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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.

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
 


1 comment:

Nazim Russell-Elizee said...

Bravo, bravo! as a student of history, i love reading about the old Chamberlain/Russell matchups. i envy folks - such as Mr. Meschery - who had the privilege of witnessing their clashes up close.
alot of folks my age point to older, retired athletes' criticism of contemporary players as evidence that the retired players are bitter, jealous, or have "sour grapes."
Well, i'd like to point out that Meschery hasn't said anything less than gracious about contemporary players; when he then points out that the old time players were pretty damn good, i'm fairly inclined to listen...

i just watched an old highlight reel of Elgin Baylor's - he really struck me as a forerunner of LeBron's, from the highlights i watched (one of which included him blocking your shot!)...the older, retired, players were REALLY damn good.