The following is the most recent entry in my memoir I've been writing. It is framed by this years Golden State Warriors NBA season. I've been thinking of it as a mutual journey, watching the Dubs play while allowing my memory to go back in time to my days in the NBA and my life since leaving the sport. My wife, Melanie, has been on the journey with me.
May 24, 2016 Warriors vs OKC Thunder @ OKC
Game 4: Western Conference Finals
After a restless and unhappy night following the Warriors loss; let me rephrase that - the Warriors drubbing by the Oklahoma City Thunder - I woke up and wrote this: F**k! F**k! F**k! I used exclamation points, which as an English teacher I'm loath to do, because I get to if I'm really excited or angry. I understood the Warriors taking a beating on Sunday night, coming off the whacking they'd inflicted on the Thunder at Oracle the previous game. But I don't understand how the Warriors allowed themselves to be so decisively and ignominiously defeated two games in a row. This is the first time the Dubs have lost consecutive games. I simply don't have the heart to comment beyond the basics. By quarters:
Quarter One: Turnovers, lazy passes, lack of defensive intensity, no offensive rebounds, weak defensive rebounds that led to Thunder second and third attempts, and poor shooting.
Quarter Two: Turnovers, lazy passes, lack of defensive intensity, no offensive rebounds, weak defensive rebounds that led to Thunder second and third attempts, and poor shooting.
Quarter Three: Klay Thompson working his butt off to get his team back in the game, but has little to no support from teammates. Turnovers, lazy passes, lack of defensive intensity, no offensive rebounds, weak defensive rebounds that led to Thunder second and third attempts, and aside from Thompson, poor shooting.
Quarter Four: F**k it!
Now the Warriors have to do what only eight other teams have ever done in NBA playoff history: come back from a three-to-one deficit. The Dubs have accomplished some miraculous things in the last two seasons, let's pray they've got a few more miracles left in them. Throughout this memoir, I have intermittently expressed my belief in the Mysteries of Life: miracles, coincidences, irony, the undefinable, the unfathomable Universe, the unpredictable. I will ask Irony to do what it does best, reverse what appears to be the inevitable so that what the Oklahoma fans see as the future will turn out to be different, a Warrior future. However, Irony cannot accomplish its task without the cooperation of the Warrior players. If they participate wholly and unreservedly in the mystery and lose, so be it. Don't cry for me or for them, Argentina.
As for me, if the journey with my Warriors ends with the next game, I will not be sorry I took this trip with them, although they didn't know I was along for the ride. Whatever the outcome, in the last two seasons, the Warriors have changed the game of professional basketball. It is too early and there are too many miracles left in the Universe to say how the OKC Thunder have impacted the game. I have some ideas, but I will wait to see what happens in the next game; one the Dubs must win to keep their nickname from becoming a memory.
Melanie returns from her morning walk and joins me.
"My magic Warriors' T-shirt," she says sadly.
"It's lost its magic," I say. "You can use it as a paint shirt."
"No, actually promoted. From sports to art."
It occurs to me that this is what will happen to me if the Warriors lose their next game, I'll have to get back to work on my novels. It's a pleasant thought and a sad one. I'll miss these magnificent young Dubs. There's a good chance that my wife and I will be living in Florence during the next NBA season. I'll keep track of the team, but it won't be the same--this personal.
Can't find a poem that works for the way I feel. Sorry.
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.