Congratulations to Joe Lacob and Peter Guber the new owners of the Golden State Warriors. First they hire a fresh, young executive, Bob Myers, then they bring Jerry West on board as a member of the board and as a consultant, sensibly before they hired a coach. Thus, allowing a great basketball mind, like West's, to weight in on who the future Warrior coach will be.
I played ten years against Jerry. It was a challenge, a thrill, and a privilege. Oh, don't get me wrong, every time he drove the lane I did my utmost, with respect, to put him on the seat of his pants.
Recently, I was trying to figure out if I was playing today how many Flagrant Ones would have been called against me, and based on today's salaries, how much it would have cost me over a ten year NBA career.
I'll entertain all guesses. Flagrant Two's should not be included in your totals. I'll own up to a few F-2's - in which case a fight would have immediately taken place and benches cleared - but the majority of my hits were always struck going after the ball; the player simply was an extension of the ball. By the way there were a lot toughter dudes than moi back in the '60's.
In my last book of poems, Nothing You Lose Can Be Replaced, there is a poem for Jerry West.
Jerry West by Tom Meschery
That nearly half-court buzzer beater
that kept the Laker's playoff hopes alive
was never in doubt. I knew its certainty
from fingertips to rim. Jerry, as sweet
as that shot was, I want to tell you
about another one far sweeter:
night falling and the cross-winds
of San Francisco full court pressing
All City Ray Paxton, postman
with the soft touch we depended on
in the clutch. He "called it" (something
you forgot to do) seconds before the rain
would have ended the game with nothing
resolved, summer over, the lucky players
off to college where they'd play
to big crowds indoors, safe and dry.
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.