Carlton & Cheick: To Have and Have Not

  • Carlton gets love.

    “Carlton can shoot it, pass it. He’s going to be strong. He’s a good athlete, has size, length and great feel. There’s nothing I think that kid won’t be able to do in a couple years here.”–Bill Self from an online sports story

    Cheick? Can’t even find a Self quote about him after late Late Night.

    Carlton gets the showcase at the ivories on Late Night.

    Cheick? Didn’t see it, but haven’t heard anyone raving about Cheick’s contribution to the talent show.

    This is not feeling good at all for the Cheicker.

    Self is now talking about Carlton the way he once talked of Cheick before “the clearance thing” surfaced.

    But in the background, when Self is not having to manage expectations about Diallo maybe not clearing, one gets the feeling Self feels like he is Steve Morgan, played by Humphrey Bogart in the 1944 Hollywood melodrama “To Have and Have Not,” based on the Hemingway novel of the same title.

    Let’s work the analogy, shall we?

    The movie began with Steve Morgan (Bill Self), the quintessential Hemingway male and rugged individualist, having to ask permission of a corrupt Vichy harbor master (the NCAA Clearance office) if he were free to go fish and help out a seriously fetching dish named Slim (played by Lauren Bacall in the film, but played by OAD dream recruit Cheick Diallo in the basketball present). Slim is so young and fetching and precocious about the vulnerability of her situation that she really doesn’t know enough to be afraid. She is also frankly big time taboo for the middle aged Steve (Bill) to lust after.

    Steve is trying maintain his fishing boat and business assisted by a toothy old rummie, and every time he turns around there is this low hanging fruit–long and lean and perfect parts in the right places purring at him–wishing she could connect with him and show him what she could do with a guy old enough to work through her father fantasies with.

    Self is in somewhat the same predicament. He is trying to put his team together with what he has to work with. But the harbor master won’t let him sail, not with his whole team, not with Cheick. Like Steve’s, Self’s job is a hard one that takes some manliness and concentration. Self can’t afford to be distracted with the low hanging fruit of Cheick Diallo any more than Bogey could afford top distracted by Lauren Bacall. Self cannot be thinking about a long and lean OAD with an incredible motor and tempting him to play him regardless.

    In the movie, Steve is strong, but he can’t help sample the goods occasionally. Same with Self. He’s can’t resist giving Cheick some minutes. But essentially Steve is teasing Slim as much as Slim is teasing Steve. Ditto for Self and Cheick.

    With both Steve and Slim in considerable frustration, Slim finally comes into his room.

    "[Slim kisses Steve] Steve: What did you do that for? Slim: I’ve been wondering if I’d like it. Steve: What’s the decision? Slim: I don’t know yet. [They kiss again] Slim: It’s even better when you help.

    Self can only resist the attraction of Diallo so long.

    He’s only human.

    Diallo could completely change the season.

    Self knows it.

    He’s playing it cool, but he wants Cheick bad.

    And part of Self is whispering in his own ear, you should never have signed this guy. You knew he was going to break your heart from the start.

    But Diallo just keeps hanging around the practice floor. He’s sushi, but every once in awhile he squeegees the back board with his forearm as he grabs a rebound no one else on the team could have touched.

    Its like Bacall walking into Bogey’s room and saying put your lips together and blow, Steve.

    Try this rebound on for size, Bill.

    Oh, Self wants this guy BAAAAAAAAAAAD!!!

  • @jaybate-1.0

    Cheick to the basketball…

    like flies to the cheeseburgers fresh off the grill

    like some attorneys swarming an accident scene

    like John Calipari buzzing around all Top 50 recruits

    like politicians near a TV camera

    I bet you can write a lot more of these than I can!

  • @drgnslayr you could use flies and cameras for cal too!

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