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Saturday, March 13, 2010
The Onion skewers Phil Jackson, Stan Van Gundy, and perhaps barbecue

By Brian Kamenetzky

An excerpt from a great piece of Onion satire tweaking Phil Jackson's well-chronicled practice of handing out books to his players, under the headline, "Stan Van Gundy Gives Players 'Dr. BBQ's Big-Time Barbecue Cookbook' To Read During Road Trip:"

"...Throughout his six-year head coaching career, Van Gundy has separated himself from his colleagues not just with his impressive record, but with a Zen-like commitment to getting his players to think about the world of barbecue in a different way. Orlando Magic players have said that Van Gundy is always finding new ways to motivate his team, whether showing them inspirational footage of his 23-year-old self receiving his official barbecue-competition judge's certificate, or canceling practice altogether to take them to a classic Kansas City rib joint. During their victory over the Lakers last Sunday, Van Gundy called a timeout for a quick meditation and breathing session, encouraging his players to remember the aroma of the plate of brisket he ate during halftime.

"He preaches patience," guard Jason Williams said. "Whenever we're rushing things on offense, he'll always tell us to slow down and imagine the poise and control it took for some of the country's greatest barbecue chefs to infuse their pork rib slabs with a handcrafted spice blend, refrigerate them in marinade for 12 hours, massage them, and then patiently cooking them 'low and slow' for another 10 hours at 250 degrees." Van Gundy reportedly promised his team that Dr. BBQ's Big-Time Barbecue Cookbook will force them to step outside themselves and ask metaphysical questions about the cooking style, such as: What is the true difference between grilling and barbecuing? What is the best barbecue smoker to buy, and how do I use it to its full potential? When can you trust your own instincts to predict a beef brisket's marbleization, and when do you enlist the wisdom of others? And most importantly, what are the secrets to becoming a true barbecue champion?..."

Brilliant stuff.