By Bill Simmons
Page 2

THE FINALISTS -- ROUND 5: 1-2 | 3-5


Editor's note: The following two finalists were eliminated.

Name: Chuck Bell
College: Ithaca College
Residence: Kenmore, NY
Current Job: Grant Writer
Age: 29

First off, there's no word on the contest for over a week, and then we have to put something together against the backdrop of March Madness and the kickoff of MTV Spring Break ... thanks a lot!

Secondly, as our celebrity judge has pointed out concerning relationships, I know I'll never fully satisfy a cellmate, or vice-versa. We'll probably end up measuring each other against fictionalized ideals like Frank Leone and Andy Dufresne, and getting disappointed. That being said -- a look at the field:

Kyle Korver. It would be nice to know that if somebody gets frisky, I'm guaranteed to get passed over for the pretty one.

Tony Parker. His defensive prowess would come in handy in the joint, plus there's that glimmer of hope that I'd be around for an Eva Longoria visit (conjugal or otherwise).

Kenny Anderson. Really just to make Kevin Cott jealous.

Shaq. He's the obvious choice for protection and instant cred, but I fear what spending every moment next to him might do for my budding inferiority complex, and I REALLY fear what would happen if he turned his wrath (or anything else) on me. Which leads me to my selection ...

Steve Nash.

I mean, have you seen the latest ESPN the magazine? There's no threat there. Plus his "court vision" should translate to "yard vision," keeping us one step ahead of trouble. I should also mention that I have no real identity or individuality, so chances are I'll end up co-opting the culture of my cellmate. Since I'm EXTREMELY white, a Canadian culture shift might be less laughable than some of the alternatives, eh? Actually, I'm already a fan of Canadian culture. I'm okay with the metric system, enjoy the "Canadian Ballet," love the bands 54-40 and the Tragically Hip, and I'm intimately familiar with "two-fours" of Labatt.

Other reasons I'd want Steve Nash as my friend, my confidant, my everything:

1. He may be the only person in the world who won't get sick of my bragging about picking Santa Clara over Arizona in the 1993 NCAA Tournament. It was my first (and last) successful major upset pick.

2. I like his hair, and I've always considered that the single most important quality to look for in a potential cellmate.

Yup, these are my reasons ...

Now I eagerly anticipate Theresa and Renee's entries like a 12-year-old waiting for Caged Heat to start on Cinemax.

Name: Justin Williams
College: Bryant University 2005
Residence: Smithfield, RI
Current Job: Student
Age: 21

It warrants mentioning that I'm writing this on my Spring Break in Cancun. On my trip, there have been 3 highlights:

1. Going to the 50 Cent concert and having him spill his water on me.

2. Shaking hands with Trishelle from the Real World.

3. Forgoing an afternoon of MTVesque fun to watch the movie "Lock Up" in Spanish subtitles.

Highlight number 3 is most important because "Lock Up" inspired this answer. Without a doubt, the perfect cellmate would be Frank Leone (played by Sylvester Stallone).

As Warden Drumgoole tells Leone about prison, "This is Hell, and I'm going to give you a guided tour." Clearly to get through my sentence to hell, my cellmate must share Leone's qualities as shown in "Lock Up."

In the movie:

Leone is into cars, so Latrell Sprewell would be great. He has inspired a generation of Black people to forgo saving for things like their children's college education to buy his spinning rims. (Note: I can point this out because I'm Black).

Leone, a prison veteran, drops wisdom like a poor man's Yogi Berra. Great examples include, "You always gotta be ready to move first, and you just might be able to get to first base in this place" and "Nothing is dead till it's buried"). A cellmate like Allen Iverson who's done time and could show me the ropes would be great.

Leone takes part in an impromptu prison football game and although he carries the football like a loaf of bread, he amazingly plays QB, RB, WR, and TE all in the same musical montage. A cellmate like multiple position playing Dirk Nowitzki would be good in the event that a rival prison faction challenges me to a basketball game/montage.

We learn Leone escaped from prison five years ago. A cellmate like Mateen Cleaves (averaging 0.2 ppg) who essentially disappeared in the NBA could help me disappear from prison like Frank.

Leone gives his friends multiple-step handshakes, for this quality any black NBA player would do.

The above players are good choices, but to be honest, "prison love" is my main concern. Also I need to pick one player. For this reason, although he just retired and shares no Frank Leone qualities, I'd definitely choose Rick Fox as my cellmate because any potential "lover" would go after him before me.

THE FINALISTS -- ROUND 5: 1-2 | 3-5