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NBA

As True Men Of Punching, Rudy Gobert And I Stand Ready And Willing To Fight All Comers

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Rudy Gobert of the Jazz and Myles Turner of the Pacers had to be separated late in Indiana’s stirring Thursday night road win, after Gobert rudely tugged Turner to the floor and the two gigantic men exchanged the least ill-intentioned shoulder charges of all time. Teammates and coaches swooped in, penalties were assessed, and Gobert and Turner were both ejected, along with Donovan Mitchell and Joe Ingles.

Gobert was asked about the tussle after the game, and explained his position on the topic of punching during office hours. The gist is this: NBA players are not going to punch each other on the court, because security will intervene before a real fight has taken place. But also, NBA players are themselves not True Men of Punching, and therefore are pretending to want to do some punching, when in fact they do not.

But to be clear, this group of pretenders does not include Rudy Gobert, said Rudy Gobert, who has a boxing coach and therefore is a True Man of Punching who will absolutely do some punching. But only if he is truly threatened, and even then it would be best if all punching could take place during off-hours. If you would like to punch or be punched by Rudy Gobert, you will find that he is readily available for punching and can easily be found for such. But also, do not even think of reaching out to him on social media for scheduling purposes. But also, that is where he is most reachable, for he is a prominent user of three (3) social media services.

Some of you will no doubt wonder why Gobert didn’t simply say Though things sometimes get heated and physical, I do not go around punching people because I am a grown-up. You will attempt to make the case that Gobert instead made quite a moving target of himself with this monologue. That in fact he probably felt a harsh self-own echoing in his own implied self-inclusion in a category of losers—”guys” who are “not gonna fight” and who are “not about that life”—and then was driven by ego to exempt himself from that judgment, but then found himself trapped, by his very refusal to throw hands, in a condition of embarrassing receiptlessness, and so in a moment of desperation declared his readiness to fight all comers, but then had an image of a Morris twin challenging him to fisticuffs in full view of a large Twitter audience, and therefore had to establish that all such invitations must be made in the DMs.

You may even go on to argue that shoving and hurt feelings happen all the time in NBA games without escalating to fisticuffs, and in the vast, overwhelming majority of cases the participants do not feel compelled to establish for the record a categorical difference between everyone else’s chicken-hearted refusal to throw punches and their own extremely macho refusal to throw punches. Taking this a step further, you argue that because there is nothing to be gained or proven by an NBA player punching an opponent on the court over something harmless that happens in a basketball game, there is even less to be gained or proven by punching an opponent at a scheduled time and place, hours or even days later, after tempers have cooled, like a playdate for people whose egos are so fragile they can be devastated by a rude glance from their own reflection in the bathroom mirror.

Alas, you are making these arguments because you do not understand The Way of The Fist.

True Men of Punching such as myself and Rudy Gobert have a word that describes all those who do not adhere to The Way of The Fist, and it is “cowards.” To a Man of Punching—which I extremely am—there are two dead giveaways that the person you are facing is a coward: first, that their refusal to do some punching, unlike your own, is based on their not being “about that life”; second, that the coward in question is currently punching you, the Man of Punching, directly in the face. There can be no greater sign of cowardice, among true punchers, than refusing out of fear to punch one whose refusal to punch you back is based on manliness, with the sole exception of actually punching a Man of Punching, while due to his fierce commitment to the punching arts he is not punching back. Punching, in such a scenario, is the ultimate signal of one’s fear of punching.

Of course you do not understand, you weakling, you coward, you haver of exactly zero boxing coaches.

Much like Rudy Gobert, I myself am always available to my haters and enemies for an exchange of punches, and am easy to find for such arrangements. But do not attempt to stage the punching on a basketball court, or while I am seated at the blog desk, or for that matter at any other athletic venue or workplace, or any location where work or play could reasonably be expected to take place. There is nowhere on Earth where punching is more likely to be interrupted by security than in those places, which is no doubt why you will have attempted to choose one of them for staging your cowardly and transparently false performance of punchmanship. If you would like to punch me for something underhanded that I have done in one of those settings, I’m sorry, but The Way of The Fist requires that you make a good-faith effort to assist in relocating hostilities to a proper venue, away from onlookers and all possible interference. If you cannot arrange to punch me on an abandoned off-shore oil rig, preferably deep in international waters, that is strictly a you problem.

I am easy to find both on this website and on social media, but like fellow punchsmith Rudy Gobert I simply will not waste my time with the sort of grandstanders and internet heroes who would ever use such methods for displays of bravado. If you would like to punch me aboard the decommissioned Platform Holly, currently rotting away in coastal waters off of California, simply reach out to my social secretary, Jennings. Jennings is presently furloughed—these are lean times, after all—but when he is back in the saddle he will be more than happy to coordinate schedules in order to find a mutually suitable time for an exchange of punches. I should warn you now that Jennings’s office hours can be a bit hectic, but fortunately he can generally be counted upon to return emails and voice messages in a timely manner. Also I should warn you that I am myself a very busy person—between blog shifts, regular “daddy-daughter” time, and many long hours honing my punching skills with a large staff of trainers and coaches, I have precious little time or bandwidth left over for punching. However every effort will be made to accommodate your request at the earliest convenience.

This assumes, of course, that you represent a real threat to my personal safety and well-being. I simply will not let these hands go at any half-assed working man who happens to feel brave. Do not even think of reaching out to schedule a beat-down unless you can provide three references, with up-to-date contact information, who can verify your punching bonafides. Personal references are accepted, but family members will not be considered reliable in this matter, for obvious reasons. Jennings will make contact with all references; as I’m sure you’re aware, this can be a tedious, time-consuming chore. However I assure you that I am ready and in fact eager to beat the absolute living shit out of any applicant who advances beyond this necessary culling process.

Of course, just because you have an impressive résumé does not mean that at any given moment you represent much of a real threat to one such as myself, a true hell-fired ass-kicker. In all cases I will demand that you throw the first punch, so that I may know that you are truly “about that life.” Refusal to meet this condition, on any grounds up to and including that you are yourself ultimately unconvinced that I am quite as serious about punching as I profess, will result in an immediate cancelation of the appointment and your liability for all expenses incurred in staging the event. As this will necessarily include first-class travel for three—myself, my boxing coach, and of course Jennings—to and from a remote and hard-to-reach derelict oil platform over open sea, plus temporary accommodations commensurate with our lifestyle, you will be required to place in escrow a deposit of $100,000.

I urge you to think long and hard about whether you are willing to part with such a sum, before downloading Form 1001.6–5 (Application For Consideration Re: Punching), which can be obtained for a small administrative fee by contacting Jennings during office hours using the web portal (currently undergoing maintenance). And I of course remind you that engaging a True Man of Punching such as myself or Rudy Gobert in direct fisticuffs, in this and only this manner, will in a best-case scenario end with you keeping your money but then spending all of it on your hospital bills, which will be extensive. Proceed carefully, tough guy.