Rewarding the ugly
By Hunter S. Thompson
Page 2 columnist

    Somewhere men are laughing
    Somewhere children pray
    But there is no Joy
    in my house
    The Pistons died Today

That is a poem I wrote last week, while I was locked up all night in my own cistern. It was a nightmare, but it gave me time to pay attention to Anything for more than nine consecutive seconds. But I had some hashish and a large brown bottle of 1982 Petrus, and even a Coleman lantern.

Very soon, I was comfortable and thinking with great intensity about the nature and fate of the Detroit Pistons, a team I care nothing about and have never particularly liked.

But I am still vaguely irritated about the Pistons getting the second overall pick in the NBA draft this year. It just doesn't seem Right. How can the top-seeded team in the NBA East be picking at the top of the draft? Why are the Pistons being rewarded for their Failure, so blatantly? Dallas, No. 2 in the West is picking 27th. The Nets and the Spurs will pick 31st and 32nd, just as they should.

But so what? Basketball season is over, and now it is Summer Time. Yes sir. Red Bull and grandma's apple pie. The strange toxic smell of a freshly oiled baseball diamond. These are the glories of summer, but things are different this year. Now we have a gloomy sense of panic to include in our Summer Schedule.

Summer has never been the same since the 2000 Presidential Election, when we still seemed to be a prosperous nation at peace with the world, more or less. Two summers later, we were a dead-broke nation at war, with all but three or four countries in the world, and three of those don't count. Spain and Italy were flummoxed, and England has allowed itself to be taken over and stigmatized by some corrupt little shyster who enjoys his slimy role as a pimp and a prostitute all at once -- selling a once-proud nation of independent-thinking people down the river and into a deadly swamp of slavery to the pimps who love Jesus and George Bush and the war-crazed U.S. Pentagon.

But wait. I seem to be getting ahead of myself. The West final will not be over until tonight, and the Nets-San Antonio series hasn't even started yet.

But, in truth, the crippled Dallas Mavericks will be badly beaten tonight, perhaps viciously beaten. Dallas without Nowitzki is like Sacramento without Chris Webber. Losers. That is and always will be the fate of a playoff team that loses a right front wheel in the playoffs. A crippled team will never beat a healthy team four times in 10 days. Never. So give the points in this one, but also bet the Under. I suspect the Alamo boys will not run up the score tonight, as a gesture of respect for those gutsy little bastards from Dallas. They will be even harder to beat next year.

Click here to buy Hunter S. Thompson's latest book, "Kingdom of Fear."

As for the final championship series, it will be a drastic anti-climax to the closely matched and sometimes first-class games we've been watching up to now. I will probably watch the "finals" from my suite in the Palms hotel in Las Vegas. I am going there for some lengthy conversations with the Maloof brothers, who own the Sacramento Kings, as well as the Palms Hotel. They seem to be high-end Sporting people, and they plan to crown Anita the new Queen of Naked Bowling, and give her a new Mercedes 550E.

Gestures like that make me uneasy sometimes, but in this case it seems entirely appropriate. Indeed, so enjoy your summer vacation this year, bubba. It may be the last one you'll get for the rest of your life. And please convey my deep and vivid condolences to your family. Mahalo.

Dr. Hunter S. Thompson was born and raised in Louisville, Ky. His books include "Hell's Angels," "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas," "Fear and Loathing: On the Campaign Trail '72," "The Great Shark Hunt," "The Curse of Lono," "Generation of Swine," "Songs of the Doomed," "Screwjack," "Better Than Sex," "The Proud Highway," "The Rum Diary," and "Fear and Loathing in America." His latest book, "Kingdom of Fear," has just been released. A regular contributor to various national and international publications, Thompson now lives in a fortified compound near Aspen, Colo. His column, "Hey, Rube," appears regularly on Page 2.



Hunter S. Thompson Archive

Thompson: The Good, the bad and the vicious

Thompson: The sport of Kings

Thompson: Seventh heaven

Thompson: The royal wedding

Thompson: Naked bowling

Thompson: Good ol' days

Thompson: A sad week in America

Thompson: Love in a time of war

Thompson: Love blooms in the Rockies

Thompson: Saturday night at the fights

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