Since a certain high-profile basketball player just left Cleveland due to a teammate having sex with his mom, it seems like some advice is in order.
So last night, in the spectacle of all spectacles, LeBron James left my hometown Cleveland Cavs to go play in Miami. Ostensibly it was because he wanted to play with his good friends Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. But we all know the real reason.
It’s because his Cavs teammate (and black ginger) Delonte West was banging his mom.
This isn’t one of those outrageous NBA rumors, like the frozen draft lottery envelope. When LeBron was shaving points in the Cavs playoff series against the Celtics, it was leaked that he was distracted because Delonte was giving it to his mom, Gloria. (Here’s a funny Deadspin report on said intercourse.)
I personally don’t have any real sources, but, back in June, I did find myself at one of those weird L.A. dinners where everyone’s connected to someone and thinks they’re a bigger deal than they really are — and at the dinner, a person shockingly close to the situation told me it was the biggest behind-the-scenes talk of the NBA playoffs.
(I know that’s not great proof, but the past month of sports reporting has led me to believe that stating wild conjecture as fact is now considered acceptable journalism.)
So, seeing how poorly that incident turned out for millions upon millions of people, I figured it would be a good time to put together an 11-step guide to having sex with your friend or teammate’s mom.
LeBron, this one’s for you. To cope with the Delonte situation and/or for when you start banging the mom of one of your nine teammates who gets called up from the D-league.
1 | Make sure your friend or teammate’s mom makes the first move
Unless the math gets really screwed up… or you hang out with people at least 15 or so years younger than you… chances are you’re going to be younger than your friend’s mom. So yes, you can make eyes at her, perhaps a comment here or there… but when it comes time to transition from intergenerational sexual tension to intergenerational fornication, let her take the role as the older, more mature aggressor.
First off, you don’t want to misread her signs, try to make a move and have her throw you out of the house and NARC to her son that you tried fondling her in the kitchen when all she wanted you to do was help get a lid off a jar. Second off, the entire future of your friendship centers on you truly believing that you’re making your friend’s mom happy. You don’t want her tossing you some pity coitus out of boredom or that weird middle-aged instinct to be a good hostess.
2 | Don’t do it if your friend or teammate’s mom is still married to your friend or teammate’s dad
This one should be obvious. There’s a world of difference between having a sex with your friend’s mom and breaking up your friend’s parents. One’s going to make him mad but, ultimately, is justifiable. The other’s going to make him madder and, ultimately, might make his homicidal instincts justifiable.
3 | Don’t let your friend or teammate know until it’s happened multiple times
Let’s say one night the stars align and you find yourself having sex with your friend or teammate’s mom. And afterward you both decide that it was a one-time thing — perhaps a mistake, perhaps not — that will never happen again.
I see nothing to be gained from telling your friend this happened. It’s not lying, it’s omission.
Remember that episode of Full House where Bob Saget got a ticket for running a stop sign and coached DJ that she shouldn’t voluntarily testify that he was cleaning the buttons of his car radio when he ran the stop sign, but if the judge directly asks “Was he cleaning the buttons of his car radio?” then tell the truth? (No? You don’t remember that one obscure Full House moment? The better question is… why do *I* remember it?)
I think that principle should be applied here. If your friend ever looks you in the eye and says, “Did you have sex with my mom?” then you should respond honestly. But otherwise, you’d just be telling him to alleviate your own guilt by making him feel terrible. And that’s a coward’s move.
4 | Have a frank conversation with your friend or teammate’s mom earlier than normal about your future plans
Normally, when you first start dating or hooking up with someone, it’s fairly impolitic to have a premature conversation about your long-term intentions or outlook for the relationship.
I think you make an exception in this case. You and your friend’s mom need to both be perfectly in sync about where things are going — are you just killing some time? do you want to see where this goes? could you see yourself marrying her one day?
The reason: This is not a situation where you can play the usual dating games. You’re in too deep. Having this talk early will make sure there’s no meltdown at a completely improper time (like right when you all get back from a trip to Boston), trapping your friend in the middle and causing your friendship or team to implode.
5 | Don’t do it at your friend or teammate’s house
You don’t want him to come home early one day to Witness you just railing his mom in the breakfast nook. That’s a completely inappropriate way of breaking the news. If you’re going to be that disrespectful, might as well hold an hour-long TV special to tell him you’re banging his mom.
6 | Sit your friend or teammate down for a one-on-one discussion to break the news, and make sure he knows your reasons
In the movies, the “breaking the news” conversation always happens with the friend and the mom sitting her son down to tell him about their relationship. I think that’s terrible.
Firstly, it seems like you’re ganging up on him. You’re delivering core-rattling news. Making him feel like everyone’s ganging up on him pushes him into a corner — and when someone’s in a corner, they start throwing haymakers. Both figurative haymakers (like him screaming the most hurtful stuff possible like “I’d go have sex with your mom for revenge except she died of cancer to get away from her terrible son”) and literal haymakers (like him punching you in the face).
And secondly, you need to man up to what you’re doing solo, because you and he have different issues to work through than his mom and he do. A one-on-one, honest, heartfelt sitdown is the right way to deliver the news to ultimately move forward. It’s not the easy way, but it’s the right way.
7 | Do not call your friend or teammate “champ,” “big guy” or “lil’ slugger” during your conversation
And also, don’t ever try to say this transcends a “bros before hoes” situation. That’s like six simultaneous slaps in the face.
8 | Expect serious tension for a long time with your friend or teammate
We spend our entire lives hearing people talk shit by telling us they’re doing our moms. It’s not supposed to actually happen. It would be as shocking as if Roy Halladay or CC Sabathia actually started itching his belly on the mound.
9 | Have your friend or teammate’s mom sit him down afterward to share her perspective
So you had your talk. He’s seething. He can’t believe his friend, his teammate is getting smooth up in the same canal he once traveled down. He even inadvertently pictured it in his mind and started wincing and gagging.
Now it’s her turn. She comes in with the emotional appeal. It makes me happy. I haven’t felt this way in many years. He treats me well. He sings to me (even sometimes songs with my name in them, like Laura Branigan’s Gloria). I know it’s hard for you and I understand that, but deep down I know you love me and want me to be happy.
After this talk, he will probably cry and still be upset… but now, he’s also upset because he’s facing a moral quagmire that he can’t yet resolve. (It’s like that moment in every season of 24 where the President has to decide whether he’s willing to allow dozens of innocent Americans to be mini-nuked in order to stop the terrorists du jour from potentially inflicting 100 times that many casualties. In this metaphor, you banging his mom is the 100x casualties scenario.)
10 | Allow your friend to make the gesture of reconciliation
You don’t know when he’s going to finally come around. It might take a week. It might take six months. It might take him watching American Pie 2. But people forgive and forget, even from what seems like betrayal. (Note: The people of Cleveland are exempt from doing that.)
In You Got Served, Omarion was hooking up with the other guy’s sister… AND was on a date with that sister when his friend got jumped by some thugs. It took months for him to forgive Omarion but he did — by showing up and dancing with him in the Big Bounce dance competition. Steve Harvey couldn’t have been prouder. And they won that championship, even though the white dance crew from Orange County had a dancer who appeared to actually fly.
Eventually, your friend will forgive you just like Omarion’s friend, and he’ll extend an olive branch by dancing with you or whatever. And when he does, just like that, your relationship with his mom becomes OK.
11 | When it ends, say the right things and move on
The odds are overwhelming that you and your friend’s mom aren’t really soul mates destined to be together forever. So when it ends, try to keep the split amicable, mature and rational. Immediately talk to your friend — your “brand” has probably been a bit devalued in his eyes, and it’s up to you to turn it around like Steve Jobs, not drive it further into the ground like whomever’s been managing Pearl Jam for the past decade.
Don’t apologize, either for the relationship or for the break-up — that implied you did something wrong. Which you didn’t. Don’t say “I hope things can go back to normal” because, based on his olive branch, you were operating under the WASPy ideal of masking and ignoring deep-seated issues until they fade away or your hair turns white. And don’t say, “How about you go have sex with MY mom to even things out?”
Just tell him you and his mom are no longer seeing each other, perform your elaborate handshake with each other and go play some Mario Kart. And maybe let him punch you really hard three or four times.