meta name=”robots” content=”index, follow” Meschery's Musings of Sports, Literature, and Life Meschery's Musings on Sports, Literature and Life: 2017

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.

Friday, June 23, 2017

A few raddom thoughts on the 2017 NBA Draft

Warriors: GM Bob Meyers has a nose for talented basketball players. With no drafts last year they found McCaw. This year they found Jordan Bell, a 6'9" C/PF who can defend multiple positions, a smart passer, and athletic scorer. Baring injuries, I see him as a Dub for a long time.

76ers: Fultz looks like he will be a solid point guard, perhaps great, but I'm a little skeptical. So the 76ers continue to fill in the blanks. For the 76ers he big IF is Joel Embid. If this fabulous player stays healthy, they are playoff bound and beyond, if not, well. . .?

Timberwolves: Veteran All Star shooting guard Jimmy Butler is going to love Ricky Rubio. As important as his scoring and D will be, more importantly in my mind, he will become the conduit between Coach Tibs and the young Timberwolves who still don't understand that you play D for four quarters.

Kings, having dumped the gloomy Cousins, are winners all around, filling their much needed point guard position with D'Aaron Fox, a lefty (I love lefties) with blurring speed. Then adding a stretch forward in Justin Jackson and a power forward in Harry Giles. Here's my advice to Vlade, keep Temple and Koufous, and go the rest youth all the way. Let the kids grow as a team and as teammates. A solid coach is in place, fabulous arena, fans waiting, but will be understanding now that there's a real plan.

Lakers helped themselves with a Magic trade, then drafted Lonzo Ball. The kid can pass. His shot mechanics are bit pure, but his release from elbow to fingertip is fine. As for stinky shooting mechanics, check out the form of Earl "the Pearl" Monroe. Now if they can get Paul George. Humm???

Celtics: I'd like to say the Celtic helped themselves with Jayson Tatum, but I'm not convinced against NBA pressure he'll be a consistent scorer. Now, if they'd drafted Josh Jackson??The Celts are still a trade or two away. There dismal, embarrassing defense against  the Cavs colors my future view of them. 

Suns: Josh Jackson (I'm partial to slashers) with Booker and Chriss. Beaucoup points. Still no point guard. Bledsoe is not, really. Neither is Knight.  May have found a sleeper in P/F Alec Peters. Can't have enough solid bench players. Still no D on the horizon. .

Knicks: Smart choice, picking a point guard, Frank Ntilikina from France. He has good size, speed, and is a smart passer. They have Porsingis. Dump Carmelo. (Iso players are a done deal in the NBA)
for some young players, who have length, can shoot and pass. Dump the Triangle. It too is a teeeny bit past its overdue date.

Bulls were smart to start over. Markkanen will become a fine NBA stretch 4. But I don't see an ounce of identity on this team as of now. It's like, hey, I've got all these different veggies, now where is the recipe because I'm not sure of the ingredients and the measurements. Hint: don't use leftovers, no matter how tasty they were at one time.

Bucks: Fear the Deer helped themselves with power forward D.J. Wilson in the 1st round and Sindarius Thornwell, a shooting guard, in the second round, and from what I saw a tough defender. If Parker can come back from his injury and stay healthy, the Bucks will go deep into the Eastern playoffs.

Nets: Got an over paid average defensive center in Mosgov and a shooting guard in D'Angelo Russelll who they'll ask to be a point guard until they get a real point gurad. Without B. Lopez, the ball might find its way into the hands of some of the other players on the team. It's a start. 

I'm not convinced this draft year is as deep as the pundits say. To me deep always means the second round. So, we'll see which of the 31 through 60 turn out to be keepers. I like the Duck's Tyler Dorsey's shot and Jordan Bell, I've already talked about. I believe Ivan Rabb has a chance for the heat; his skills were never maxed out at Cal. Sindarius Thornwell is going to make it. Alec Peters may be a sleeper. Mathias Lessort if he doesn't stay in Europe has a huge motor. Isiah Hartenstein, ditto he doesn't stay overseas, could give the Rockets lots of paint protection at 7'1" I wouldn't be surprised if Nigel Williams-Goss doesn't make the Jazz, a smart player with the size and skill to defend on the NBA level. The Bulls will regret trading Justin Patton to Minnesota, but why the TWolves need him, I'm clueless. 

The NCAA outdoor track nationals is being held in Sacramento in scorching 100 degree weather. Here's a poem I wrote about my speedy daughter.

Middle School Track Meet      By Tom Meschery

            For Janai

My daughter is signed up to run the 100
and 200 meter dashes. She is fast but not as fast
as the girl warming up next to her. I'm trying
to think what to say to my daughter
on the drive home about coming in second,
which I often did in sports. And with women
and hated it. My best friend Ned always came in 
first with women, and they found me later
to cry on my shoulder, which is something
I don't need to tell my daughter, but has,
for reasons best confessed to an analyst,
always rankled me. I could say that being
first doesn't mean you're a better person.
It only means you reached the tape
before the rest of the runners. That effort
is all that counts in life. which I know
to be a lie promulgated by people
who inherited their fortune having never 
run a race without a head start.
This information will be a small comfort
to my daughter as she is too young
to be  interested in the inequities of society.
Crouched at the starting line, she's waiting
for the gun to fire. She'll give it all she's got
out of the blocks and down the track.

  






.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

On the Draft and etc

Let's begin with the draft. Kudos to Magic in LA for dumping the Mosgov albatross, freeing up cap space and adding a center, Brook Lopez, who may be a back to the back center type everybody in the league seems to feel is a dinosaur (I do not. Later on that) but the man can shoot the ball. And he can and will stumble into a few good defensive plays. D'Angelo Russell, well, okay, he has upside, probably as a scorer rather than a point guard but, with Lonzo Ball on the horizon, getting rid of Russell will not hurt the Lakers. (Much). Anyway a smart first outing into the GM world for Magic Johnson. A start-over for Russell could be a good thing for the kid, a little less under the flood lights in Brooklyn, new teammates, etc. I still a fan of Russell. Can't help it, I'm partial to lefties This is something that happens to players who played with Lenny Wilkins.

Next on the trade deals comes Atlanta moving Dwight Howard to Char4lotte for not a lot in return. Belinelli is a solid 3 pt shooter, except for his one season stint with the Kings, which could have been an unconscious effort on his part to depart California's capital. I'd have probably taken
fat Sir Charles at his age in exchange for Howard, who is, in my mind, a loser. I don't like that word, but in some cases, it fits. All the physical talent in the world without much courage. Interesting but not unexpected move by the 76ers and the Celts. As good as Fultz seems to be, the Celts didn't need a point guard, and they did indeed need a stretch 3. A polite trade.

In the etc department, how about if the Warriors sign David Lee. He knows the system, is well liked by his former teammates, has probably resigned himself to a bench role, and what rookie can the Dubs get better than David? As a chemistry thing, I think it would work. Just a thought.

Now for the Kings. D'Arron Fox is a no-brainer. The 10th pick is crucial. I saw where one Mock Draft had the Kings picking Luke Kennard. Don't do it, Vlade! The kid has a wingspan of a penguin and he's about that slow.

I love Draymond Green's comment that he learns more from watching the WNBA, giving examples of what he learns. Smart man with a high basketball IQ.

A big HUZZAH to Diane Taursi for becoming the WNBA's all time scoring leader. With more seasons still in front of her, she should put that record out of reach for a long time. 

Today is the summer solstice. It's baseball season. A good day to read the following poem.

At the Ball Game    by William Carlos Williams

The crowd at the ball game
is moved uniformly

by a spirit of uselessness
which delights them -

all the exacting detail
of the chase

and the escape, the error
the flash of genius-

all to no end save beauty
the eternal- -

So in detail they, the crowd,
are beautiful

for this 
to be warned against

saluted and defied - 
It is alive, venomous

it smiles grimly
it's word cut -

The flashy female with her
mother, get it -

The Jew gets it straight - it
is deadly, terrifying - 

It is the Inquisition, the
Revolution

It is beauty itself
that lives 

day by day in them
idly -

This is 
the power of their faces

It is summer, it is the solstice
the crowd is

cheering, the crowd is laughing
in detail

permanently, seriously
without thought.




Monday, June 19, 2017

A Sigular Phenomena?

My friend Jon Jackson, the detective fiction writer, asked me if I thought the Golden State Warriors were a singular phenomena. We've email back and forth over this question. So far I don't think my comments have helped. I'm going to give it another try.

It's important to remember that all great NBA championship teams are singular in some way and unique in a number of other ways. But, in all cases, their originality begins with players. Going down the list chronologically, the Celtics can not be duplicated without Russell and Bob Cousy & Havlicek clones; the 76ers, ditto, without cloning Wilt Chamberlain. You'd have to duplicate Wilt and West to reproduce the Lakers of 1972. The Knicks championship teams needed their anchor, Willis Reed, and floor general Walt Frazier. Certainly there could never be a NBA Championship Lakers teams of 85,87, & 88 without a Magic and a Jabbar. Detroit in 89 & 90 would never have won without Isiah. The Warriors without Rick Barry, no championship for them.The Celts championship without Bird and McHale, not likely. Without question no Michael Jordan, no Bulls championships. No Olajuwon, no Rocket's championships. No Walton, no Blazer rings. No joy in LA without Kobe and Shaq. Pop, as good a coach as he is, would not have won much without his threesome of Duncan, Ginobili, and Parker, and, finally the Heat do not sizzle without LeBron.

Whee, gotta catch my breath. All of this seems obvious. So, how does this help to answer Jon's question? Evaluating the players I've mentioned, I've come to the conclusion that there are not many of them, as fabulous as they are, who are unique in the sense that they can't be duplicated, ever. The unique ones are: Cousy, Bill Russell, Wilt, Bird, Magic; Kareem, Walton (one year phenom), Olajuwon, MJ, Kobe and LeBron. Perhaps, you can see where I'm going, whether you agree with me or not. And I suspect a lot will not.

Here's the wrap-up,Ta, Da! The Golden State Warriors 2017 Championship squad have three players who are unique and impossible to reproduce.playing together: Stephan Curry, Kevin Durant, and Draymond Green. I could add Klay Thompson; he's certainly deserving, but then I'd have to add Kevin McHale to the Celt's team, or Scotty Pippin to the Bulls' team, and D Wade to the Heat team.

At no time in the history of the NBA have the Warrior 3 happened. The closest, in my mind, is the Celts: Russell, Havlick, Heinsohn group, Willis, Frazier and Bradley; the Bird, McHale, and Parish trio, the Magic, Jabbar, and Worthy Lakers and the Spurs' Duncan, Ginobelli, and Parker triumvirate.

But, "closest" is the best I can do. Not equal to. I have a hard time imagining a team in the future that will have three absolutely unique player (think broken molds, crushed, and deposited in the Pacific Ocean) playing together on one NBA team.

Does this mean that the Dubs would defeat all of the great teams I've mentioned? With the 3 point line, I don't think so. Back in the day rules, maybe not, but maybe.When talking about winning teams, there are all sorts of other considerations to take into account before a team can be defined as a singular phenomena. Coaching, for one, would be, as players say today, "huge." It's a little early yet, but Steve Kerr is well on his way to being compared to the great coaches, like Aurebach, Hannum, Daley, Riley, Jackson and Popovich. Then, there's the difficult subject of team chemistry, of team bench strength, of ownership and management support..All valid consideerations. However, when you get down to answering my friend, Jon's question of "singular phenomena," it's always the players - in the NBA, always the players.

The US Open ended yesterday with first time winner Brooks Koepka holding the trophy. Here's a fun old fashioned poem about golf, a parody of Longfellow's The Arrow & the Song.

The Ball and the Club  by Forbes Lindsay

I shot a golf ball into the air;
It fell toward earth, I knew not where;
For who hath eye so strong and keen,
As to follow the flight of my ball to the green.

I lost a club I could not spare,
And searched for it most everywhere;
For who hath sight so keen and quick
As to trace the course of a missing stick.

Long, long afterwards, in an oak,
I found the golf ball still unbroke;
And the club - with a couple of nicks and a bend,
I found again in the bag of a friend.  




Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Some Thoughts on the Dubs NBA Championship Game Five

The sun is shining (All Gold Everywhere), the air is fresh, a gentle breeze is blowing in from the delta and the Golden State Warriors are once again Champions of the NBA. 

The Finals ended in Victory last night, and I was as exhausted physically and mentally as if I'd been one of the players on the court. This is how close my identification with my old team has become since the new ownership brought a winning spirit back to the Bay Area.

Melanie, my wife, not to be outdone by my exhaustion, wore two Warrior T shirts, one over the other, for the game. We both agreed the Warriors might not have won had she worn only one T-shirt.

In my Blog yesterday, I stated that all things physical being equal, the smarter team would win. It did. I site, for example, the numbers of easy baskets the Warriors made, particularly by way of the the pick and roll, screener rolling to the baskets, and the unguarded back doors.

LeBron was a bull, but Kevin Durant was Muhammed Ali's butterfly. Steph Curry was the slight-of-hand magician. Draymond Green was the heart pumping blood to all the other parts of the Warrior body. Klay Thompson, who rounds out the newly christened Fab Four (I like the sound of that), was the shadow Kyrie tried to shake all night and finally couldn't. So much for mixing metaphors.

But lets not forget four players: ZaZa, Rocky Marciano, Pachulia, the future president of Georgia, David West, who chased his dream of a ring and earned it with clutch shots and stalwart D, Shawn Livingston, Mr. Calm, (a team must have a player  with a steady hand like that) and Andre Igudala.

Igudala deserves his own paragraph. What is it about the genetic makeup of this athlete that he produces such clutch performances at exactly the right moment? It's as if he doesn't just see the opportunity, he smells it in the air, feels it, tastes victory, hears his name being called. I swear its like that. I think I remember such a brief moment in my own career in game five against the 76ers. And it's absolutely something spiritual.

Let's not forget the other Dubs. Although they may not have contributed a great deal during this last series against the Cavs, their performances during the regular season and in conference post-season were enormous. They earned their rings. And the right to be called Warriors.

I continue to be amazed by Steve Kerr. If any fans of the game ever doubted that coaching an NBA team is much more about personality and psychology than it is about X's and O's, watching Coach Kerr will dispel that notion. Intelligence, yes; preparation, yes; instinct, yes. But how you draw your players in so they identify with your spirit--that's at the heart of superior coaching. One might ask, how can you tell? Well, you do. Look in the eyes of the players, at their body language, listen to their words of praise that always fall short because they are really at a loss for words. Such it is that defines the coaches at the top of the Pantheon of NBA Coaches, starting with Red Auerbach and ending with, yes, Steve Kerr.

So, who have I left out? I'm so pumped that I can't stop praising. There is Bob Myers, who's got to be one smart GM, whose instincts have to be as razor-sharp as the players' on the court. A good GM has to feel what's right, not just gather stats and analyze. And there is Jerry West, consultant. Dare I say Consigliere to the Warriors' Godfathers: Joe Lacob and Peter Guber? I dare. Good advice well received as in: 'there's a kid playing at Washington State the Warriors should look at--advice like that is worth a franchise. And a huge shout out for the coaching staff, particularly Ron Adams and Mike  Brown. Think of them as book ends, providing Coach Kerr with the input a head coach requires to make the right decisions in practices and during games.

Does the Warrior physical fitness/trainers team deserve praise? You bet. The Dubs came into this series healthy. It's not a coincidence they did. Does the entire organization: Rick Welts and his team and Raymond Ridder and his team deserve praise? Absolutely. They too are coaches, coaching the environment in which the game is played and the players live. Take for example how hard it is to live in a run-down neighborhood, (I'm guessing lots of folks can identify with that), but if that neighborhood is clean and modern and stable and organized, then that's where players want to make their homes. Ask Kevin Durant. I'm reasonably certain his decision to come to the Warriors was not entirely based on basketball.

Am I through? Not yet. There are the fans. They've been there for the Dubs since the Dubs were the Dubs, every seat in Oracle taken, a sea of gold and Warrior blue. Tickets are not cheap these days in the NBA, but Bay Area fans keep opening their check books because the organization from top to bottom has made attending games worth it. Is there better value for your dollar? In the big scheme of  life, sure. But in the fun things of life, it's money well spent for a season of pleasure and a chance to identify with greatness. And the best damn hotdogs in any arena.

Here's a poem I wrote a long time ago for Jerry West that is in my first collection of poetry called Nothing You Lose Can Be Replaced. It seems fitting, given Jerry's contribution to the Warriors Championships.

Jerry West

That nearly full court buzzer-beater
that kept the Laker's playoff hopes alive
was never in doubt. I knew its certainty
from fingertip to rim. Jerry, as sweet
as that shot was, I want to tell you
about another shot far sweeter:
Night was falling and the cross-winds
of San Francisco were 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 while Ray, 
bag over his shoulders, walks his rounds.







  





Monday, June 12, 2017

Phsicality

During a recent interview on TV, Cavs' Coach Tyronn Lue must have used the word physicality at least twenty times. He was no doubt very impressed and happy with his team's "Physicality" in game 4 of the NBA Championship series in the Q.

As an old English teacher, I rushed immediately to my Merrian Webster Dictionary and looked up the word: PHYSICALITY. I was skeptical that it was a word in the English language. My dictionary proved me wrong. Physicality is indeed a word, and it dates back to the 16th century.

However, it seems to me that the Golden State Warriors, as they head into Game 5 of the series, should take into account the full meaning of the word according to Merrian Webster:

PHYSICALITY:  predominance of the physical at the expense of the mental, spiritual, and social.

If  the Cavs continue to play within the scope of the definition that Coach Lue is so proud of, it is something the Golden State Warriors could take advantage of. No doubt, our Dubs need to be more physical in tonight's game. They can not allow the Cavs to attack first, and if the Cavs do, they must attack back instantly and with the same intensity.

That said and all things physical being even, the outcome of the game will be due to which team plays smarter. MENTAL TOUGHNESS will win this game, not PHYSICALITY

I am confident that the Warriors understand this.

How about some LOVE for Bob Myers, the very astute GM of the Golden State Warriors. Lot's of kudos heading the players' way,  Steve Kerr and the coaching staffs' way, and in the direction of Jerry West and Ownership, but not enough in the direction of Bob Myers. He seems to be a pretty low key kind of guy who abjures the spotlight. I don't read the Chronicle every day, so I may be wrong about this. There may be tons of stories praising him. Whatever the case may be, I want to make sure my Blog pays him the praise he deserves in putting together this fabulous basketball team. Go Bob, more power to you and for years to come. And, lets hope Draymond remembers what you said to him when you two were sitting together last season watching Game 5 on TV, Draymond having been suspended from the game for swatting the King in his Jewels:. "Let's not let this happen next year." Wonderfully understated.

Spain's Rafael Nadal wins his 10th championship at Roland Garros.The King of Clay deserves a tennis poem:

The Tennis Player   by Ronen Sigan

On a lucky day I found a genie in a bottle.
Out he came thankful and free granting me three wishes.
My first wish is to have a decent backhand - 
that is really all I need.
Too many times I missed such easy shots. 
It's about time I got a backhand.
The genie was stunned - what about fame,
fortune and the pleasure of the flesh?
I am a tennis player and this is my first wish.
My second wish is to have a killer server.
layer will fear it as it flies and swerves.
A killer serve it is! The genie sighed
An let me guess your third wish 
is the strongest forehand in the world.
Far from it, give a decent backhand 
and a killer serve to my opponents.
For what is a game without a challenge. 




                                                

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Counter-Punching, a Bad Idea

My wife and I were attending my grand daughter's high school graduation, so we did not witness first hand the ass kicking the Cavaliers gave the Warriors last night at the Q, an arena next to the flame throwing Cayahoga River - Flow on big river. An arena named for Quicken Loans, which will be the first mortgage company associated with the mortgage and banking scandal of 2019. (Remember, you heard it from me first.)

My wife and I were delighted we didn't watch that game on live TV. Later, Melanie and I watched it on tape. Here was my first thought half way through the first quarter.  I've said it one, and I'll say it again: "He who gets the first punch in, gets the first punch in." The Cavs punched first, and kept punching (metaphor for setting the alpha-dog-tone of the game). The Warriors needed to punch back immediately and didn't. The refs didn't help. They allowed the Cavs to be the aggressors, perhaps not intentionally. However, it has always been this way in the NBA as far back as when I played that referees become more and more inclined to see the second foul than the first. To punish the counter-puncher and not the aggressor. It has always been very  difficult to counter-punch in the NBA. Historically, any chance a team has to change tempo significantly comes at the start of the third quarter. That did not happen last night. So, the series goes back to Oracle on Monday night. It is what it is.

Steve Kerr is correct to say that his team is not worried about history, but they damn well better be worried about who gets the first punch in in game five.

That's all I have to say about the upcoming game five. Except this: Recently, archaeologists in Mexico found an Aztec ball court, ancestor of the game of basketball, (the stone hoop was mounted on the wall perpendicular to the playing surface.) Nearby the court, they also found the sculls of the players on the losing team that had been sacrificed to the Gods. During game five, I will be paying attention to the shape of the Cavs' heads and wondering. Just wondering.

Here's a little quatrain about the great Laker's center, Kareem Abdul Jabbar.

Sky Hooks From the Stands    by Tom Meschery

Jabbar's arm high in the air
His hand cradling the ball
I'm waiting for it to fall
From the sky, holding my breath. 




Thursday, June 1, 2017

2017 NBA Finals, On Your Mark, Get Set...

At 6 p.m. this evening at Oracle Arena in Oakland, California, a NBA referee will throw up the ball at center court to start this season's Finals. My wife, Melanie, her grandson and I will be there. There's going to be a photographer and a Sports Illustrated writer waiting for us. SI is doing a Where are They Now feature, and I'm part of the They. I mention this only because it dove-tails into the first part of this morning's blog: NBA Past.

At the beginning of three years of Cav vs Warriors finals, it's important to remind NBA fans that may not know (and some might very well not, considering they didn't exist during the years the Celts dominated the pro game) that basketball existed before Bird and Magic, MJ, and LeBron/Curry. There was the rivalry between Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlain. Let it be said, and I'm saying it, that had the Chamberlain led Philadelphia Warriors been a Western Division team, it's highly likely that the NBA Championship would have turned into - like the upcoming Warriors/Cavs -  a three-years-in-a-row-series from '59/60 on between Boston and Philly. In my rookie year, 1961/62, I was on the Philadelphia Warriors' Eastern Division championship team back then, so long ago - before the motor car, before the wheel, before the duchess-faced dinosaur - that lost by one point to the Celts in the finals seconds of game seven, and I know for certain, had we been in the West that year, we'd have been in the finals, having dominated the Lakers - the West champs - all season long.

Not sure why I spent so much time writing this, except I sometimes feel the Russell/Chamberlain matchup has not been given enough historical love, which includes the entire era beginning with Bill Russell and ending with the first year of Kareem Abdul Jabbar. It saddens me that there is not a lot of film footage of our era, We were pretty damn good.

I am excited, looking forward to tonight's game. (Aren't the Dubs a pleasure to watch?) All the players on both sides are healthy and rested. It should be hugely interesting. Like chess or a 10 thousand-metre race, strategic and exhausting. With a little Tae Kwon Do thrown in the mix.

I still can't forget the seventh game of the finals last season when Kyrie took and made that fantastic three point clutch shot with Curry in his face to win for the Cavs. That shot at that moment, says a lot to me about this years series. The Warriors must limit Kyrie's game. For me, he is the KEY, not LeBron James, who will get his points, but will also dominate the ball to, in my humble opinion, the long term detriment of the Cavs. It would also be wise not to allow Kevin Love to get open threes as the Celtics did. I'm still having trouble getting over the Celt's wussy D.

In the end, as it always is, since the beginning of time and the NBA, let if be said, and never forget DEFENSE WINS CHAMPIONSHIPS.

Here's a little Haiku about Draymond Green and LeBron "King" James.

.

E.E CUMMINGS PREDICTS THE OUTCOME     by Tom Meschery

warriors and cavs (both dray & king)

will battle each other in the spring

tweet their rumble and text their game

king goes down, while dray remains
 


Saturday, May 27, 2017

Pickle Ball

The fastest growing sport in the United States, Pickle Ball, held its 1917 Open Championship in East Naples, Florida yesterday. Simone Jardin won mixed doubles with male partner, Oliver Strycker and pro doubles with female partner Corrine Sieberscher.

I watched the match on television, going back and forth between pro golf and PB. Got to say, Pickle Ball provided some spectacular fast moving minutes in comparison to golf, which moves, oh, soooo slowly..Luckily for golf, the cameras move swiftly between holes so you don't have to watch golfers walking the fairways; otherwise, the game would have little tv appeal.

Back to Pickle Ball: Simone Jardin and other Pickle Ball players can't make a living yet playing their sport, but their commitment, enthusiasm, and training is every bit as intense as our beloved Warrior players.

Here's a thought. Universities claim that the Big Bucks they receive support the school's minor sports. So let's get the major sport's athletes who're making obscene amounts of money to support the less well known but equally important pro sports in our country, like Pickle Ball or Curling for example. Kevin Durant could fund the Pickle Ball Championship, say, half a mill for the purse - a terrific tax write off..Who'd fund Curling? Handball is a terrific sport too, both the U.S. brand and the European form of the sport. LeBron has a few extra bucks, right?

Anybody interested in some wonderful poetry about sports, I suggest an out of print book, but still available: Sprints and Distances compiled by Lillian Morrison from Thoma Y. Crowell Co. NYC.

From Sprints and Distances, a poem about Squash. I think Shaq could fund Squash.

Civilities                by Thomas Whitebread

   The delicate corner shot,
Slicing the strings precise across the ball
at the right time, so that it lightly hits
         On one side wall,
    Kisses the front, then falls
Quick-dying down, most irretrievable,

    Is difficult to do
Unless a calm, an inner certainty
Comes to you softly in the midst of war,
         Setting you free
   From the slam-bang desire
To smash it hard no matter where. To be

   So deftly sure, so wise,
Wins points in squash. In another, harder game,
Word-play, a similar civility
     May equally tame
   Peaceless desires, and make
Your opponent yours by a nicety of name. 

Friday, May 26, 2017

Red is Turning Over in his Grave

If Red Auerbach had witnessed the defensive performance of the Boston Celtic vs the Cleveland Cavs, he would have choked on his cigar and died a horrid second death. In all my years in the NBA and post NBA watching as a fan, I've never seen a more pathetic performance on DEFENSE. Every single Celtic player and coach should be ashamed of himself. The Cavs attacked on D, which is the only way to play D, and the Celts did not attack back. Thus the horrible lopsided results. As far as I could tell, there was no defensive strategy, except cowardice. If Coach Stevens is the wunderkind he's supposed to be, he better start doing some wunderkinding pronto. (Love it when I have an opportunity to do some mixed metaphoring.)

I've been out of the game for a long time, but how about this for a strategy, Coach Stevens: why not force the Cavs always to their baseline and collapse the weakside? I couldn't believe how many times the Cavs drove the middle of the paint undefended. Forcing to the baseline against guys like LeBron and Kyrie makes sense to me. Trap from the weakside, and make them throw the pass from a tight angle. The danger, of course, is that the weakside misses the rotation and one of two things happen: The dribbler shuffles a pass to the 5, (in the Cavs' case, Tristan Thompson for a dunk, or the opposite corner is free for a three.) That said, if the rotation is sound, this should not happen and the pass has to go over or through the paint to the top, not easy to do.

Note: I'm willing to move to Boston for the right price as a consultant to the Celtics on defense. Well, maybe not at my age. I'd probably suffer a heart attack and die in Boston. I'd prefer to die as the great Peruvean Poet Cesar Vallejo did, on the streets of Paris.

The Golden State Warriors will not allow the Cavs to beat them up on defense, that I can assure all fans of our Dubs. This will be a amazing series, as both teams are healthy and playing at the top of their game. It will be professional basketball at its best and most intense. I suggest for the Dubs something called Intense Physical Peace.  It translates like this: Players must be at the height of their physical intensity while maintaining inward peace.

Lastly, doesn't it seem to all that this is a series we're going to see for a number of years into the future, similar to the old Celtic vs Lakers series?

I missed the first two series of the conference finals being on vacation with my wife in Greece. We were traveling with a group of artists, sketching and water coloring. My wife's the  artist. I was along for the ride but managed to write a number of pretty good poems. One does have a little to do with basketball, so I'll end my blog with it.

DRAWING IS A MOTOR SKILL   By Tom Meschery

Drawing requires a degree
of coordination and practice
like a sport. Like basketball
you add to get my attention,
knowing I played in the NBA.

But I'm thinking of the mist
covering the shore of the island
Gael drew in the morning
from the patio of our hotel
on the island of Folegandros.
And of Stephan Curry's shot
that arcs through the air
and plummets into the hoop
with such accuracy. I could
practice a thousand years
and never equal his talent.
Nor could I paint Gael's mist.

I have no doubt, practicing
your art makes you better,
remembering those early years
of brushstroke after brushstroke
learning to shoot a basketball
until the painting of myself emerged
fully formed out of the mist.
As for coordination, today, my hand,
holding the brush wobbles above
the turquoise banister.
My muscles lack the memory
trained for sports and not for art. 






Thursday, May 18, 2017

From Athens to the Warriors

Back from a fabulous vacation to Greece - Athens and the Cyclades, drawing, writing poetry. Couldn't have been better. The only drawback was getting ongoing news about my Dubs. I wasn't that worried. I didn't believe the Blazers or the Jazz were going to be a problem, so I got my Parthenon fix, which included along with the historical sights, some of the best bread I've had since the non Monsanto conspiracy to GMO our wheat started in the USA. Imagine locally baked bread with a real taste. I gained 10 pounds. Well, it was not entirely the fault of the bread. The Greeks have a few tasty brews. Athos was my favorite. If my old beer drinking buddy and nemesis from the NCAA Cal Bear Championship basketball team is reading this, let's order a couple of cases.

Back to the Warriors. Curry and Durant shirts are on sale big time on the streets of Athens. More than the Greek Freak's jerseys, which I found curious and slightly traitorous. I'm surprised there aren't more Greek NBA players as Greek men appear to me to be naturally tall. 

Last night, still exhausted from 30 hours in transit from Athens to San Francisco, I watched the Warriors destroy the Spurs. Luckily the Dubs were so far ahead that I could close my eyes before the game was over, which it was by half time. I woke up this morning reasonably refreshed. It was fun to get back to a US sports page. I particularly enjoyed reading Ron Kroichick in the Chronicle. Great article, but I'd like to amend his ending: "So savor the show. It won't last forever." He was talking about the Warriors, but particularly about how the Warriors' brain trust put the team together, drafting smart, taking trading risks, being patient, finding good coaches and GM's. So, my question to Ron is why does it have to end. The ownership is not going anywhere and as long as they're there, the smarts remain solidly in place.

Yes, the names on the backs of the jerseys will change. Sadly, even Steph Curry will age and retire. New numbers from this team will wind up in the rafters, looking down on new players. Will any future Warrior ever be as good as Curry? In some ways, maybe. There will never be as good a shooter. And perhaps there will never be as versatile a player as Draymond Green. But as long as the ownership stays the same, I have no doubt the Golden State Warriors will continue to field championship teams.

Here's a haiku I wrote in Greece

Curry and Durant
Jerseys for sale in Athens
Below the Parthenon



Sunday, April 9, 2017

Odds and Ends

If it walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, and swims like a duck, it's a damn duck. If a golf club has two female members, and a two black members and is an invitations only membership, and not making any plans to add any more women and people of color, it's a racist and misogynist golf club. Yeah I'm talking about the Augusta National Golf Club: 99% of membership white males. And, really, up to the turn of the century all caddies had to be black? Yes'm masta. What is up with white guys? I'm a white guy and I'm getting really ashamed of my race.  So, I wonder why the golfers over the years haven't brought any real pressure to bear on Augusta? Probably because the vast majority are white. Hey, I wonder are there any Asian members? Am I being sarcastic? You bet.

I'm pulling for Sergio at the Masters. As great a golfer as he is and no majors??? I'll settle for Ricky
Fowler. You gotta love his orange Oklahoma State trousers. Watch out for Rose. The Englishman is so damn steady. 

Baseball season is on its way. Here's an off the wall and little known book of collected stories about baseball called KILL THE AMPAYA!  The Best Latin American Baseball Fiction . Edited and translated by Dick Cluster. Terrific fun read.

Watched Kevin Durant's first game back after injury. Looks like KD will be ready to be the old KD in time for the playoffs. It's going to be real interesting to see how Coach Kerr adjusts his rotations. My wife and I are going to be traveling in Greece during the first round, so I'll have to find a taverna with a TV, but then I might become distracted by a glass of ouzo and a plate of dolmas. Good luck, Dubs!

Teams in the NBA other than the Big Boys that will be better next year, not in any particular order:

1) I like the Suns's young players to mature and become competitive. Booker and Chriss,
     and Bender with a summer to improve.  Lem incrementally better. High energy wide body
     in Williams. One more solid draft choice away, but could surprise even without one.    

2) Portland Blazers. They've finally got a big who can score and protect the paint and a summer to
    find a little more muscle and an effective reserve point guard. 

3) I have to give the Timberwolves some love. They just have too many athletic and talented players
    to continue the status quo. If they can take Thibidaux's gruff personality and accept that they must
    play D for 4 quarters, they're bound to be be contenders for a playoff spot.

4) I'm giving a nod to the Sacramento Kings. A summer of improvement for their young core: Cauley
     Stein, Hield, Labisierre, Richardson, and Papagiannos. They still need a bona fide point guard,
     but even if they have to go with the steady if not brilliant Collison, they should be improved.

5) I don't see much improvement in the East, but will take a chance on Washington Wizards. With
     addition of Bogdanovich to stretch the floor. With a training camp, he might be the difference
     maker for a roster that contains lots of talent. Sometimes it only takes one addition.

6) Philly, but only if Embid comes back healthy and can stay healthy. He is indeed a stud.

Why I Never Played Golf    by Tom Meschery

I din't trust myself. Imagine
losing a match by one stroke
on the eighteenth green, his putt
longer than mine. He sinks it
for a birdie and I sink mine 
for par, and I have my putter
in my hand and a bad temper
and he is smiling at me.
You understand, smiling.


Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Raiders to Vegas and etc

Our talented sports writer Ailene Voisin in this morning's Sacramento Bee said it succincly, but not as colorffully as I'm about to do: Mark Davis is an ungrateful shithead. Oaklanders should bycott all the games next football season. Do not put one dollar in the asshole's pocket. And, Oakland should sue to keep the Raider name. The Vegas team should be renamed the Los Vegas Dice? Or how about the Los Vegas Strippers? Or how about Los Vegas Hookers? One needs to remember that Los Vegas was built on water they stole from California.

Alas, Mark Orr has left his post as Athletic Director of Saint Mary's College. He will be greatly missed, having done a fabulous job in his nine years at my alma mater. He becomes the AD at Sacramento State University. The school could not have found a better man for the job. You Sacramentans can count on great days ahead for Hornets' sports. First predication: in one year, Mark will announce he has put together the financing of a new multi-purpose arena to house basketball and other sports and events.

UConn Women's basketball team routed the Oregon Duckies. My wife, a Duck grad, is in mourning. It was inevitable. The Lady Huskies are, as usual, awesome. What Gene Auriama is accomplishing with his team, with each win, is making sports history. It needs to be pointed out, and not on the inner pages of the sports' section, that this record win streak is in the same class as the great Bill Russell Celtics, and Wilt Chamberlain's 100 point game.

I agree with this morning's observation by Sac Bee's Matt Arrows that Kap, prior to his protest, was an injured player. Is he being blackballed? In this awful political climate with so many of the NFL's owner's conservatives, it's possible, but unlikely. Kap has a lot of football proving to do before teams are going open their pocket books. Let me say, on Kap's behalf, he opens up his pocketbook to support causes he believes in. In this regard, the man walks his talk. At some point in his career, the next team or the team after that, baring injuries, Kap will become an elite QB. Go Kap!

Love the Jeanie and Janie LA Lakers' show. A tough minded female boss, why not? Is Magic the right person? Not a good coach, but maybe a good consultant.

The Sacramento Kings have won two close game against two playoff teams with a team of youngsters and arguably vet non-starteers (on other teams). The youngsters are Buddy Hield, Willy Cauley Stein, Skal Labisiere, and George Papagiannis. One the bench, recovering from injuries, is Malachi Richardson. I do not mean to demean the other guys. They are playing tough and as a team and having fun and listening to their coach. They compete. Bravo.

On to the LIFE section of my Blog: Donald Trump, pay attention. I'm a Russian immigrant. Our family came to the United States after the Second World War. I became an American citizen, gratefully, at the age of sixteen. I love my adopted country. My parents loved their country, Russia, until the Bolsheviks (Communists) took over after the revolution of 1917. Most of my parents' family, my cousins and Granndpa and other kin, were executed by the Communists. Vladimir Putin is a Communist and an ex KGB agent. If you think he suddenly became a believer in democracy, I'd like to sell you the Golden Gate Bridge. If you and your minions are working with this Communist sonavabitch, in any shape or form, you are TRAITORS to the United States of America and should be imprisoned. 

Before ski season ends, here's a small poem I've always gotten a chuckle over.

Winter Trees  by Conrad Diekmann

I think that I shall never ski
Again against so stout a tree.

A tree whose rugged bark is pressed
In bas-relief upon my chest.

A tree that with bacchantic air
Wears ski poles in its tangle hair.

I've learned my lesson: Fools like me
Should never try to shave a tree.





Monday, March 20, 2017

Democrats Need Draymond Green

The Democratic Party has got to stop being so weeny and expose the Republicans for what the are: reactionary, frightened, homophobic, intellectually lazy, xenophobic, elitist, greedy, Putin puppet, lying white supremacists. Did I leave anything out? And if the Democratic Party doesn't have the gumption to stand up to the Trump crew, let me suggest that they take a crash course on toughness from Draymond Green of the Golden State Warriors who has been playing David to Goliath his entire NBA career and winning.

Russell Westbrook has got to grow up. Doesn't he realize that if Kevin Durant was still on the Thunder, he (Westbrook) would have had no chance to surpass The Big O's triple-double NBA record. Zero chance! Westbrook should embrace Durant and thank him for helping him, by his absence, insure his induction into the Basketball Hall of Fame.

I read two marvelous articles in today's Chronicle Sporting Green. The first was a short history of the life of Zaza Pachulia of Georgia and the Golden State Warriors. It is a story of family togetherness, how his father and mother worked together to give their son a chance at basketball greatness. The second story was about Patrick McCaw, the rookie combo guard of the Warriors. It too is about family, specifically about how influential Patrick's father has been in his life as a model to emulate.
It has been the case since the Warriors new ownership of Joe Lacob and Peter Guber that the idea of the team as family has been stressed. It was the case back in my day under the ownership of our beloved Franklin Mieuli. Zaza and Patrick have been great additions to the Dubs family.

Perhaps I'm not the first, but I haven't read or heard it said anywhere else, the King's 2016 first round draft choice  George Papagiannis has a chance to turn into a fine NBA center. He is more athletic than critics think. He's got length and strength and toughness. He finishes at the rim. He has a nice jump hook. And like all European bigs, he can shoot from distance. Needs to work on his footwork and lateral movement this summer. And, don't forget, he is only 19 years old.

Recently, Skal Labisiere has been showing that he too was a good draft choice. He has the ability to be a solid power forward. Malachi Richardson, before he was injured, was coming along nicely as a two/three combo. Buddy Hield is the shooting guard the Kings have been looking for. Finally, Willy Cauley Stein, once he learns to control his tempo, has a chance to be an explosive interior force, either at the post or at the power forward. So, the Sacramento Kings' fans should not lament the absence of the gloomy talented, personality afflicted Cousins, and take a look at what they have in place - some damn good youngsters to build for the future. Young smart coach. Players having some fun. Things are looking up in River City.

And, Pleas, please, Management, don't go out and get a bunch of old worn out All Stars in free agency. Let's stay young. Let's grow our own All Stars.

I continue to be a huge Coach Pop fan. Here's a haiku I wrote for him. I think it says a lot about what it takes to be great at anything you do.

Pop

One thousand wins
    And one loss keeps you awake
Staring into the abyss.





Saturday, February 25, 2017

Duratnt is right about Shaq

Kevin Durant is right that Shaq is acting childishly for criticizing JaVale McGee, not once, but on a number of different occasion. So, what in the heck is the deal? Did McGee do something to Shaq that we don't know about? It would have to be some form of disrespect for Shaq to be so vindictive.
Because it is vindictive when you question a person's intelligence, when you continue to mock his performances. As Durant, JaVale's Warrior teammate, said, McGee has come to the Warriors and done everything they have asked of him. Durant twittered:"He (JaVale) only wants to be respected just like anybody else," Amen, Kevin.

I thought Shaq was a Ph.D? If that's the case, I guess it proves you don't have to be a sensitive and caring human being to earn one of those.

Let the young man alone, Shaq. Don't be such a bore. And, JaVale, you've answered back, so now leave it alone; let Shaq alone to embarrass himself.

On to a different subject. DeMarcus Cousins has stated for the press that Vlade Divac and owner Ranadive acted in a cowardly manner, first promising him he was not going to be traded, then trading him without any warning. I'm sure DeMarcus felt he was hoodwinked and, at first, I believed him. I have no particular confidence in King's management. But as Vlade explained in the newspaper this morning, he (Divac) and owner had little choice. They had shopped DeMarcus (the kid's agent must have known that) and found little interest. (No surprise, given the emotional instability of DeMarcus). According to Divac, the Pelicans deal came into play at the last minute as the trade deadline was about to expire, and they had to make a decision quickly.

That's the business end of the NBA and these kind of last minute deals have happened since the league began. Unless there is a written clause in a player's contract that states, he (the player) must be informed about being traded, (a la Carmelo) then management has no responsibility to do so. A GM and an owner have only one responsibility and that is to the team as a whole, to put together the best team, to provide the best entertainment for the community, one that is competitive with playoff possibilities.

DeMarcus' hurt feelings comes from his own insecurity, emotional instability, and lack of understanding of the business of sports. 

I was on the Warriors team when our owner Franklin Mieuli traded the single greatest force in NBA history, Wilt Chamberlain, to the Philadelphia 76ers. Did Wilt whine? He packed his bags, left, arrived in Philly and later lead the 76ers to the NBA Championship against, you guessed it, the Golden State Warriors.

The difference between Wilt's reaction and DeMarcus' is that Wilt was an adult, and DeMarcus is not. Not yet, at least. As I've said on numerous blogs: Grow up DeMarcus!

Spring Training. Can hot weather and hotdogs and cold suds be far behind? Lot's of baseball poetry for me to chose from. Here's a wonderful little poem, full of innocence.

How to Play Night Baseball    by  Jonathan Holden

A pasture is best, freshly
mown so that by the time a grounder's
plowed through all that chewed, spit-out
grass to reach you, the ball
will be bruised with green kisses. Start
in the evening. Come
with a bad sunburn and smelling of chlorine,
water still crackling in you ears.
Play until the ball is khaki -
the girls' bare arms in the bleachers are pale,
and heat lightning jumps in the west. Play
until you can only see pop-ups,
and routine grounders get lost in
the sweet grass for extra bases.



Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Two Bottom Lines in Cousin's Trade & etc

Bottom Line #1: Will DeMarcus Cousins somehow changes his personality when he plays for the Pelicans, not just for this season, but for the foreseeable future? If he doesn't, he will poison the team. That's the bottom line. If he does wake up and grow up, the Pelicans will be a force in the NBA.

Bottom line #2: Will the Kings make the kind of smart basketball decisions that will indeed lead to a competitive NBA team. (That's all the Sacramento fans are yearning for.). I wish I felt a little more confidence in Divac and Ranadive. Still, I remain convinced that trading Boogie for an unnamed draft choice would have been better than trying to build a championship around a young man who is so out of control emotionally.

Lou Williams to the Rockets? How many 3 point shooters is enough? You'd think they'd tried to do something to shore up the paint.

Just a thought, Rose and Carmelo gone from the Knicks. Rose who dominates the ball, for primo point guard Ricky Rubio and a first round draft choice. Carmelo who dominates the ball for a first round draft choice. Carmelo gone clears cap space. Hey, I'm sounding like a GM.

Spring Training on. I wonder how many MLB players south of the boarder Trump would label terrorists and rapists. Just wondering.

Here's a baseball poem that I've kept since my days in the Iowa Writers Workshop. Michael Ryan, now one of America's premier poets, submitted it to one of the workshops for comments. I'll not include my marginal notes, which sound after all these years as not very helpful. If you don't know what a fungoe is, you've never lived in a big city.

Hitting Fungoes   by Michael Ryan

Hitting fungoes to a bunch
of kids who asked me
nicely, I'm afraid the hard
ball they gave me might
shatter the stained-glass
window of the church
across this abandoned lot.
I see it all now, in 
the moment the ball leaves
my hand before it smacks
the bat: we scatter
in every possible direction
but the pastor, sensing
a pervert, screams
to the cops to chase
the big one, and there 
I am trapped. I pull
my old Woodrow Wilson
Fellowship Letter out
of my worn suit pocket,
swing it wildly, but they
smell last night's sex
on my breath, condemn
me to jail for failure
itself. I swing without
thinking, the only way,
and the crack is the scream
of a hip-bone ripped
from its socket
on the rack. Not bad.
Not too deep, but nice
arching loft. One kid,
who runs faster than the others,
makes a spectacular 
diving catch & throws it back.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Boogie Trade Dissers Missing the Point

DeMarcus Cousins for Buddy Held plus a first round and second round draft pick? Doesn't look like value for value, does it? Rookie Buddy Held, a good shooting guard with the potential to be a great shooting guard vs the best low post center in the league, a two year All-Star, and an Olympic medal winner. So far this morning I've not read one sports blogger who isn't dissing this trade.

Not this blogger. I welcome the trade as the first step toward sanity and a chance (although a daunting one) to actually start building a cohesive and competitive team.

In New Orleans, Cousins may grow into an adult and that, of course, would be awesome for the Pelicans. However, I would not put money on it. In Sacramento, Cousins had zero chance of growing up. Ownership and management had already treated him with such kid gloves, his ego and emotional instability was out of control.

So, seeing this as a great trade for the Pelicans is missing the point vis-a-vis the Kings. Cousins, in his present state of being, was poisoning the court and the locker-room with his childish antics, his referee baiting, his dominating ego, and his gloomy disposition.

Granted, without The Boogie (a nickname he never lived up to with his lumbering up and down the court), there is not a whole hell of a lot of talent left on the Kings. I have high hopes for Willy Cauly Stein and reasonable expectation for Malachi Richardson's development into a solid NBA player.  Add Held at the two, and Collison at the one. After that, it's all up for grabs and will depend on the two first round draft picks, the talent of Bogdan Bogdonovic, if he is indeed a premier NBA caliber player. Rudy Gay might bring them another low first round or high second round draft choice. The big Greek rookie is a crap shoot, but he's more athletic than I thought in the past and he is 7'2" Labisierre, at this point looks awfully soft. As for the other vets on the Kings, they're up for grabs: to keep or not to keep for bench strength.

Let's not forget that without having to pay Cousins, the Kings have some bucks to go after free agents.

Let's not forget that as this team rebuilds, it does so with the best coach it has had since the team foolishly let Rick Adelman go.

So, let's see how things shake out before deciding if this trade was a loser for the Kings. Losing Cousins might be the start of the Kings wining.

I'm thinking that watching street lights going is more exciting than watching the NBA All Star Game. So, I've come up with a few suggestion for the future that will make the All-Star Game more exciting and more interesting: 1) Create a 4 point shooting line. 2) Create two 4x4, 5 point shooting blocks positioned where the half-court line meets the sideline. 3) Allow players to shoot free-throws from the top of the key for double points. 

Snow is falling on the Sierra. The ponds are frozen. Here's a fine winter poem.

The Skaters   by John Williams

Graceful and sure with youth, the skaters glide
Upon the frozen pond. Unending rings
Expand upon the ice, contract, divide,
Till motion seems the shape that movement brings,

And shape is constant in the moving blade.
Ignorant of the beauty they invent,
Confirmed in their hard strength, the youths evade
Their frail suspension in an element,

This frozen pond that glisters in the cold.
Through all the warming air they turn and spin,
And do not feel that they grow old
Above the fragile ice they scrape and thin.



Monday, February 13, 2017

This and Taht in Sports Monday 2/13/2017

After getting dinged with his 17th technical foul, DeMarcus Cousins stated, "It's obvious I can't be myself. Me playing how I play is what makes me the player that I am Obviously it's not acceptable, so I'm trying to find a way to, you know, do what these guys are asking me to do. . . "

So, how would the officials like for you to play, DeMarcus? How about not questioning them on every call. How about not waving your arms in disgust and embarrassing them. How about not smacking an opponent in the face (okay, last night's face slap was inadvertent, but the refs called it anyway).

Bottom line: how about not leading the league in technical fouls very year.
 
This is NOT about the officials. It is about you and your inability to control your emotions. You have an anger management problem. You will always have one, if you don't do something mature about it now when you're young. Otherwise, that anger will surface in other areas of your life. Ask any psychologist.

Finally, Grow Up.

Talk about anger management, I read that the N.Y. Knicks pulled off a PR coup. After the bad press of the Oakley/Dolan feud, the team allowed Latrelle Sprewell back into MSG from which he'd been banned for bad-mouthing the owner back in 2003. Sat right next to Dolan, smiling and waving to fans. This is the same one-time Warrior Sprewell who choked his Warrior coach. Got the "red-carpet" treatment. Kudos to the PR guys who thought that baby up.

At least Cousins hasn't choked a referee, But I'd worry if I were them.

One of the greatest moments in basketball history will be played out tonight when the Connecticut Lady Huskies go for their one hundredth straight victory. Did you get that sportswriters, ONE HUNDRED WINS WITHOUT A LOSS. Such scant attention is being paid to this seemingly impossible feat that one would believe 100 straight wins happens every day. This is HUGE. This is like Wilt's 100 point game. Can it possibly be that the Lady Huskies are getting the public relations snub because they are women? Could that be true in 2017? Yeah, I guess, since we elected a President who felt it was okay to grope women.

I can hear all the conservatives moaning, come on, Meschery, you can't blame Trump for everything. Oh, yes I can. When the President of our country treats women the way he has, ("I grope women because I can get away with it because I'm a star," B.S) you bet I can. A pronouncement of this kind has fall-out. And one of the fall-outs is it validates and perpetuates misogyny. 

As a country and as sports fans, we better get our butts in gear. Women's sports need to be covered better. Why not begin with this historic moment in sport's history. How about the front page of the sport's section tomorrow, win or lose, a full column?

Talk about Spring Training. Baseball season's approaching. Here's a baseball poem for all you diminishing baseball fans.

Baseball    by Linda Pastan

When you tried to tell me
baseball was a metaphor

for life: the long, dusty travail
around the bases, for instance,

to try to go home again;
the Sacrifice for which you win

approval but not applause;
the way the light closed down

in the last days of the season - 
I didn't believe you.

It's just a way of passing
the time, I said.

And you said; that's it.
Yes.