Friday, May 21, 2010

To Continue "The Wire" Analogy:

So those who didn't see the other day, our immensely talented (soon to be off the market permanently) Stanimal compared John Calipari to Avon Barksdale, this was brilliant in my opinion because 1) I love The Wire and 2) I loath both Calipari and Avon. As soon as I read Stanimal's post I immediately thought, well if Calipari is Avon well then who is Stringer Bell? Bell was the man behind the scenes, he was the brains of the operations. He was the guy behind the guy behind the guy (any excuse to reference "Swingers"). Well I have the answer. Its the man at the top (and no I don't mean LeBron, soon to be " The Chicago Hammer" James:

The man w/ LeBron for those of you who don't know is William Wesley or as he is better known "Worldwide Wes". He is THE Ultimate power broker in basketball. Not pro-basketball, not college basketball, not high school or AAU basketball, BUT ALL of basketball. If this is the first time you have heard of him here is an excellent article from a couple years ago in GQ.

Worldwide Wes ("WWW") is the ultimate power broker despite not having any real job in with any team, league, business, agency or any other identifiable way. In this way he reminds me of Stringer Bell from "The Wire" whom I think one could easily argue is the most interesting and complex character on the greatest television show ever. While watching Stringer's character develop over the course of the show I was torn between wanting McNulty to nail his ass and wanting Bell to become this ultimate Kingpin type character, seemingly having the ability to dominate both the streets and the corporate jungle. The amazing thing about Bell was he didn't seek the limelight or care about his "Rep" the way Avon did. His decisions were cold, calculated and most importantly intelligent. He didn't see being the # 1 drug cartel in Baltimore as the end goal. Instead it was a means to an end. That being a way out of "The Streets" and into the legitimate business world.

WWW seems to be the same way. He generally has avoided the spotlight unlike his higher profile confidants. His influence is wide ranging and he doesn't seem to have one simple goal in mind. He probably could have parlayed his power into becoming one of the most high profile agents, or a top position in a franchise or even into a corporate job with a company like Nike. Instead he realizes his true power lays in staying just slightly outside of the system. Both WWW and Stringer straddle the line so well its scary.

I find myself both hating that WWW exists in basketball and yet respecting the hell out of what he has done to build this mini-Empire. Pretty impressive. (Also I would be lying if I said I wasn't partially routing for him to get Calipari to leave UK in a mess and head to the NBA. God that would be hilarious.)

I guess the question now is who are the other "Wire" characters? McNulty? Bunk? Marlo? Omar? Taking suggestions beginning..........


A.J. said...

Is Coach Stallings Lester Freemon?

I think Bruce Pearl is Jay Landsman.

A.J. said...

Oh! I think Ogilvy is Herc. Big white guy. On the good side, but his biggest screw-ups are more memorable than his biggest successes. Never met his potential then left early to chase some money.

To add to my Stallings and Pearl analogy, Freemon is smarter than everyone else but doesn't get the respect he deserves.

Landsman may be against the bad guys (UK) but he isn't much of a good guy. He's a clown and kind of a jerk, which overshadows any ability he may or may not have.

I could do this all day if I wasn't writing a note to get on Law Review.

Douglas James said...

Love the AJ/Herc analogy! Don't know about Stallings being Lester Freemon. If anyone is Lester Freemon at Vandy its CBJ. People don't see him coming but he knows his shit, was hidden for many years (Pawn Unit/Furman). Though not sure CBJ would marry a stripper.

Aaron said...

Charles Barkley is Bunk.

Unknown said...

jermaine beal is omar. always shooting but noone ever seems to mind.

Dr. Mz said...

Give Avon a little credit.

I'll give you that Stringer is a more interesting character. But he wouldn't exist without Avon, because muscle is what ultimately runs the corner. Not vision. Not creativity.

And muscle is what will always run the corner -- if you miss that, you miss one of the sticking points of the final season. Marlo's still in the game, and muscle is all that he has. He doesn't have the brains or the interest to make his business legit or to succeed in the corporate world. But he can bang out -- which is why the last time you see Marlo, he's stealing someone in the face in front of a Korean grocer and taking over his territory.

Perhaps Calipari's flexing muscle in a game that's becoming more and more savage, not unlike how Marlo took over his game in Season 4 and 5.

But what should be understood is that recruiting and winning games are two different games altogether. Calipari's a master on the recruiting trail, no doubt. But you can't win the big one if you're team isn't prepared -- his teams never are, and they never have.



PS -- If you want to make a Wire comparison, the most incendiary comparison you can make is the Carcetti comparison. You can compare the mayor/future governor with any overdressed, philandering white male who tries to hoodwink and win over allies in a world where black people are the majority.

Dr. MZ said...

And yes, I realize I made a typo with "you're" instead of your.