I haven't read Coach George Karl's book and probably won't, not that I don't admire George's contribution to the NBA. He was a heck of a coach, and was always considered a player's coach, whatever that means. I wrote my own account of my one year as a head professional coach of the Carolina Cougars of the ABA in which I criticized Jim McDaniels, our non defensive minded center and Joe Caldwell, our over-rated super star. Much later I reread my book and found it sounded a lot like whining.
What I didn't understand back then, and what George doesn't understand now is that it doesn't do a bit of good blasting any of your players. Whether true or not, it always comes off like sour grapes. George, in your case, everyone who knows the game of basketball is aware of Carmelo's reluctance to play defense, even today when it appears as if he's trying. And anybody with eyes recognizes JR's "unbelievable shot selection." They also realize JR can shoot his team into a game as well as shoot his team out of a game. In this regard there are a few other players with a similar game malfunction. As for posses, that's a subject that has already gotten Phil Jackson into hot water. Kenyon Martin, from the start of his career, was always a loose cannon. And, really, not too many average sports readers remember Kenyon anyway.I thought he was a knucklehead, but I admired the courage it took for him to come back after a horrendous knee injury at the end of his college career.
On to other things.
Classy move by Pat Riley to honor Shaq. Bravo to both men. I'm finding Shaq more lovable in retirement than I did on the court. Deeply impressed that he went on to get a Ph.D.
Here's an example of some fancy (or not fancy) equivocation by Coach K on his player Grayson Allen. "If we start counting up the mistakes of every player - I'm not saying tripping is the right thing to do [No, Coach, it's is absolutely the wrong thing to do.] , whether a guy curses or shows a bad attitude - we're going to find that a lot of players do something wrong," ......No kidding. Are you equating cursing with tripping? "That he [Allen] did something he did last year that wasn't good, that's not good." Dance around the verbal flagpole a little more, coach. How about saying tripping an opponent is wrong under any circumstance. and I and my staff will not tolerate it. The young man will sit on the bench until he believes he can improve his behavior on the court. If he doesn't, he's off the team.
My years of playing sports are taking their toll on me in my old age. Here's a poem I wrote on the subject.
Looking at an X-Ray of My Back by Tom Meschery
I say to my doctor, my spine
looks like a curve ball,
and he says
it's a breaking pitch
to the inside. I think that's funny,
so I say I can still win a game
or two even at my age,
you know. And he says
you can't fool anybody
with that pitch at any age.
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.