Friday, October 15, 2004

Midnight madness

Well, the Tarheels start the 2004-05 season at midnight and they have some lofty expectations -- especially given that only three years ago they won 8 games. Anyway, after weeks of virtually no news, there seems to be a whole bunch of stuff out there. If you're dying to read it all, start here (and here are some photos from media day).

And as usual, there are a lot of stories about the enigmatic Rashad McCants -- and also as usual, the stories focus on his "unique" personality instead of the fact that he might be the best two-guard in the country. Anyway, here's one of the funniest stories I've read so far about McCants:

"Rashad taught me a great lesson," Jackie Manuel says. "We were playing pickup, and he was talking trash. It really made me mad. After the game I went and talked to him and said, `What was the point?' He said, `I just wanted to make you mad to see how you reacted.' From that day, I said he was never going to make me mad, no matter what he said. That's Rashad. He tests people to see how they react. If you react the way he wants you to react, he'll get the best of you. If you pay it no mind and let it go, he'll stop.

"I've learned a lot from him. To this day, I'm still taking stuff from him. He's a smart kid. He knows what he's doing. He knows the game."
I used to try and trash talk during pickup games, but for some reason it was a lot less effective. I'm guessing it had something to do with the fact that I was talking trash as the guy I was guarding was blowing past me. There's nothing quite as humiliating as talking trash to someone while they're dunking on you (except maybe getting run over by a segway -- see above).

The more I read about McCants, the more I'm convinced he's somehow related to Manny Ramirez. But unlike Manny, Rashad seems to have matured a lot in his time at UNC, especially under Roy Williams.

Good stuff.