Don’t Be the Benchwarmer Everyone Hates

During the second half of my second year in Israel, I was relegated to the bench. I wasn’t a sixth man. I was the last man. Well, maybe I was just above the 17-year-old who was in the army and was only there half the time. But I certainly wasn’t playing. I’d never been a bench warmer. While it was miserable at the time, I learned a lot. Like how sometimes you just have to deal with an “unfair” situation. You have no right to become an obnoxious, negative, sarcastic practical joker just because you think you’ve been slighted. That’s a good…

Why I’m Leaving Los Angeles for Wisconsin

About a month ago, I decided that I was moving out of Los Angeles. Everyone I’ve told has been surprised. The surprise turns to shock when I say I’m moving to Wisconsin. The bewilderment stems from the fact that people in LA know the following things about Wisconsin: 1. It’s cold 2. The Green Bay Packers 3. Cheese 4. “Really, do you know how cold it is there?” 5.  Jeffrey Dahmer You can see how convincing people of Wisconsin’s merits is an uphill battle. I wouldn’t move there if I thought all I’d be doing is shivering in my apartment, watching football, pounding string cheese and keeping an eye…

Russell Westbrook is not THAT Good

The NBA media can’t shut up about Russell Westbrook’s recent run of play, and for good reason. He’s a beast. His body parts keep exploding, yet he keeps coming back stronger. The basketball gods said “we’re going to ruin Derrick Rose and Westbrook. They’re too good. And we’re assholes.” Rose went down, but Westbrook threw up two middle fingers and continued to rampage through the league. He’s a monster. One of the best players in the league. Yet, he still makes plays like this: There he is, throwing up an airball. It happens, even to the greats. Thankfully for the Thunder, Enes Kanter grabbed…

21 Steps To Get Through an Agency Workday

How to get through the day when you work at Hollywood talent agency: Show up to your desk in the morning. Realize you forgot to do something the night before. Endure some scolding from your boss. Blame your bosses previous assistant for the error, no matter what went wrong. “I’m sorry, I guess _____ never filed that. Some people just don’t respect the job.” (Harder to pull off after you’ve established yourself as average and the previous assistant was amazing. But, as the great Wayne Gretzky said, you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.) Start feeling a little down, because it’s only…

Inside the Mind of a Disgruntled College Athlete

Basketball players and their coaches have two kinds of relationships: Blissful and symbiotic – Or nasty and toxic – I know players who loved their coaches, and players who wouldn’t have helped their coaches if they’d found them trapped in a burning car. There’s not really an in-between. It’s a love/hate thing, in my experience. I thought it’d be interesting to look back on a time in my life when I was convinced my old college coach, Tommy Amaker, was a sadistic person. I truly believed that he was determined to ruin my life and drain me of every last vestige of enjoyment that I could get out…

Why Players Don’t Listen to Their Coaches

European basketball coaches, and especially Israeli league coaches, have an obsession with strategic, aggressive fouling. “USE. YOUR. FOWWWWWWWWLS!!!” was easily the most frequent thing I heard during timeouts. The idea was to make the game choppy, take the offense out of its rhythm and prevent fastbreaks. The strategy made a lot of sense to me, but it also represented the most jarring difference in transitioning to the European style of basketball. Let me quickly say that I always found it interesting that so many Israelis identified as “European.”  This was most noticeable in the way they dressed. You looked out of place…