ZaZa Pachulia keeping it real

http://www.nypost.com/seven/04102007/sports/hawks_aint_joshin_sports_peter_vecsey.htm

April 10, 2007 -- THE NBA must be thrilled about the graceful 24 hours it experienced Sunday/Monday. Aside from Miami Beach police playing ring around (James) Posey in the early a.m., the Hawks suspended Josh Smith two games yesterday after Mike Woodson banished him to the locker room during Atlanta's loss in Philly for calling him names he'd only heard from rappers.

My first thought? What took the coach and GM Billy Knight so long to crack down on this remarkably skilled, exceptionally infantile and exceedingly selfish 21-year-old?

For three seasons I've written about Smith's vulgar disrespect for Woodson, his assistants and a teammate or two. Yet, for the most part, his boorish behavior has been unchecked. As far as I know, there has been no loss of significant minutes or money. At the very least, he's been privately docked some insignificant dough.

Last year, Smith's belligerence got so out of hand, I'm told, Zaza Pachulia pinned him to the Hawks' locker room wall after a game.

"Talk to me like you just did on the court," the 6-foot-11, 250-pound Georgian warned, in essence, "and you'll miss the rest of your career."

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http://www.ajc.com/blogs/content/shared-blogs/ajc/hawks/entries/2007/04/10/cant_we_all_jus.html

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In the what is perhaps the funniest line I've read in, um, forever, a noted New York Post columnist wrote this: - Last year, Smith's belligerence got so out of hand, I'm told, Zaza Pachulia pinned him to the Hawks' locker room wall after a game. "Talk to me like you just did on the court," the 6-foot-11, 250-pound Georgian warned, in essence, "and you'll miss the rest of your career."

I don't know who told that version what happened (Pachulia uttered words along those lines, but across a crowded locker room and not directly at Smith), but they've got a future in storytelling. The next time Zaza has someone pinned up against a wall or anything else, on or off the court, will be the first time. I can promise you that this scene never took place (it sounds darn good though. And if I didn't know better I'd be willing to drink some of that Kool-Aid with you).

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Didn't Bill Cartwright say the same thing to Jordan?

I heard Cartwright said nearly the exact verbatim same thing to Jordan, which is what makes this story a little fishy IMO.