There are downsides to the length of the NBA playoffs daddy's bouncing baby boy grows up, grabs the car keys and hits the road, from which he never calls or writes, by the end of round one; a young woman's supple, auburn hair turns to steely, kinky gray by the time she learns whether her team has made the conference finals but there are upsides too.
The playoffs last long enough to become a part of us. Players and the plays they make enter the zeitgeist, we incorporate them into the ways we think and speak. A child surreptitiously slips his vegetables under the table to the hungry dog and he has Nashed them; a colleague aces a PowerPoint presentation in front of the big boss and you tell him later how Gordon it was.
Here now, the beginnings of a 2005 NBA Playoffs Glossary:
Reggie adj. Having unexpected reserves of energy and stamina. As in, "That medication is working wonders, Honey. You're positively Reggie tonight."
(Reggie Miller, Indiana Pacers)
Blount n. Curiously expensive, largely impractical ornament. As in, "She wouldn't think of marrying him until he put a 3-carat Blount on her finger."
(Mark Blount, Boston Celtics)
Nocioni An Italian term that has no direct translation in English but roughly equates to the colloquial phrase, "What the #&$@?!" As in, "Bush won Ohio?! ... Nocioni?!"
(Andres Nocioni, Chicago Bulls)
Hughes v. To shoot quickly through cracks. As in, "Nocioni?! There are roaches Hughesing all over the kitchen!"
(Larry Hughes, Washington Wizards)
Iverson v. To go down swinging. As in, "John Henry laid down his hammer and he died; he could Iverson no more."
(Allen Iverson, Philadelphia 76ers)
Prince v. To arrive, to announce one's presence with authority. As in, "Last year, D-Wade Princed like a big ol' dog."
(Tayshaun Prince, Detroit Pistons)
Udonis n. That which makes a subtle, crucial contribution to an overall effect. As in, "Yes, I used garlic, and there's a pinch of rosemary in there, but the coriander is my Udonis."
(Udonis Haslem, Miami Heat)
Vince adj. Having an impressive, but generally distasteful brilliance. As in, "The only explanation brokers could offer at the sudden downturn of stock in Martha Stewart Omnimedia was that the market had finally reacted to a certain unavoidable Vinceness about the company."
(Vince Carter, New Jersey Nets)
Van Horn v. To suddenly shake spastically, often to the point of structural damage. As in, "She's Van Horning, she's Van Horning! I can't hold on! We're going down! We're going do--"
(Keith Van Horn, Dallas Mavericks)
Tracy v. To treat a man so cruelly and with such force that he might just have to seek therapy. As in, "She shouldn't oughta did him like that. Dump him on prom night? Tracy him right out there on the dance floor in front of God and everybody? That just ain't right."
(Tracy McGrady, Houston Rockets)
Cuttino adj. Having a seething, boy-named-Sue sort of anger about everything. As in, "The school counselor called Johnny's parents into the office to say, 'I'm worried about him; he's being very Cuttino of late. Is there trouble at home?'"
(Cuttino Mobley, Sacramento Kings)
Reggie Evans n. Unheralded excellence at one particular thing. As in, "People forget, but Larry Smith was Reggie Evans before Reggie Evans was Reggie Evans."
(Reggie Evans, Seattle Sonics)
Camby v. To reach things at will grabbing some, swatting others away. As in, "You ever see Clinton work a cocktail party? He could Camby like nobody's business."
(Marcus Camby, Denver Nuggets)
Ginobili adj. Dexterous, deft, versatile. As in, "Jeffrey Wright's performance in 'Angels in America' was perhaps the most Ginobili turn by any working actor in the last 10 years."
(Manu Ginobili, San Antonio Spurs)
Posey v. To vanish off the face of the earth. As in, "Alice doesn't live here anymore; she Posied."
(James Posey, Memphis Grizzlies)
Q n. A streak. Not as in a nude jog while David Niven is at the mike, but as in, "Forget the nest egg, give me the bank card! Give it to me! I'm telling you, I'm on a Q!"
(Quentin Richardson, Phoenix Suns)
Eric Neel is a columnist for Page 2.