(An oft-overlooked track from the Johnny Cash archives)
My papa left Slovenia when I was three And he didn't leave much to ma and me I was raised by Papa Smurf, Gepeto and Mufasa Now, I don't blame him cause he run and hid But the meanest thing that he ever did Was before he left, he named me "Sasha."
Well, he must o' thought that is quite a joke And it didn't help that he left us flat broke, Depending on strangers, tu casa es mi casa? Some folks would giggle and I'd get red And some guy'd laugh but my defense'd get in his head, I tell ya, life ain't easy for a boy named "Sasha."
Well, I grew up tall and I grew up mean, My hair got long and my shot got keen, I'd roam from court to court to hide my shame. But I made a vow to the Dream Team's stars That I'd search the pick-up games and groupie bars And kill that man who gave me that awful name.
Well, I knew that snake was my own sweet dad From a worn-out Skybox card that my mother'd had, And I knew that scar on his cheek and his evil eye. He was big and bent and greasy and old, And I looked at him and my game went cold And I said: "My name is 'Sasha!'! I get picked last, after Mbenga from Kinshasa! Now your gonna die!!"
Well, I faked hard right hit a jumper in his eyes And he went down, he took the charge to my surprise, He could flop with the best and he had the ref's ear. But when the zebra turned around I put a 'bow in his teeth And we crashed to the stands, Nicholson got out his seat Kicking and a' gouging, rolling in sweat and the beer.
I tell ya, I've fought All-NBA men But I really can't remember when, He kicked like the Worm and had Stockton's guile. I heard him laugh and then I heard him cuss, He went for his ball but I wrapped it up first, He stood there lookin' at me and I saw him smile.
And he said: "Son, this league is rough And if a ballers gonna make it, he's gotta be tough And I knew the Zen Master wouldn't let me help ya along. So I give ya that name and I said goodbye I knew you'd have to get tough or die And it's the name that helped to make you strong."
He said: "Now you just played one hell of a game And I know you hate me, and all the Lakers feel the same To kill me now, or let me keep living as a dishwasher. But ya ought to thank me, before I die, For the gravel in ya guts and the spit in ya eye Cause I'm the son-of-a-bitch that named you "Sasha'"
I got all choked up and I let down my hair And I called him my pa, and he called me his son, And I came away with a different point of view. And I think about him, now and then, Every time I try and every time I win, And if I ever have a son, I think I'm gonna name him Lamar or Pau! Anything but Sasha! I still hate that name!