Reefer Madness

Chewing the fat with Damon Stoudamire--sort of.

Former UA guard Damon Stoudamire was arrested recently at the Tucson International Airport when he tried to board a plane with marijuana in his possession. The marijuana was wrapped in aluminum foil, which triggered the metal detector.

It was his third drug arrest in the past year and, despite the fact that the standard NBA contract does NOT contain a clause that could lead to his immediate dismissal from the team, his days with the Portland Trail Blazers (and the NBA) have probably come to an end.

What follows is a fictitious conversation I had with him in my sleep the other night. It's not real, although, in his state, he probably wouldn't be able to tell one way or another. I'm just letting you know that it's not real in case some sheisty lawyer out for a quick buck (and isn't that a run-on redundancy!) gets any ideas.

TD: Hi, Damon.

DS: What kinda question is that?!

TD: Well, actually, it wasn't a question. It was a greeting. We don't need to ask that particular question; we're all pretty sure what the answer would be.

DS: All right, then. As long as you're not trying to embarrass me.

TD: No, no. You certainly don't need any help in that department. Tell me what happened at the airport.

DS: Y'know, it's weird. When I was growing up, my Grandma and everybody called that stuff "tin foil." Now, I know tin is a metal and probably ain't gonna make it through the metal detector. But then I found out that that stuff is actually aluminum, so I figured, "Hey, why not?"

TD: You didn't know that aluminum was a metal?

DS: Well, you can bend it and it hardly weighs anything. How's that a metal?

TD: Metals are elements that share certain characteristics, among them a high tensile strength and malleability. Actually, it's a common property of metals that they can be hammered into thin sheets. Metals generally occupy the same columns in the Periodic Table.

DS: Which table?

TD: The Periodic Table of the elements, put together by Dmitri Mendeleev.

DS: I know that, dude. He played strong forward for the Cavaliers last season.

TD: No, he was a 19th-century Russian chemist. Anyway, you were in Tucson working on your degree. How's school going?

DS: I'm getting there. I just know that when I get a degree, things will be different.

TD: That's true. Most family studies grads can identify a basic metal. That degree is going to have an impact on you, like the Scarecrow in The Wizard of Oz.

DS: The Wizard? Is that like that Harry Potter stuff?

TD: No, it's a political allegory, written by L. Frank Baum, involving issues confronting America during the times of William Jennings Bryan.

DS: Is he related to Kobe?

TD: You know, I catch a lot of heat in these parts for not being part of that drug culture. But I have a question that has been nagging me: You only had a little bit of that stuff. Why risk getting caught? You can't smoke it on the plane.

DS: I know. That's a bitch, ain't it?

TD: So why not just toss it and get some more when you get back to Portland? I read in the paper that you used to have a whole kitchen table full of that stuff.

DS: Yeah, but me and my boys had to get rid of the evidence, if you know what I mean.

TD: Yeah, I saw the Blazers play this year.

DS: What's that supposed to mean? We made it all the way to the first round of the playoffs. Do you know how close we got to the championship?

TD: Well, let's see, there are four rounds of playoffs, so you missed the championship by at least three full rounds of playoffs.

DS: I rest my case.

TD: You've probably heard that phrase a few times in your life. Anyway, if you were here in town to get an education, why would you smoke dope?

DS: One time I saw where Method Man smoked some herb with his boy's ashes in it, and he not only got into Harvard, he got to have sex with that girl from Saved by the Bell.

TD: That was a movie. It's not real.

DS: Yeah, but there really is a Harvard, right?

TD: Yes.

DS: So it's not all fake.

TD: What about your second arrest, the one where, after a game in Seattle, you and that idiot Rasheed Wallace decided to skip the team plane and go back to Portland by car? When the cops pulled you guys over, you and 'Sheed were both smoking dope in a car that was traveling 125 miles per hour on the interstate. Why would you do that?

DS: I already told you that we can't smoke on the plane. Not even a charter.

TD: Why smoke it at all?

DS: It's to relieve all the stress in my life.

TD: You live in a mansion, you drive fancy cars and you play basketball.

DS: But it's my career.

TD: Oh, that's right. You play basketball and they give you millions of dollars to do so.

DS: I'm glad you're finally starting to understand.

TD: While it's not beyond the realm of possibility that some NBA team might be stupid enough to take on the contract of an undersized, overpaid guy who's a cancer in the locker room and has an obvious drug problem, how do you face the prospect that your NBA career is probably over?

DS: Man, I'm really stressed. You wouldn't happen to--

TD: No.

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