As most fans in the Bay Area know, the Golden State Warriors' journey since the halcyon days of Nate Thurmond, Rick Barry and All Atttles and his NBA Championship has been less than awe inspiring. Yet the fans have remained loyal and cheering. So I want to say to those fans, "Take heart, you loyalists!" As the Depression song goes, Happy days are here again. Well, not exaclty "here" yet, but around the corner. Well, not exactly around the nearest corner. Still, close enough to allow a very old Warrior to muse approvingly about Keith Smart's 2010 team and its prospects:
* I like it that the men are trying to play defense.
* I like the fact that the team has 3 Downtown Freddy Brown shooters. (You can't win in the NBA these days without accurate 3-point shooters.)
* I like that the Warriors have a solid power forward with smarts.
* I like that they have two, maybe three quality bench players.
* I like the fact that theirr center seems to be coming out of a two year mind-bending slump. (He's no Duncan, but he has potential to grow - IF - he's got the will power. If not, the corner might be a few extra blocks down the street.
* I like the soon-to-be added power off the bench.
* I like the look of the Warrior's first round draft choice.
* And I like what I see of the coach and a solid group of ex NBA players as assistants.
Ok, this has probably already been said in one form or another by the press, so let's move on. At the present time, the Warriors may not be the team to bring back those years of Hannum, Sharman, and Attles, but the pieces - not just rooks, but bishops, knights, and castles - are starting to fall into place. That said, this season's wins and losses remain an important measuring stick for future growth. So what can Warrior fans expect? I predict a winning season. This is how the Mad Russian sees it: There are 30 teams in the NBA. Of the 30, there are only 10 elite teams: Lakers, Mavericks, Jazz, Thunder, Celtics, Magic. Hawks, Heat (the Big Tres will slowly reach their potential), and Bulls. Denver, a self-exploder, will fall on its own grenade. And the Hornets will lose their sting. This means that 20 teams are vulnerable. If the Warriors improve, as I believe they will, they can beat any of those 20 teams, or, dare I say it, all of those teams. What the hell, I'm an optimist, why NOT all of them?
Good "D" by James McKean
after Edward Hirsch
Their centerr blocks out and the ball
falls into his lap like the coach's book
says it will. Pivot, two-handed chest pass
to the outlet man, his flip
to a guard sprinting up the middle and the crowd
senses a break rolling at half court
and rises now for the finish, the jam
over a nondescript visitor
in knee wraps, invited to play in this gym
well lit on aFriday night in a state
that welcomes him and would send him racing
and bruised except he's hustled back
and turns in their key to wait - all taped fingers
and high tops - before the whole floor,
the forwards in thrir lanes pumping toward him
fast., two points on the stat sheets
written all over their faces, the guard dribbling
too high, head down as if he
needs a script, the guard who loves his right hand,
who pulls up late, who looks where he
passes, drunk on the home court's
din of expectation, everyone on their feet
for a goal good as given
over the nobody in his dull uniform
who stutter rushes the guard left, left
hand up, right down,
and releases the moment the pass is flung in panic,
the forward rising toward the basket
empty-handed because good defensse reads well,
lives in the passing lane and lifts
the ball from beneath. Now, the forward,
who can't come down fast enough,
and the guard, suddenly tired, find far
up the floor the score turned,
the time gone and the crowd at a loss, fumbling
to sit back down, to say anything
for what's been stolen.
What my musings are all about...
Blogging might well be the 21st century's form of journaling. As a writing teacher, I have always advised my students to keep a daily journal as a way of organizing their thoughts for future writing projects, a discipline I have unfortunately never consistently practiced myself. By blogging, I might finally be able to follow my own good advice.
The difference between journaling and blogging is that the blogger opens his or her writing to the public, something journal- writers are usually reluctant to do. I am not so reticent.
The trick for me will be to avoid cluttering the internet with more blather, something none of us need more of. If I stick to subjects I know: sports and literature, I believe I can avoid that pitfall. I can't promise that I'll not stray from time to time to comment on ancillary subjects, but I will make every attempt to be interesting and perhaps even insightful.