Willis Reed and Paul Pierce? How the Media Continually Flunks Their SAT’s.

Daniel MuthSenior Analyst IJune 6, 2008

For those of you who have taken the SAT, ACT, GRE, LSAT, etc., you are undoubtedly familiar with the word association sections.


You remember, where you’re presented a word and asked to come up with the opposite meaning, or similar meaning.  It’s your basic, “which of these kids doesn’t belong,” sesame street exercise, except using obtuse words that are generally not used in normal conversation.


For example, what’s a similar word for “acataleptic?”  If your answer is “I don’t know,” you’re on the right track because it means incomprehensible. 


The same could be said for Paul Pierce’s ad captandum vulgus (disingenuous intent to court a crowd emotionally) display in game one of the NBA finals.


Now, when Pierce went down after an apparent entanglement with his own player, I was imbroglio (disturbed).  He was saccadic (jerking or twitching) on the floor. 


Having suffered major knee injuries myself (including tears of the ACL, PCL, MCL, Patella tendon, and meniscus), I instinctively grabbed my own knee, reliving my own pain.  I was hoping this wasn’t that caliber of career ending affair. 


When he was carried off the court I was certain he was a goner (having walked around in great pain on mine for a couple weeks before a concerned friend suggested I see a doctor).


When he was rolled away in a wheelchair with his paroxystic (anguished) face buried in his hands, I was certain the Celtics had just lost the NBA finals in an absinthial (bitter) ending.


I was rooting for the Celtics.  I always liked KG, and thought Pierce had paid his dues.  Now, I’m not a Celtics' FAN which is why I was probably so turned off by what ensued.  That being the dramatization of a real injury turned in by Paul, “I’m not really hurt but I play it on TV,” Pierce. 


When he walked out on the floor literally three minutes later, showing not even the slightest indication of a limp, I could smell the miasma (rotting foul odor).  The saltant (leaping or dancing) crowd of course went wild, and let me tell you something, they should have booed.


Immediately, announcers began uttering the name Willis Reed, and I was filled with choler (anger). 


Did these idiots in fact flunk their SAT’s and forget that what we were witnessing was in fact the OPPOSITE of Willis Reed?


Instead of a player risking his career and life comfort with a serious injury, we were witnessing a nasomaniac (one deluded that he’s injured) with apparently no tolerance for pain.  A man who was CARRIED OFF THE COURT only to come back and say, “Oops my bad.  There’s really nothing wrong with me.” 


The medical explanation of a “strained meniscus” is basically medical talk for “there’s nothing wrong with him.”


Knicks fans.  Say what you will about Isiah Thomas, when he suffered his career-ending Achilles tendon tear (a much more painful injury in my opinion as I’ve done this too), he hopped of the court.  He couldn’t walk properly because his foot was no longer attached to his calf muscle.


I’m tired of journalists getting their metaphors wrong.  They run the gamut of amphigory (a nonsense verse designed to sound good, but is meaningless). 


A running back who is undersized and has a couple moves is Barry Saunders.  An athletic two or three with some offensive ability is Michael Jordan.  A forward with decent vision is Wayne Gretzky. 


And a guy who thought he was hurt, but wasn’t, is Willis Reed. 


For cripes sake people do your research!  It’s enough to turn me into a trichotillomaniac (one who pulls out their hair).  Go back to college and retake your SAT’s.


As for Pierce, I am no longer rooting for the Celtics.  GO LAKERS!!!  Say what you will about Kobe, but he ain’t pastiche (fake).  He is what he is. 


Where as Pierce seems to be nothing but a sardanapalion (excessively effeminate) baffona (woman with a slight mustache).