September 18th is the birthday of Toni Kukoc, my former-Yugoslavian fixation. This is not an event I celebrate annually, but I was reminded it was coming up when I saw this image on Tumblr.
This essay - entirely my own original writing - was originally published by OystersAndChocolate.com (now defunct) in May 2007. You can't read it anywhere else on the Internet anymore, so here you go.
It's really, really candid, so read at your own risk.
"Pairs of Really Big Ones"
I=m not an NBA groupie. I=m not even a wannabe-groupie. For a feminist woman, watching men=s basketball is an iffy proposition. Many players have been accused of violence against women (see Jeff Benedict's Out of Bounds). The closest I=ve ever come to a real-life player was when I stood in line at the mini-mart behind soon-to-be Golden State Warrior Troy Murphy. He was buying an ice cream cone.
I do, however, have a very active imagination. What else is a girl to do on a long, dark Indiana night, but snuggle up under her favorite quilt and watch the Pacers? And, since none of my family or friends were interested in watching basketball with me, I learned early that it was a solo activity. The innate sexual implications of a game where men in short shorts move rhythmically, sweating together as a group, made me horny. Since I was alone anyway, wasn=t it the perfect time to pleasure myself?
I was a late bloomer when it came to masturbation; I wasn=t interested until I was 17. That was >93->94; coincidentally, the same year the Pacers got good for the first time in a long time. The reason for their success that year was a guard by the name of Reginald Miller. As he was becoming a star in the NBA, Reggie was also becoming a star in my erotic fantasies.
I don=t even remember what it was I liked so much about Reggie. Maybe it was his eyes, his smile, or his California cool. All I know is, it took me forever to get off in those days. But when I finally did, at least in my mind, Reggie always had a hand in it B or a dick, or a tongue. In my fevered brain, Reggie and I fucked in the locker room, in hot tubs, in limos, even on pirate ships.
Just like on the basketball court, though, Reggie couldn=t be expected to do everything himself. He needed backup, and that backup came from Pacers center Rik Smits. Rik is a giant, seven feet four inches of blond, blue-eyed Viking warrior. Rik is from the Netherlands. Rik=s Europeanness was as fascinating as his Euro-penis.
I imagined being double-teamed by Rik and Reggie. We=d go to bed, our hands, lips and tongues all over each other. Then I=d ride Reggie until I was near-exhausted. I would barely hit the mattress before Rik would lift me on top of him, begging me to the same to him.
My Aaffair@ with Reggie Miller and Rik Smits was ongoing. In college, when I fell in love with a woman, I think I liked her so much because she resembled a girl version of Rik. She had his blue eyes, and her blonde hair was boyishly short. She had played basketball, too, although her career was cut short by an ACL injury.
In my college-days fantasies, my girlfriend and I would be playing pool in the back room of some bar when Rik and Reggie would walk in. My girlfriend and Reggie would go to the bar for another round, leaving me alone with Rik. He=d flat-out ask me if I was bi. I would protest that I was just trying to be with my girlfriend, but by the end of the evening all four of us would be naked on the pool table.
In 1998, the Pacers made it to the Eastern Conference finals, meeting up with the Chicago Bulls. It would turn out that this was Michael Jordan=s last playoffs series with the Bulls, and they would go on to win the championship in a spectacular series against the Western Conference-champ Utah Jazz. At the time, I was just frustrated that Reggie and Rik were left out of the finals again.
There was one consolation prize, though: at least the Bulls were a pretty team. There was Jordan, of course. I always found Scottie Pippen=s face a bit horsey, but there was no denying that Michael Jordan was fine. He wasn=t my favorite, though. That distinction was held by Dennis Rodman, whose wild hair, pierced nose and tattoos are the boy equivalent of fuck-me heels.
There=s no doubt that Dennis has issues; just ask the ref he head-butted or the reporter he reportedly kicked in the groin. Dennis Rodman (still) has a gorgeous body, including the most beautiful legs I=ve ever seen on a man. And he cross-dresses; those big, beautiful lips are even prettier with a little gloss. And he dated Madonna. I defy any bi, anywhere in the world, to not fantasize about being locked in a room with Dennis and Madonna.
Unlike my Reggie and Rik fantasies, my erotic imaginings with Dennis weren=t staged in polite, private places like hotel rooms. Dennis was wild; he=s do anything, anywhere. We always seemed to be ending up in strip clubs in my daydreams, with Dennis getting naked just as often as the strippers.
But I soon found that, with Reggie and Rik, I=d established a pattern. My chocolate fantasies needed a scoop of vanilla. For that, there was Toni Kukoc, the Bulls= six-foot-eleven power forward. Not quite as pretty as Dennis, a bit skinny and slope-shouldered, he had other nice features. In contrast to Dennis=s many colorful markings, Toni had a single tattoo, a shark. He pulled off a goatee that would have looked ridiculous on any American white boy. And he was even more exotic than Rik, coming from Croatia. He spoke to the press rarely, but when he did, his deeply accented English (think Gary Oldman in Dracula) never failed to melt my butter. Most of my Dennis and Toni fantasies began with Dennis and me putting eyeliner on Toni, and ended with sexy words I didn=t understand hollered out in Serbo-Croat.
After 1998, following the second retirement of Jordan, the Bulls weren=t much fun to watch. The Pacers could be similarly frustrating. In 2000, they beat the Knicks in the Eastern Conference finals, only to lose the championship to the Lakers. Rik Smits retired after the >99->00 season. On November 19, 2004, Ron Artest and friends embarrassed the hell out of Indiana in the infamous punch-throwing incident in Detroit. That sad season was capped off with the Pistons beating the Pacers in the Eastern Conference finals. The end of the >04->05 season was also the end of the line for Reggie; he retired from basketball to join his sister Cheryl as a sportscaster for TNT. And I never got to thank him for getting me off so many times!
Watching the NBA finals in 2005, I was still pissed that Reggie=s last season hadn=t ended in a trophy. I didn=t so much root for the San Antonio Spurs as against the Pistons. The Spurs won the series, and I was introduced to the beautiful boys of San Antonio. There=s power forward Tim Duncan, sweet-faced and wholesome looking. A little nerdy, even B is that a wizard tattooed on his back? He reminds me of the boys I had crushes on at my Catholic middle school.
And the Salt to Tim=s Pepa is shooting guard Emanuel (Manu) Ginobili. Sure, he=s from Argentina, the country that kicked our asses at the >04 Olympics. But one look at his sweet moves and you forget all about that. He=s so graceful, some nights he looks more like a ballet dancer than a basketball player. Manu even falls gracefully. And then there are his charming imperfections, the bald spot and that way-crooked nose.
I celebrated the Spurs= victory over the Pistons by getting Tim and Manu alone in the pool of a swank San Antonio hotel . . . well, in my imagination, anyway.
www.wikipedia.org : Articles on Reggie Miller, Rik Smits, Ron Artest, Dennis Rodman, Toni Kukoc, Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili
www.nba.com : Player file on Reggie Miller (www.nba.com/playerfile/reggie_miller/index.html?nav=encyc_stats)