Say what you want about his play, but Cavs guard Damon Jones is clearly putting in the work when it comes to promoting "D-Jones."
First, after losing the starting point-guard job to 114-year-old Eric Snow, Jones staged a lengthy media boycott, which drew as much attention as the great Tony Dumas Press Freeze of 1998. (You don't remember that? It was huge.)
Then, last week, at LeBron James' 21st birthday bash at House of Blues, the 29-year-old Jones took self-pimpage to new heights. While teammates mingled quietly among the common folk, Jones cemented himself to center stage next to the birthday boy. With a stogie the size of Cuba jutting from his mouth, Jones got hold of a microphone and held on for dear life, finding every opportunity he could to get the crowd's attention.
He bounced around wildly with LeBron while platinum rapper Li'l Wayne performed his hit song "Go D.J.," which Jones apparently thinks was written about him. Later, he cut off LeBron.
"LB, hold up -- lemme do my thing right now," he hollered. The crowd still wasn't sure who he was -- Is that Tony Dumas? -- so Jones pleaded: "Hold up, hold up, hold up." With the proper amount of attention focused squarely on him, Jones offered a very touching toast: "When you see D-Jones, all the girls go crazy!"
LeBron's birthday, the sequel
Though the scene inside House of Blues was vintage South Beach, the scene outside was vintage Cleveland.
With Hummers and stretch limos cluttering Euclid Avenue, a throng of beggars lined the sidewalk, seizing the chance to panhandle people with actual jobs. When Cavs GM Danny Ferry emerged around midnight, they had their mark. A crowd engulfed Ferry, who shelled out 20 bucks and hustled away, leaving the beggars to duke it out for the cash.
Breaking into politics
If there was any doubt that East Cleveland is a Third World nation, it was put to rest last week with reports of an attempted coup. Mayor Saratha Goggins was visiting family in Georgia. So Mayor-elect Eric Brewer got a cop to scale an eight-foot partition to open City Hall, at which point Brewer changed the lock on the mayor's office and had himself sworn in a week early.
Let the fireworks begin.
Taking a play from former boss Mike White, Brewer is already complaining about The Plain Dealer's coverage of the coup. A story last week accused him of making a "power grab."
"These motherfuckers never deal in the truth," he says. "And anything they can do to create the illusion that I'm unstable, hard to get along with, irresponsible . . . they do."
Brewer claims he was just protecting the city. A major funder for a program that provides meals to seniors was threatening to close its checkbook. And since Goggins was gone, East Cleveland was left to the same thieves who sold City Hall to Nate Gray for a cup of coffee and a Danish, he asserts.
"We have all these vengeful losers in position to loot the city," Brewer says, "and I took what I thought was the appropriate action to protect the city's assets."
But the coup cost the city at least $400, since Goggins had to purchase an early plane ticket home to thwart her nemesis. That only has Brewer more fired up. "You cannot use public money to pay for your trips to or from your personal vacation!" he says.
Brewer, part II
Speaking of Brewer, mark him down as Black Official No. 64,982 to claim the Democratic Party isn't doing enough for his people. "It's insulting that we continue to support and don't get supported back," he says.
(Memo to Eric: In case you haven't noticed, Democrats aren't doing anything for anyone.)
Still, Brewer's considering endorsing Secretary of State Ken Blackwell for governor, a move akin to the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage appointing John Demjanjuk its ombudsman.
Brewer says Blackwell has talked to him about making East Cleveland a model for economic development if he's elected, which at least makes more financial sense than investing in autographed photos of Emilio Estevez.
Yet a Blackwell spokesman had never heard of the plan. And the last local Democrat to swap parties was none other than Emmanuel Onunwor, the former East Cleveland mayor now vacationing within the luxurious confines of the Ohio penal system.
The last place a politician's wife wants to find herself is in the middle of a blog controversy -- especially without an ample supply of ecstasy.
But that's exactly where Plain Dealer columnist Connie Schultz wound up recently, after a blowup at a Christmas shindig for the Ohio Democratic Party.
Schultz was with her husband, Congressman Sherrod Brown, when liberal blogger Tim Russo started cussing the couple out, she says. Schultz, who's as menacing as your Aunt Sally, says she kindly asked Russo to clean up his language and left it at that.
But on his website, BuckeyePolitics.net, Russo reported that Schultz and her hubby "were literally screaming at me for about 5 minutes." On another site, Russo wrote, "yeah, i fucking cursed . . . sorry if it FUCKING ANNOYS YOU, MS. FUCKING PULITZER."
His posts caused a stir on several Ohio blogs. Which raises the eternal question: If a tree falls in the woods . . .
Schultz denies yelling at anyone and says she and her Pulitzer have become a target during her husband's campaign. "When are they going to start talking about issues," she asks, "and leave the wife alone?"
The correct answer would be "Never."
Russo admits that he and Brown have had "tension" over the contents of his blog, but it was Brown who ignited the shouting match, not Russo. "He literally went off on me in the middle of the room as soon as he heard my name. I couldn't believe it. He wouldn't stop . . . Then I got upset, and I started dropping F-bombs left and right. People start gathering . . ."
Though in political circles the shootout might be cause for controversy, here at Scene, such behavior is simply known as a staff meeting.