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The NBA does a lot to promote the D-League. A lot of it, sadly, doesn't work. The truth is that most NBA fans just aren't that fascinated by basketball that's almost as good as the best basketball. It's not fair, it's not right, but it is.
To me, however, the D-League represents a wholly different opportunity. While it may not be a source of many headlines, there's no reason it can't be a source of tremendous stories.
Pay someone a million dollars as an NBA player, and there is a natural tendency to get conservative around the media. Why be pubilc about the time I tried to shoplift a comic book, or punched my brother in the face, or disappointed a teacher, when it could somehow interrupt the PR-based gravy train of contracts, endorsements, and celebrity that are my career?
But outside the NBA, people are ready to tell some stories. And as luck would have it, Coleman Collins, a 6-9 power forward who just finished a season as a Fort Wayne Mad Ant (and used to play at Virginia Tech and in Europe, and has played some NBA summer league) can write!
He has agreed to keep a semi-regular blog on TrueHoop, as he travels the world, works out, and lives the life of a professional basketball player this summer. I'll let him introduce himself.
As a general rule, I hate introductions. Every introduction is, at its core, a plea for attention. "This is who I am," you are saying. "Notice my posture -- my handshake is firm! Like me! Love me! Friend me on Facebook!"
You are the oddly-dressed kid on the playground -- a sad fact that is only magnified online.
Let's just make this as quick and painless as possible.
My name is Coleman Collins. I am to be listened to, read, and taken seriously (at times) because I am smart enough to have found a way to make a living playing a game. The game is basketball. I am a Professional Basketball Player. I have been a PBP for several years, on the outskirts of the NBA, the inskirts of the D-League, and deep in the nether regions of Europe.
With the publication of this entry I will have become a Professional Writer as well. This is because I am getting Paid, and handsomely at that; my contract is striking for its genius and simplicity. I have been contracted to write semi-regularly about anything and everything. I will be getting compensated, as is my custom, on a strict per-consonant basis.
As you are undoubtedly aware, this method of payment can occasionally be distracting -- it lends itself to obscure discussions of Eastern European politics and marine biology -- but I assure you that I am a different breed of PW. There will be no consonant-spiking here.
The things written will be what I am absolutely sure are true, or what I am completely positive are not true. The discerning reader may decide which is which. There will be no retractions; or, failing that, all retractions will be made halfheartedly and grudgingly, through gritted teeth.
Irony and sarcasm are still alive, I hope, and if not we will do our best to resurrect them. There will be many topics to discuss over the summer.
Plenty of basketball, of course.
We will take all questions and comments concerning the game's past, present, and future. We will discuss the various leagues -- NBA, D-League, Europe, elsewhere. There will be insights into things pertaining to the business of Playing Basketball Professionally. This will unavoidably be basketball-centric, but there will ultimately be more than that. There will be Paris. There will be glimpses of the Monaco Grand Prix. There will be buckets of international intrigue. There will be a lot of New York, and various other cities. There will be random capitalization and entries written entirely in the second person. And pictures, lots of pictures.
And after this sentence, with two exceptions, there will be a strict ban on the phrase "there will be." Because, having read this, you are already well-apprised of what there will be. There will be life, the universe, and everything.
More than this I cannot give, and more than this you would be unwise to expect.
(Photo courtesy of Coleman Collins.)