In 2007, VH1 aired a show called The Pickup Artist. For those (probably everyone except me) who didn’t have the pleasure of seeing this program, it was a reality show based around a guy named Mystery (Erik von Markovik) who taught losers how to be total d-bags and pick up drunk girls. The philosophy was pretty simple: cover yourself in expensive looking things and then lie to girls to make them like you. Mystery also had an obsession with things he called “flare” which were used to “peacock” (or the act of “peacocking”). He felt that wearing these random and pointless pieces of clothing were essential to getting ladies to like you. It’s pretty much like the pieces of flare in Office Space, except Mystery’s flare tended to look like he got them from the women’s section at Hot Topic.
Watching the show, we all (again, probably just me) laughed at drunk girls and cheered on the losers as they tricked the girls into falling for their elaborate lies and cheetah-print cowboy hats. BUT GUESS WHAT? We all fell for it too, not as VH1 reality fans, but as NBA fans. Derrick Rose Pickup Artist-ed us all.
We arrived at The NBA Season right when they opened the doors because The NBA Season is well known as the cool place to be, between October and June. The drinks are always way too expensive, but there is always a big crowd and the music is always good. We grabbed a seat at the bar, ordered a few drinks, mingled with some friends, and then he caught our eye.
Covered in fancy looking “The Return” commercials, we couldn’t help but notice Derrick Rose. In those commercials, he was looking good, maybe even better than ever. We pretended like we weren’t really that excited to see him. “I want to see how Jeremy Lin plays in Houston”, we said, but when we saw him in those flashy commercials, all eyes were on Derrick.
Then, just as we were frothy with anticipation, D-Rose just seemed to disappear.
The last time I saw The Pickup Artist, Amy Winehouse’s Rehab didn’t seem like a cry for help. So, I guess I could be forgetting some details, but I don’t remember them talking about the part of the strategy where you ignore the other person for like 5 months. Maybe it was covered in season 2 (even I didn’t watch that). However he came with it, Rose used this as part of his plan and it worked. When we finally saw him again around the All-Star Break, all anyone wanted to talk about was when they expected him to start spending time with us. We couldn’t wait another minute. Unfortunately, that’s when the lying started. Lies that would make Mystery proud.
“Oh, hey, NBA Fans. You look good. Um, I’m totally going to come back this year. Probably. I just need to do this one thing real quick and then I’ll be there.”
“The knee feels great! I’m worried about my hamstrings, though. I’ll be back soon”
He knew exactly what to say to make our hearts melt. We just kept hoping and waiting, expecting and wishing, but ‘probably’ became ‘maybe’ and ‘maybe’ became ‘only God knows’ as Rose continued to toy with our emotions.
Rose even used some flare. Before games, he would be in uniform (which ended up being useless clothing), running and dunking and doing all of the things that he CLAIMED he couldn’t do. The things he CLAIMED were the reason he could not be with us yet.
Maybe we were just drunk, but even as The NBA Season was beginning to close, we still had hope when Rose wouldn’t rule out coming back to us. “Maybe in the first round”, we said, “or to play the Heat”. Surely, after the Bulls won the first game in Miami, he would be as interested in being with us as we were in being with him.
In the end, he never came back to us. He and his buddies didn’t even wait for last call. They got in a couple of fights and were asked to leave The NBA Season early. It was only after he was gone that we realized how he was never really into actually spending time with us. He just used his expensive-looking commercials, some flare, and endless lies to keep us interested. In the end, he didn’t really care about coming back, and being with us. He blew us off and we were left with nothing but broken hearts and the Memphis Grizzlies.
We were all Pickup Artist-ed by Derrick Rose. Mystery would be proud.
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