At the expense of sounding like I'm making a fat joke -- we really are seeing a lot of JaMarcus Russell this off-season.
Between his not-so secret trips to Las Vegas and Mardi Gras, Russell took in the Phoenix Suns-Dallas Mavericks game at the U.S Airways Center in Phoenix. Cable network TNT was broadcasting the game live to a national audience. During the game, announcers Kevin Harlan and Doug Collins couldn't help but notice Russell sitting courtside.
Russell was hard to miss with two enormous gold chains, his signature diamond-encrusted No. 2 Raiders jersey medallion, multiple gigantic diamond rings, a diamond bracelet that seemed to cover his entire forearm, and a gold "Chosen" necklace that I'm assuming he borrowed from LeBron.
The announcers couldn't help but take a few swipes at Russell for his conspicuously pimping appearance. The footage of their insults during a game time out has disappeared from YouTube quicker than JaMarcus disappears from mandatory team meetings. But ProFootballTalk.com quotes analyst Doug Collins as saying "You know, if he spent as much time in the film room as he did at the jewelry store he'd be a much better quarterback."
You think that's some mean-spirited clowning? Charles Barkley hadn't even gotten involved yet.
During TNT's "Inside the NBA" post-game telecast, still online and with the fun beginning at the 2:36 mark, Barkley was breaking down game highlights with co-hosts Ernie Johnson, Chris Webber, and Kenny "The Jet" Smith. "That's JaMarcus Russell," Barkley said, when the JaMarcus footage was re-shown. "That's my home boy. We gotta get him on a diet."
When Charles Barkley is making fat jokes about you, you really might want to reconsider whether you should have that sixth plate at the Sizzler buffet.
Barkley and company weren't done, and continued joshing JaMarcus after the highlights were finished. "I didn't know JaMarcus spent his whole signing bonus on jewelry. Damn!" Barkley quipped.
"We don't wear jewelry like that no more," Kenny Smith moaned.
"It's JaMarcus." said Barkley.
"You don't put rims on your car, either," laughed Chris Webber. Wait, is Webber saying JaMarcus has rims on his car?
And so goes a very active off-season for JaMarcus Russell. He may no longer be the Raiders starting quarterback, but he is the Raiders quarterback who gets the largest amounts of unwanted publicity.
Some of JaMarcus Russel's more memorable outfits:
Joe Kukura is a freelance writer who will crank out another 500-word diatribe if it turns out to be true that JaMarcus has rims on his car.