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Are Office Managers HR People?

HR/CAREER SLANG: "Ball Don't Lie"...

Got a new term/phrase for most of you - Ball Don't Lie. I like it, and if you like sports even a little bit - I think you should use it.  Here's the meaning from Urban Dictionary:

BALL DON'T LIE - A phrase commonly used by professional basketball player Rasheed Wallace; once famously yelled by coach Flip Saunders.  BallDontLieTee_v2

"Ball don't lie" is said when a player misses one, two or all three of his free throws after a questionable (read as: bullsh##) foul call is made by an official. The ball is, essentially, the unbiased judge who will not reward the player by going in if the apparent foul was indeed bullshit.
Here's how it's used:
Announcer - *Andrew Bogut locks arms with Rasheed Wallace and trips over his own feet, prompting a foul call from the referee* 

Rasheed (on the court): That's BULLSH##, man! 

Announcer - *Andrew Bogut toes the line and proceeds to miss his first free throw* 

Rasheed: BALL DON'T LIE! 

Announcer - *Bogut then attempts a second free throw and misses again* 

Rasheed: BALL DON'T LIE!

How can you use that in the workplace? Let's say you give a manager some prime HR advice, only to have them go against your counsel. You know they're wrong, and things go horrible for them as a result. People around you know that you gave them advice on how to handle the situation, and ask you what you think.

You could tell them you gave them good advice. You could say, "I don't want to say I told them so, but...".  BORING.

Just respond as follows: BALL DON'T LIE. Tell them to look it up.

Backstory on why this is on my mind. Some of you know that I coach a lot of youth basketball in the winter.  After hundreds of games in my coaching career, I picked up my first career technical in December. The circumstances we're pretty grim.  Last game of the day, the officials had done 3-4 games before ours.  They're not calling a lot a result.  One of my players gets savagely hacked on the other end going up for a shot - for like the fourth time in a row.

Me: Can I get a foul call when someone hacks across both arms on a layup?

Ref: I'll do the calling coach, you coach.

Me: All I need to you to do is call the obvious fouls, blue (blue is an accepted nickname for refs, same as calling them a ref).

Ref: I need you to sit down and be quiet.

Me: There's no need to waste energy trying to put me in my place.  Just call obvious fouls.

Ref: Sit down coach, or I'm going to give you a technical.

Me: Again, there's no need to try and show me up.  Just call the fouls.  Maybe actually run to the half of the court where the play is happening.

Ref: Sit down coach, or I'm going to give you a technical.

Repeat the last two sentences of the exchange 3 more times before the ref finally T's me up.  As a result, the other ref comes and tells me I have to sit down, not stand, for the rest of the game.

One of my finer moments. My kids were coming to the bench to give me high/low fives. I waived them off. Stay classy San Diego. I sat down.

The team picked their shooter for the techincals to be shot in front of me.  He shot and missed both, at which time I stated the following, with the villian official in front of me:

"Ball don't lie!" (somewhere between loudly spoken and a soft yell).

Use it on the next hiring decision gone wrong when you told them so.

(email subscribers click through for the video below)



Ball don't lie!
Love it, KD. Congrats on your first T... sometimes you just gotta.


Why in heaven's name would I want to use this exclusionary phrase in my workplace?


Great story...actually, it's hilarious, especially the part when you shouted "ball don't lie" at the shooter!


Just like when I play tennis. When my opponent calls the ball out when it was clearly in and I lose the point. Then the next point I win. "Ball don't lie!"


I love this exclusionary phrase ;) Being that I don't work in the government or for a labor union, I want to exclude the ones who get it wrong especially after I warned them or protested.

Brian Zekl

I needed a good laugh this morning. Thanks KD!

Joel Kimball

KD, I was at 'sheed's first game as a Piston, way back in...whenever that was. I remember they played the Timberwolves, and I got courtside seats for a while (we swapped between that and a box with our friends). Kevin Garnett inbounded the ball directly in front of my wife and me..."MAN he is tall!"

Wait, what were we talking about?

Thanks for the 'sheed memories! He was fun while he was in town.


Totally work related! I listen to ESPN radio while commuting. Many times I have found myself reflecting on the parallels of managing a department and coaching a team. I even gain occasional insight on the perspective of my employees and managers listening to the impassioned conversations between players, coaches and analysts - which in turn helps me better convey why my idealistic HR advice is something that could actually help them. Thanks for share!


When my 22-year old son left his last employer they made a list of his utterances that should never be repeated.

He taught me to say, "real talk" as in "Real talk, Kris Dunn, real talk."

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