Through the constant, repetitive touting of honks like Dick Vitale, and because once he arrived in the NBA, it turns out all he can do is flail his body around like a maniac, the narrative on Toronto Raptor forward Tyler Hansbrough is that he is one of the "grittier" and "tougher" players in the league.
Like a lot of things these days, if enough people say it enough times, the general public starts to believe it. Sometimes, you need a reality check. Tyler Hansbrough's "tough guy" rep needed a reality check.
Enter Metta World Peace.
Now, it's not often that the words "reality check" and "Metta World Peace" collide in the same sentence, but last night in an NBA preseason game between the New York Knicks and the Toronto Raptors, the former Ron Artest, now back home with the Knicks, recalibrated the "Tyler Hansbrough Tough Guy" scale for us, and reset it to "ZERO."
The incident took place in a scrap underneath the basket for a rebound. As there is on almost every play involving Hansbrough
because he has the agility of an elephant on crystal meth, contact ensued under the basket. The whistle blew, and Hansbrough didn't really see who was scrapping with him, as the contact was coming from behind on him. He merely reacted the way Hansbrough always reacts -- by flailing an arm and getting an angry look on his face like he was ready to scrap.
However, once he turned around and saw that it was Metta World Peace that he was mixing it up with, Hansbrough went from belligerent to peacemaker, and if you listen carefully, I believe you can hear a slow, steady stream of Hansbrough's pee spattering on the hardwood.
The video is awesome:
Tyler Hansbrough has always had "Cookie Monster" eyes (or Beaker, or any number of Muppets with no eyelids), but I didn't think it was physically possible for his eyes to open any wider. However, when he turned around and saw Metta, Hansbrough's eyes almost swallowed his face. Awesome.
This video immediately shoots past "Tyler Hansbrough Sticks Up For Little Brother Ben Like It's The Elementary School Playground"...
...and "Gerald Henderson Turns Tyler Hansbrough's Face Into His Own Version Of The Red River"...
...in the pantheon of great Tyler Hansbrough-related videos. (For the record, all the videos of Tyler Hansbrough actually playing basketball are tied for last place on that list.)
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So, the next time you're tuned into a Toronto Raptor basketball game
once you're done calling the suicide hotline, remember that "Tyler Hansbrough, Tough Guy" is a phony. A fraud. A fugazzi.
And when there's a scrap between a spastic suburban kid from Poplar Bluff, Missouri, or a lunatic from Queens who has witnessed someone stabbed to death with a table leg, take the guy from Queens.
Always take the guy from Queens.
Listen to Sean Pendergast on 1560 Yahoo! Sports Radio from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays and nationally on the Yahoo! Sports Radio network Saturdays from 10 a.m. to noon CST. Also, follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/SeanCablinasian.