A Barber’s Tale

Last Saturday, when I was about to enter my suking barber shop, my regular barber met me not with the usual “good afternoon,” but with “tagak na gyud imong LA Lakers sir!” While he seated me and draped me with the barber’s cape, he asked me not the usual, “unsay style nato ani imong buhok sir?” or “mao lang gihapon sir?” his next phrase was, “luoyang LeBron James sir, first time in 14 years wa siya kasulod og playoffs.

Putol pod iyang seven straight years nga Finals appearance. Tsk tsk tsk. Unsay style nato ani sir?” I responded with, “mao lang gihapon bay!” As his clipper zipped back and forth unto my head, he continued to state facts about the ongoing NBA Season. On how, the Golden State Warriors would become a dynasty with its 5 superstars – Curry, Durant, Green,  Thompson and Cousins.

On how he loathed the referees who obviously let James Harden do away with violations and the rise of the new batch of European players lead by Giannis Antetokounmpo, Luka Doncic among others.All those times, I stayed quite. You see, I’m a good listener.

When people blabbers, I listened! I just blurted occasional laughs and “mao gyud” in agreement to the facts that he stated.Until he tackled the issue on who is the rightful GOAT. “Pero para nako sir si Michael Jordan gyud pinakamaayong basketball player. Napa champion niya ang Chicago Bulls kaunom bisan way kauban nga All-star.

Wa pa gyud mapildi si Jordan sa playoffs. Maong di gyud katupong si LeBron niya,” he continued.This was where I interrupted him. “Di baya na tinuod nga walay laing star ang CHICAGO. Si Pippen, All-Star pod to siya. (Let me continue our conversation in English, for the sake of those who doesn’t understand Bisaya.)

In 1990 Pippen got his first All-Star appearance. That was a year before Chicago got its first NBA championship. Aside from Pippen, center Bill Cartwright was an All-Star in 1980, on his rookie year; BJ Armstrong and Horace Grant were also All-Stars but only after the Bulls completed its first 3-peat in 1991-1993.

One player worth mentioning was Craig Hodges who won three straight 3-point shooting titles (1990-1992). Hodges appeared in eight straight 3-point shooting contest losing to Larry Bird in 1986 and to Dale Ellis in 1989. On Chicago’s second 3-peat (1996-1998), he still has Pippen as his main back up.

Pippen was an All-Star in 1992 to 1997, where he won the All-Star MVP title in 1994; Tony Kucoc, the Yugoslavian assassin who was named NBA 6th Man of the Year in 1996, and European Star player who was named FIBA World Cup MVP in 1990, FIBA Eurobasket MVP in 1991, member of FIBA 50 Greatest in 1991 were just few of his mile-long achievements in Europe.

Maybe by now you have known the contributions of the European players since you earlier mentioned Antetokounmpo, Docic, Bogdan Bogdanovic; there’s Robert Parish who appeared in 9-All Stars and won three rings with the Boston Celtics before he joined the Bulls in 1997; and then there’s Dennis Rodman, the bad boy who won two championships with the Detroit Pistons before he joined the Bulls in 1996. “Ha? Dennis Rodman?

The player with many piercings and tattoos on his body, won two championships before he became a member of the Chicago Bulls?” my barber interrupted. Yes he had!, I answered. Not only that, he was an All-Star twice in 1990 and in 1992. Here’s the mind-boggling part. He was the NBA’s rebound king from 1992-1998.

The defensive player of year in 1990 and in 1991 and member of the All-Defensive 1st Team from 1985 to 1993, 1995 and 1996. And he is only 6-7. You see, Jordan also had All-Star players playing alongside him in all those times that he won the NBA title. “Wow, how did you know all this things sir? You must be at least 50 years old to know all that.

Hahaha! how did I knew that. I did not read in Facebook or in local newspapers,” he added. Because my friend local newspaper only prioritize local news, there is no space for information like what I told you. Besides those stories were printed before you even owned your first pair of comb and scissors.

Facebook posts were also made by people who only knew the exploits of Michael Jordan. But not on what kind of backup players he had when he won the championships. Most of them probably don’t know who was Bill Cartwright, or Robert Parish or BJ Armstrong or John Paxson.

Those Facebook articles were probably made by LeBron haters who continued to compare him with Jordan. The next time you go online try google, it is very helpful. Internet does not only mean stalking hotties and crushes on Facebook or Instagram. Or trolling on Twitter or watching pornhub.

Try google for archive stories or stories from informative sites like iNews.ph, CNN.com, espn.com and the likes. I’m sure you can present your facts better when you talk about what’s happening around the world. And that’s no barber tale, I told him.“For me sir, Jordan is way better than LeBron,” as he did the finale – massages my shoulders and my back.

As I stood up and reach for my wallet for a P50 bill (haircut only cost P40). “We’ll discuss that when I come back next month. You read facts about Jordan and James in the internet, so that we can have a good discussion. Here’s a P50, you keep the change,” and I scuttled towards the door. /RCM