So yeah, the story would be that, as part of my very enjoyable stint co-blogging with The Big Homey Bethlehem Shoals at GQ's NBA Playoffs blog, my editor let me write some goofy, glossy-mag style ledes for fake profiles of NBA benchwarmers. It's an idea near and dear to my heart, since I invariably find glossy-mag profiles hilarious and bloated and kind of stunning in their instantly-dated, strangely evergreen hoariness. I was happy with the two pieces I wrote -- and the one that the terrific Sean Conboy wrote for Brian Cardinal -- even if the one I wrote for Royal Ivey somehow resulted in everyone from Oklahoma City getting really mad at me on Twitter and (as OKC'ers will do) becoming defensive and prickly in a way that resulted in contradicto-bile of the "UR an ignorant faggot" variety. Some troll-y dude with a face like a char siu pork took my joke about OKC's restaurant scene personally -- I should mention that it was a joke again, I guess? In case anyone thought I was seriously suggesting that Golden Corral is the best restaurant in a city, anywhere? -- and it got kind of out of hand. The one I wrote for Troy Murphy, which I think is maybe funnier, got no such response, naturally, because Morris County, NJ, stand up.
Anyway, I wrote a third one of these for Jason Collins (right, above, grimacing), which never ran because there was never room for it in the flow before the Hawks were eliminated. Which means that the first two paragraphs from "A Man Called Twin" have never been seen... until now. YOU ARE LIVING IN A MIRACLE, INTERNET.
I am so sorry about these capital letters. Here it is:
From "A Man Called Twin"
There is Jason Collins, and then there is Jason Collins. This is beyond all those terrible, terrible seeing-double jokes, the ones the big man has heard since he was a big kid – jokes he has heard because Jason Collins has an identical twin brother named Jarron, and because the two of them spent a lot of time on the basketball court together, being taller and more alike-looking than anyone else out there. So there is Jason Collins, and there is his actual twin – big fella, wearing street clothes on the Los Angeles Clippers' bench, looks suspiciously like Jason – whose existence probably has something to do with why Jason's teammates call him "Twin." But while the nickname makes sense, there's more to it – and more to why it makes so much sense as a description of one of the NBA's gentlest giants – than the simple, dry and factual. Which works, because there is more than one Jason Collins.
There is the one who sets the screens, plays the defense, does those big-L big-T Little Things. Which is the Jason Collins you know about, and the one you hear about. But while those are the things that have earned Jason Collins his millions, and which pay for the acres of cashmere sweaters hanging in his walk-in closet, they are… wait, the sweaters are hanging? "I'm a neat guy, I guess," Collins says. "And if you have the right type of hanger you don't get those little bumps in the shoulder-area that you can get sometimes if you leave something on a hanger too long." And now we're getting close to the other Jason Collins: the tough guy and the one who lovingly maintains those soft, two-ply sweaters. The guy who sets the bone-rattling picks and the one who will proudly tell you that he picked out all the furniture in his Buckhead home because "home is important." Twin's twin, let's call him. The other Jason Collins.