Short and Sweet
By Gary Sussman
Who knew ‘The Mooch’ was on a 10-day?????
Last week I called from Michael Imperioli to be cast…how did I know it should have been Big Pussy?
But what a memorable call-up it was. Firings in the air, censors scrambling to bleep out the expletives, tremendous sunglasses….and one memorable press conference. And since he’s worth 85 mill, give or take, who needs a severance package? And his speaking fee if he wants…estimated at 75 large a gig. Oh man, sign me up. ( BTW, I’m going out on a limb here and say that his command performance before the WH press corp, which truly was outstanding, was the first time any speaker said, “I’ll use the hair and makeup person” from that podium at that address….but I digress).
But this is sports, not Politico, so we need to take note of some other memorable press conferences that captured the imagination as forever lasting as “ Where’s the beef?” ‘The Mooch’s TV presence was gearing up as a Netflix binge watch before he was escorted from the premises. So let’s move quickly from leaking in the West Wing to burying a jumper from the wing. That’s right…AI.
Before we toast the past, how about the present for the newest HOF. Who managed to get himself suspended from the BIG3, a three-on-three SUMMER basketball league? And who doled out the suspension? Silver…Stern…Mark Cuban? Ice Cube. AI skipped a game in Dallas, and IC put The Crossover on the rocks…stirred not shaken, and of course, crushed, not cubed! And this wasn’t practice. This was the game. Because we all know AI’s feeling about practice.
And on the subject of games, none better than former Jets’ coach Herm Edwards, who like ‘The Mooch’, has found the TV studio more comforting than the sideline. Or Jim Mora, who took exasperation to the next level. And who doesn’t like exasperation dripping from a coach.
My own personal fave took place at media day in 2004, when the band that Rod had assembled with J Kidd as the conductor was being dismantled due to finances. K Mart was first off the reservation, signed to a front-loaded free agent contract by Denver. So #5 is at the table, and a reporter asks, ‘ Do you like your chances this year’…at which time Ron Mercer emerges from the training room onto the floor. And with exquisite timing, delivering the line as if he was threading a pass through two defenders, the point guard set that steely gaze on his new teammate and said, “Not with players like that!” Waiter!!!!!!!!!
When you think about it, ‘The Mooch’ was just the first casualty of training camp…The Turk went to his office, told him the boss wanted to see him….and bring your playbook.
I could have sworn I saw Shane Spencer sitting in the ‘Judge’s Chamber’ this week.
Beyonce’ wants to buy the Rockets. Only a matter of time before J Lo approaches the Steinbrenner family.
‘Ray Donovan’ returns on tonight.
photos: Vincent Pastore (Big Pussy Bonpensiero, The Sopranos) courtesy HBO; Anthony Scaramucci courtesy newsweek.com; Jason Kidd courtesy espn.com; Ron Mercer courtesy bestsportsphotos.com