The most subversive thing about the movie The Good, The Bad and The Ugly is that it keeps you on the fence for so long about “The Ugly”; Tuco, played by Eli Wallach.
I mean, he’s actually the first character you encounter, in the shootout scene where the three outlaws – or bounty hunters, it’s never clearly defined – try to trap him up in a restaurant and he shoots his way out, still holding food, a bib still around his neck.
Then, in the defining moment, the moment when after vacillating back and forth between being unsure if you could trust and indeed like a guy that had been convicted of all the shit he’d done, befriended, tried to kill, became partners will, and then betrayed and then again became partners with Blondie or, “The Good”; played by Clint Eastwood, there’s the final showdown scene between all three elements, The Good, The Bad and the Ugly.
It’s then, when “The Bad” or Lee Van Cleef is sizing up “The Good” and thinking that’ll be his chief and only concern that the camera pans to the “The Ugly” and we see the look on Tuco’s face, one that says, well, in short “Yeah, nigga! Me too!” or, if you’d imagine a Hip Hop reference, Ol’ Dirty Bastard’s first line for “Triumph” where he spits, “What? Ya’ll thought you weren’t gonna see me?” that you decide that you do like “The Ugly”, that you’ve always liked him because he is, after all, not “Bad” or evil and certainly not cowardly, just ugly.
And it’s in this spirit that Knicks rookie, the 19 year-old Frank Ntilikina won over me, the Garden faithful, and probably pretty much any remaining doubters of Knick Nation last night when he pushed NBA “The Man” Stalwart LeBron James “Not One” (remember that one?) “Not Two”, but three times last night when the two, pardon the pun, ran into each other after James caught an alley oop dunk.
Maybe some background info’s in order here:
See LeBron, tryna be cheeky, tryna be cute and eventually tryna play like he was taking shots at Phil Jackson’s management style, berated the Knicks for not having drafted good looking Dallas Mavericks rookie Dennis Smith suggesting that Smith “Should have been a Knick”
which, of course, is, if not intentional, still and indirect diss on Frank Ntilikina who the Knicks did pick.
And while it was interesting, uplifting even that several Knicks came to young Frank’s defense to argue against LeBron, including new Knick Enes Kanter, what was amazing was that Ntilikina came to his own defense by, like I said, pushing LeBron three times.
Now, I like LeBron James but, for the record, fuck LeBron.
I’m a Knick fan first.
And while that pussy-ass everybody’s friends, everybody’s lovely ball that the Knicks played while Carmelo Anthony was our floor leader was sweet, that style never won any championships.
Meanwhile, ugly, as employed by, say, the Bad Boy Pistons or the Oakland Raiders has been known, when employed, to occasionally bring in the chips.
So thank God for this young rookie being ugly.
I’ll take ugly over midcourt group hugs between rivals any time.