Wednesday, April 18, 2007

"the pasco incident"

you can tell a lot about a man's character by how he carries himself through both success and failure. athletes, politicians, celebrities generally, are the easiest to judge in these moments. usually, their glorious, heroic successes and humiliating, abject failures are broadcast or simulcast or sometimes forecast, submitted as public record to reside in the public domain and to be scrutinized, forever, in slow-motion, stop action replay. but in the arena, raw passion and uninhibited emotions are held in check by thin facades. despite the camera's ubiquitous presence, or perhaps because of it, people under pressure will react; their true selves exposed to the world. a personal favorite example may come to mind. eric cantona's no-holds-barred drop kick into the stands. chris webber's infamous timeout. mike tyson versus evander holyfield. pete sampras' 14 grand slam titles. "comeback kid" joe montana's cool head. chris everett attacking jim rome. tiger woods or lance armstrong in any number of their victories. the 1960 kennedy-nixon debates. terrell owens verus george teague. terrell owens versus hydrocodone. don imus versus rutgers women's basketball. mike tyson versus robin givens. the nba. the examples are innumerable, so please, post a comment with your own favorite moment. we here at seoulitary confinement want to bring one specific example to your attention.

few may be such avid fans of ncaa men's big 12 basketball to have institutionalized this memory, but it stands the test of time and illustrates the point as well as any. in the 2003 big 12 tournament, the colorado buffaloes were favored over the kansas state wildcats. with three seconds left in the game and holding a tenuous 2 point lead, the kansas state wildcats were poised for an upset victory. colorado needed to inbound the ball from the backcourt before taking one final shot. an arching inbound pass is intercepted by kansas state's pervis pasco, a 6' 9", senior forward from clearwater, florida. with assured victory in his hands, pasco, overjoyed by his personal success, high on the adrenaline rush, began to celebrate. left arm raised, anticipating the duly earned accolades, pervis pasco ran toward the nearest baseline. unfortunately, he never put the ball down on the court, never commenced his dribble and was subsequently called for the violation - traveling. seizing defeat from the jaws victory, "the big perv" gave possession to colorado with 1.8 seconds remaining. confusion ensued and while the referees conferred regarding the game clock, colorado (out of timeouts) drew up another last second inbound play. this time, it worked. in a rather unorthodox, wing-and-a-prayer shot, cu's james wright banked a three-point shot off the backboard, for the win. you can read a better description here. please watch the sequence, in all its agonizing, heart-wrenching glory.

james wright probably deserves as much credit as pasco deserves blame. in a moment where composure and maturity would have brought success, pervis pasco succumbed to more base urges. but after all, he was a young college student, not a professional. he made a mistake. it happens. the measure of a man comes often from how he handles defeat. and since we saw how the big perv handled victory, we are only left to hope that he would learn and improve.

lebron james was the first pick in the 2003 NBA draft. like so many other talented college athletes, our friend pervis pasco went undrafted and unsigned. but unlike those less dedicated men, the tale of pervis pasco does not end there. unable to find a home in the nba, pervis, not unlike many aspiring professionals, sought employment in a less prestigious and less lucrative, but no less competitive overseas market. and this is where seoulitary confinement and pervis pasco once again cross paths.

founded in 1997, the korean basketball league (kbl) is burgeoning. by rule, each league team must carry two foreign players on the roster. with only ten teams, an elite group of (mostly american) talent is imported to add depth and marketing opportunities. korea's unique corporate culture makes each franchise into really nothing more than an advertising gimmick. the kbl's generous USD 25, 000.00 per month salary must be very attractive to the marginally employable professional basketball aspirant. however, the league's rigorous qualifications and requirements are designed to filter out any talented-but-gold-digging athlete of questionable character. not only must the player be under 6' 10" tall, but also is "required" to submit 3 character references (optional)**. clearly, pervis pasco barely made the cut. this weekend, the KBL fined, expelled and banned pervis pasco for on court violence. taking umbrage with a hard foul, "the big perv" retaliated by choking his opponent. responding appropriately, the referee ejected pervis from the game. as the sequence of photos indicate, mr. pasco disagreed with the referee's decision and let his disagreement be known by a quick forearm to the referee's face.

we only hope that pervis pasco is able to find a way to continue his passion and indubitably provide humanity with further examples of how not to behave.

** see the following link for information about kbl recruiting. do you have what it takes? pay special attention to the "optional" requirements.

A. Qualifications
1. Must have at least a high school diploma
2. Must be at least 18 years of age
3. Height limit : Under 6′10″(208cm) (Measured without wearing shoes)

B. Required Documents
1. KBL Tryout Application Form (must be signed by player)
2. Resume (with a recent photo)
3. Personal data (stats must be official game stats)
4. A copy of university / college / high school diploma (or copy of transcript)
5. Letter of Clearance from previous team (as required by FIBA)
6. Letter of Recommendation (if available)
7. Character Reference from 3 non-family members (optional)

C. Compensation & Condition
1. The term of player's contract is from September 1st, 2007 to March 31st, 2008(7 months contract). Each player will receive the net amount of US$25,000 per month during the regular season. Players will additionally get paid a net bonus of US$300 for every winning game as a winning bonus.
2. In the playoffs, players will be compensated for his extended services on a pro rata basis with the monthly payment of the net amount of US$25,000. The players will additionally get paid a playoffs incentive bonus.
3. The clubs shall provide a dormitory room, meals during the season, and a round trip of airline tickets(business class) for each player.
4. A player once can invite one of his relatives during the season. The clubs shall provide a round trip of airline ticket & his(or her) board and lodge for the maximum of 7 days.


Will said...

you're back! we'll watch out for the big Perv back here in America.

John said...

One aspect you don't cover...Did the opponent's hard foul warrant a choking? Also, who was the opponent that was choked?

Joseph said...


Anonymous said...

Just so to clear the air ..he didn't choke the ref... he smooshed him ...granted the ref's had been calling bad calls all season and I guess he was just over it, not the best choice, but none the less he is a great player and others have done far worse...

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