Last July, Brooklyn top prosecutor Ken Thompson did a thing that made him a bit of a hero in pigeon circles. At the same time as his announcement that he would no longer prosecute humans for possession of small amounts of marijuana, he dispatched his bird community liaison, Beak Benson, to inform our kind that we would also be getting similar protections.
The reason for reaching out separately to the bird community on this topic was simple: we smoke whatever we can find. For years, Pigeon Law — if you’ve heard of Pigeon English, it’s like that, except with the law — has been ambiguous on what constitutes a drug offense. If we didn’t buy the product, roll it, and initially smoke it, who’s to say we can’t find a roach in the gutter and have ourselves a little nightcap? There are those among us who have built commercial enterprises out of reselling foraged bud, and the law is now focused mainly on cracking down on those ne’er-do-wells.
As for me, I stick mainly to nicotine sticks these days, but there was a time when your pal Crummy was practically chain-smoking left-handed cigarettes. As loyal readers know, my first wife left me after a drunken dispute with her brother that resulted in my right wing being hacked off. I began using a prosthetic wing, and the emotional and physical toll from the incident required something to take the edge off. I began buying from the aforementioned re-dealers, whose cobbled-together strains were branded with names like Mourning Dove Express, Friendly Finch, Hen Out of Hell, Claw of God, etc.
I went down that road for a while and, as you might imagine, spent a lot of nights on the couch watching basketball. What I found was that cannabis slowed the game down for me, allowing me to see the intricacy of the plays as if I had choreographed them myself — and often I was convinced I had. But in recent years, as I phased out the weed in favor of my old vices, I came to a realization: the marijuana wasn’t slowing down the game at all. I was just watching the Nets.
The Nets have been an epically slow basketball team in the last couple years, and it’s not just your eyes. Every year since moving to Brooklyn, the team has ranked in the NBA’s bottom five in “pace,” calculated by how many possessions a team uses per contest, i.e. how fast the game is moving. Given that the Nets roster has consisted mainly of aging, overpriced bodies, this makes sense.
But while the team’s playoff hopes appear to be fading fast, Monday’s win over the tanking Timberwolves featured a new-look Nets that offered some hope for the team’s future. Instead of lumbering around, our boys played fun, quick-thinking basketball. Former Net elder Kevin Garnett watched from the sidelines, having appropriately sat out the game for Minnesota with a sore right knee. Meanwhile, the young stud the Nets inexplicably got in exchange for him, Thad Young, dropped 19.
The Nets still have a long way to go to become a team that doesn’t lull at least a couple drunk birds to sleep in the rafters at Barclays on an average night. It won’t be easy to reinvent the roster without all the draft picks traded away in a failed attempt to get good fast, but Monday in Minnesota was an indication that Brooklyn’s squad might have the foundation of something, especially if it can get Young to return to Brooklyn next season. Maybe then I’ll finally take advantage of Mr. Thompson’s benevolence and scoop up some of the old Sparrow Kush to start dissecting the action again.