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NBA locker room talk is different than you think

Utah Jazz players, from left, Alec Burks, Ian Clark, Rudy Gobert, Trey Burke and Malcolm Thomas talk and check their cell phones in the locker room on the day the Jazz cleaned out their lockers after a 25-57 season, Thursday, April 17, 2014, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)
AP Photo/Rick Bowmer

Thanks to Donald Trump, the concept of locker room talk is enjoying the tail end of its 15 minutes right now — for reasons that could be safely described as “not very good.”

Contrary to the prevailing sentiment, the locker room, long regarded as a bastion of athlete’s foot and misogyny, can actually be a refined, enriching atmosphere. Conversation thrives, discourse flourishes and the thoughtful exchange of ideas makes everyone involved a better person. We know these things — these true things — about NBA locker rooms because we’ve got the totally-real-and-not-at-all-made-up recordings to prove it.

San Antonio Spurs

Pau Gasol: Surely, Kawhi, you don’t contend Raskolnikov’s nihilism is an impediment to actualizing his criminal fancy? If anything, Dostoevsky structures “Crime and Punishment” on the foundation of that exact unprincipled, detached worldview enabling the inciting event. It is the protagonist’s nihilism that empowers and, ultimately, undoes him. Truly, I’m beginning to believe your grasp of 19th century Russian literature and its central themes are wanting. Next you’ll tell me the primary tension of the text is between Raskolnikov and some secondary character — and not between the man and the act that has consumed his consciousness, a struggle both terrifying and profound in its universal relatability.

Kawhi Leonard: Yeah…I just asked you for a towel.

Oklahoma City Thunder

***Audio censored***

Russell Westbrook is saying some horrible stuff unfit for public consumption, but that’s only because he’s having the liquid form of every DMX album injected directly into his veins, and he’s having a hard time controlling the side effects, which include a lot of cursing and some aggressive barking. It’s weird, sure, and you wouldn’t want your kids listening to him screaming about stopping or dropping or opening up shop…but he does it before every game, and it’s how Russ stays so aggressive without getting tired.

Atlanta Hawks

Dwight Howard: You know they only put the refined sugar — that’s the bad stuff — in the orange ones, right? Red, yellow, green, purple…you’re all good there. You can eat as many as you want. No calories, no crash. It’s science.

Paul Millsap: I’m really not sure that’s how Skittles work.

Los Angeles Clippers

Blake Griffin: …and the act was called…”The Aristocrats!”

Chris Paul, DeAndre Jordan and literally everyone else: You need to maybe give up on this standup* thing.

Golden State Warriors

Kevin Durant: Wait, is there really going to be no barking or cursing in here? Russ really set the ambiance at my old job, and now I realize I kind of need it. For real, I’m getting a little worried I won’t be able to get amped enough to…

(Draymond Green enters)

Kevin Durant: Oh, right. Never mind, guys. I’m good.

Utah Jazz

Gordon Hayward: Listen, all I’m saying is grenade launchers in the complex is the purest form of multiplayer “Goldeneye” on Nintendo 64. There’s no way that’s controversial. It’s perfect.

Derrick Favors: Yeah, it’s perfect…perfect if you’re a neanderthal button masher without hand-eye coordination. There’s no skill, no nuance. All you do is hole up in the overlook near the body armor and…look, man, it’s slap fights in the bunker or we’re not playing.

Milwaukee Bucks

Michael Beasley: Like, do you think there are libraries in the town on “Westworld?” Because, I mean, if there are, what are all the books about? The hosts can’t know about other worlds, and the guests would totally get taken out of the experience if they started reading anything nonfiction. But to preserve the illusion of reality, there’d have to be books somewhere, right?

Jabari Parker: …

Beasley: I guess maybe the books could be about the fictional history of “Westworld” itself, but anything else would be really jarring, you know?

Giannis Antetokounmpo: …

Beasley: Maps, maybe. You could find maps and books on topography. But novels would be out of the question because the idea of fiction within fiction is just…I mean, wow, right?

Jason Kidd: So, anyway, thanks for that, Mike. The point is: We’re only icing the side pick-and-roll in certain situations this year, and it’s really important we understand what those situations are…

Houston Rockets

Mike D’Antoni: Guys, I’m really happy with where we’re at right now. I realize we’re about to take the floor for our first regular-season game, so maybe now’s not the best time, but I want you all to know how proud I am of the progress you’ve made. A lot of people think training camp and the preseason don’t provide enough time to install everything you want to as a coach, but I’m glad to say we’ve got a full 100 percent of our offensive sets down pat.

James Harden: I know it’s weird for me to be bringing this up, but Coach, we didn’t spend a second on…wait, what was it again? Dorfenz? Deeefince? No, that can’t be it. Dolphins? Somebody help me out here.

Trevor Ariza: Yeah, I’d been meaning to mention that. It’s defense, James, by the way. Are we going to play man? Zone? What’s our plan to help on the roll and recover to weak-side shooters? Are we hedging up high? Trapping? Switching? There’s kind of a lot we…

D’Antoni: Great stuff, guys! Let’s get out there!

*It’s actually not terrible. But whatever.

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