Terrell Owens said it so himself. All of that “football stuff” it’s “out the window."
“I don’t have any [teams in mind to sign with],” Owens said Monday night at Rucker Park. “I have no knowledge of any of that right now. I’m here to talk about [the Entertainer’s Basketball Classic]. The [VH1] show. Other than that, that football stuff is out the window.
Business. Business. Business.
That was the prevalent reality, and truth be told, the over-arching charade Monday for both Owens and Chad Ochocinco. As both Owens and Ochocinco prepped for their player versus coach matchup Monday night at the Entertainer’s Basketball Classic at Rucker Park in Harlem, the business of Owens and Ochocinco dominated the talk and scene at the fabled uptown-court.
No, scratch that. The business that has become Owens and Ochocinco engulfed 155th Street. It crept onto the court. It meandered its way over to the adjacent handball courts – by way of a makeshift VIP section decked out with black leather couches. It practically climbed up the Holcombe Rucker chain-link fences and crossed the Macombs Dam Bridge to Yankee Stadium in the Bronx.
For the two NFL wide receivers, talk almost ceased every time it turned to something pertaining to a football field.
Instead, the topics of the day: A remark regarding a fight at a New York nightclub Sunday night from Ochocinco via his Twitter, Owens' current Free Agency (and the rumored talks with the Redskins), Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis’ contract situation, the LeBron James decision. And, of course, their new shows on VH1 which debuted Sunday night.
So much for football from these football stars.
Owens spoke first and shot down any question about where he will play next year. With just a few weeks prior to the start of NFL training camps, most would find the Pro Bowler's situation a precarious one. But the wide receiver shrugged the timeliness of the questions, and reassured that he will be fine. He has confidence he will be with a team. Whatever team.
“I’m just waiting,” Owens said of his ongoing contract situation. “You know they have got to place me somewhere, I’ll be playing somewhere this season.”
Monday he was playing all right, albeit, basketball. Ochocinco wasn’t. The fact that Owens was out on the court and Ochocinco was on the sidelines prompted many to inquire if Owens would have played had he been signed to a contract.
Once again, Owens immediately shot down that notion.
“Even if I was (under contract) I would still be out here,” Owens said. “This is my cardio.”
Ochocinco strolled in a little more high-strung. And like a true businessman, Ochocinco answered in a business-like manner. With publicists and the VH1 crew hovering around him, the Bengal was quick with his answers, never breaking his direct cadence. The rebuttals were sharp and firm, whether they were true or out of character.
Chad, do you think Revis will hold out from training camp? ““He’s not going to hold out.”
Chad, is he the best cover corner in the league? “No such thing."
Chad, what about that Twitter war between Revis and you? “There is always [a Twitter war].”
Chad, do you want to comment about the altercation with a bouncer you tweeted about Sunday night? “No comment…”
“…This event is about the EBC and Rucker Park,” Ochocinco’s publicist said. “We are not commenting about that.”
No one was talking about that altercation. Or Chad’s play on the football field, truth be told.
For the two most vocal players in the NFL, Monday night was more of the same fans of theirs will have to grow accustomed to this summer. It will be a summer full of Owens and Ochocinco on VH1. And, perhaps a summer void of Owens on a football field.
In all honesty, it is Owens’ lack of an NFL business that most likely allowed him to play Monday. No matter what he says, if under contract, playing at Rucker probably would not have been an option.
And no matter what he or Ochocinco said, the business of the NFL is somewhere at the forefront of their collective mind.
But as the VH1 crew surrounded Ochocinco, and Owens laced his Kobe Bryant sneakers and made his way out to the court, he seemed to swig that all away with one gulp of a 5-hour energy drink.
The energy was temporary. Just like the relief from his NFL contract situation Rucker Park provided Owens Monday night.
But, hey, it’s all just apart of the business.
“I’m not really worried about that too much," Owens said. "It’ll handle itself.”