Just follow the code of commandments
By Gino Bona
Special to Page 2

The Portland Trail Blazers' rap sheet makes Suge Knight look like a model citizen. However, thanks to team president Steve Patterson, the Blazers are determined to put Portland's troublesome days on Death Row. President Patterson -- no relation to Ruben "Sure, I can make bail" Patterson -- announced plans for a new code tha will hold players accountable for their actions both on and off the court. He promised to outline a Code of Ethics and put it on paper before the opening of training camp in October.

10 commandments
You're planning to put that on paper? Listen up, Stevie. If you're looking for a good blueprint to promote an honorable lifestyle, you can't go wrong with God. That's why you should model your Code of Ethics after the almighty Ten Commandments.

So ditch that pencil and tablet paper -- grab a chisel and couple slabs of granite -- and etch these decrees in stone.

I. I AM THE COACH; THOU SHALT NOT HAVE STRANGE COACHES BEFORE ME.

Show Coach Cheeks some R-E-S-P-E-C-T, get more P-T, and you'll make a run at being the league's M-V-P. II. THOU SHALT NOT TAKE THE NAME OF COACH CHEEKS IN VAIN.

He is to be referred to as Coach Cheeks -- anything else is unacceptable. This commandment is especially true if your first name rhymes with Fonzie.

III. REMEMBER THOU KEEP HOLY THE OFF DAY IN NEW ORLEANS.

If Kenny Anderson dials up your digits and asks you to meet him at Artist Café for an evening of lap dances in the VIP Room ... simply turn the other cheek.

IV. HONOR THY CONTRACT.

It must be tough to play basketball for a living only to receive millions of dollars in compensation.

V. THOU SHALT NOT SUCKER PUNCH TEAMMATES IN PRACTICE.

There's a difference between "box out" and "knock out." Please be aware of that when Coach Cheeks asks you to grab a rebound.

VI. THOU SHALT NOT COP A FEEL ON THY NANNY.

This wouldn't be a problem if they all looked like Mrs. Doubtfire. However, they don't. Just remember what A.C. Green preached: "It's OK to look at the menu ... just don't order anything."

VII. THOU SHALT NOT SMUGGLE HEMP IN ALUMINUM FOIL WHEN GOING THROUGH A METAL DETECTOR.

Some things just need to be spelled out.

VIII. THOU SHALT NOT BEAR FALSE WITNESS AGAINST THY TEAMMATE.

Save the trash talking for your opponents. Especially the Lakers.

IX. THOU SHALT NOT COVET THY REFEREE'S HEAD AS A TROPHY.

OK, so the ref blew an important call. That doesn't mean you should wait outside the Rose Garden for him with a crowbar.

X. THOU SHALT NOT COVET THY TEAMMATE'S DIME BAG.

Get your own bag, dude.

Gino Bona never expresses his religious views on his Wink & The Gun web site, which can be reached at www.winkandthegun.com. E-mail him at gino@winkandthegun.com.





TEN COMMANDMENTS

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