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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.

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.  


Anonymous said...

Hey Mr. Meschery! Roger Kurtz here, one of your Reno High AP English students from the class of 1993. Wanted to leave a comment to say hello and share what a pleasant surprise it was to see the article about you. I remember your class very fondly, it helped move to me major in English in undergrad. Thanks for everything you did for me and for all your students!

mskeels64 said...

What a nice note from an old student!! Just wanted to say that i think you shortchanged the Knicks teams of Monroe, Frazer, Bradley DeBusschere,and Reed...they did win two championships, but more importantly, they had such an amazing