Lute or Sh-t-Talking Lute?
Andre: (Without hesitation, he responded in the latter.)
I had painted him into a corner by using an expletive in the question, and I don't want to quote him as using it in his response, but boy, did his face light up when he was thinking about Olson's heretofore uncharacteristic outburst during and after the latest ASU ass-whuppin'.
Oddly, enough, several friends of mine don't like what Olson did. They think that with the UA having won something like 28 out of the last 30 games against ASU, it's not a rivalry; it's a bloodletting. One friend told me that he thought it was cheesy for Lute to be working the refs late in a blowout, and he also questioned why the Wildcats still had their starters in with four minutes left in the game. My friend also said the local media would not only never criticize Lute, they would never even mention that others had been critical of him. He says that Lute is so powerful that anybody who did so would become a new kind of desaparecido. I said that was ridic--
OK, I'm back. I had to go outside; I could have sworn there was some kind of black helicopter flying over my house.
As for the rest of The Test:
Q: East or West?
Andre: Neither one. Midwest.
Q: Junk food or good food?
Andre: Junk food, definitely. I love Twizzlers.
Q: Favorite fries?
Andre: McDonald's. Sometimes I'll stop at McDonald's just for some fries. Oh wait, I had some good fries last night at that new barbecue place, Famous Dave's. There's a Famous Dave's back home. The fries are real good.
Obviously, Josh Pastner will have to take him aside and school him on the virtues of Smokin'.
Q: Mya or Alicia Keys?
Andre: Mya. She's more open with her sexuality.
He only gets partial credit for this one. Mya's OK, but Alicia Keys is the real deal. As for Mya's overt sexuality, that's fine. He's young and at least Mya doesn't stoop to the slutdom of Christina or Eve. But things that are complex and mysterious can be more appealing. It's like that story of the two guys in a nudist camp who see a very attractive woman walk by. One guy turns to the other and says, "Wow, she'd really look great in a sweater."
Q: Have you ever felt like slapping Hassan Adams upside the head and telling him to shut the hell up?
Andre: In practice a couple times, but never in a game. We love his enthusiasm.
Q: What Pac-10 team would you want to play for if you weren't a Wildcat?
Andre: Stanford. Definitely.
Q: We talked about Sh-t-Talking Lute. Does he really?
Andre: I made him cuss in practice once. I was complaining about something and he said, "Bitch, bitch, bitch." But he keeps control pretty well. (Pause) Maybe you might not want to mention that story.
There goes that helicopter again.
Q: American Pie or Blazing Saddles?
Andre: I've never seen Blazing Saddles. What is that?
We stopped the interview and I told him I'd bring him a copy so he could watch it. In all seriousness, I'll probably have to go through the compliance officer to make sure that it's not some kind of NCAA violation. Every young guy should see Blazing Saddles. And after he does so, he can answer the final question:
Q: Best line:
A. "Isn't somebody going to help that poor man?"
B. "Where da white womens at?"
C. "Somebody's gonna have to go back and get a shitload of dimes."