Keith Langlois is the editor of the official Pistons website, so when he writes fluff pieces, he's just doing his job. I understand this. But he has a tendency to write some goofy things, usually earnestly and unintentionally. Every once in a while I like to point some of those goofy things out.
From this Thursday's mailbag:
Donna (Southfield, Mich.): [snip] I would like to see us get a young big in the draft and I like what I see so far from Solomon Alabi and DeMarcus Cousins and hope Derrick Favors might fall. What’s your take on those players?
Langlois: [snip] By most accounts, the Pistons can forget about Favors unless they get into the top three. [snip] Cousins apparently has some character and motivation issues that could push him out of the lottery altogether, but he’s supposedly a big-time talent. Joe Dumars made a point after last season of placing greater emphasis on character and he’s ecstatic with the results. If the Pistons love Cousins’ talent and he’s still around when they pick, then it will come down to a decision on whether they can afford to take on one character risk in a locker room of good soldiers. Those are the decisions of enormous gravity that can make or break the careers of GMs.
This is a minor-classic Langlois-ism. Zero explanation as to why JOD is "ecstatic with the results," just an illogical assurance that he is.
Then we have his recent Texas Tussle article:
But there were clear indications of a competitive fire to the Pistons collectively after a run of moribund performances and plenty of encouraging signs from players dragged down by the injury bug that’s torn through the locker room with all the virulence of bubonic plague.
But on this night, they didn’t strike the pose of a team whose confidence had been shattered, taking it to a Dallas team chastened by a blowout loss Sunday against the Lakers from the start, unlike so many games during the nine-game skid when they dug double-digit holes for themselves early and only rarely mustered the resolve to crawl out.
This is a time tested Langlois-ism. Spice up an otherwise functional, workmanlike recap of a regular season loss with random injections of pseudo-literary diction.
Now for a couple past Keith classics:
Joe Dumars was smiling like a guy who knows something about Walter Sharpe that nobody else knows. He watched “a ton of tape” on him and brought him in to work out, holding him over for a second day.
“He’s good, man, he’s good,” Dumars said. “Handles it, shoots it, long and smooth.”
Probably the highest level of unintentional innuendo ever...
From the article about Wilcox, after we signed him, titled Fresh Start:
A few dozen of Joe Dumars’ peers around the NBA furrowed their brows over the weekend with the news that Chris Wilcox was about to become a Piston, a signing that multiple media reports say is due this week. Are they sure Wilcox is about to realize the tantalizing potential they first saw in him as a sophomore at Maryland, when he helped carry the Terps to the 2002 NCAA title and became the eighth pick in that year’s draft as a teenager?
Here's a fun bit of mental aerobics: Try to imagine R.C. Buford nervously furrowing his brow after hearing that Joe Dumars signed Chris F-ing Wilcox.
And finally, my favorite type of Langlois-ism: The complete non-use of his insider status, giving the fans nothing more than the most limited of informational nuggets and passing them off as Interesting:
Interesting conversation with Scott Perry, Pistons vice president, on Wednesday afternoon. We were talking about Rodney Stuckey and the tough lessons he absorbed in his first season as the starter... [snip]
He said Stuckey is aware of the way public sentiment has shifted over the past year, from the giddy highs of proclaiming him a breakout star following his terrific 2008 postseason run to the sudden skepticism that he can evolve into an elite point guard. I asked what Stuckey really thought about being bypassed by USA Basketball for an invitation to the U.S. Select Team camp this summer while 2008-09 rookies like D.J. Augustin, Jerryd Bayless, O.J. Mayo and Eric Gordon were invited.
“It did not go unnoticed,” Perry said.