meta name=”robots” content=”index, follow” Meschery's Musings of Sports, Literature, and Life Meschery's Musings on Sports, Literature and Life: 2015-06-21

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.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

2015 Draft

I'm afraid that if the Kings draft Immanuel Mudiay, a 6'5" PG, they'll be drafting another Tyreke Evans, an athletic attack guy who can score but can't shoot.

If the Warriors have demonstrated anything other teams need to pay attention to, it's that all players must be able to consistently put the ball in the hole from distance. Still, the Kings can't go salivating after another so-called downtown 3 point-spread-the-floor-shooter again. They've already drafted Ben  Maclemore and Nick Staukus.

So, why the interest in Mudiay?  What the Kings need is paint protection. Jason Thompson will never get better offensively. Sorry, Jason. And as far as defense and boards, he's the kind of player I call "pretend tough." Willie Cauley-Stein will provide length and toughness in the paint. And, it's not inconceivable that Coach Karl could play Stein in the more traditional center position and let DeMarcus Cousin's play power forward.  Stein can run, which DeMarcus could stand to do a little more of. And why not Mario Hezonga, a 6'8' wing who can shoot and is a superb athlete?

IF I were picking for the Kings, I certainly wouldn't overlook Wisconsin's Frank Kaminsky. Pundits have him somewhere around the 11/12th pick. Big K could turn out to be one heck of a power forward. He's got skill moves to the basket, has a solid middle distance shot, and can shoot threes. Haven't scouts noticed?

Some say the Warriors will pick Chris McCullough from Syracuse. A finesse guy, but can't they use a banger on the boards? They're losing David Lee, and Tristan Thompson isn't planning on retiring as far as I know. 

I wouldn't be surprised if the Timberwolves go for Okafor instead of Towns. Okafor is probably the most NBA ready to contribute from day one of players in this draft. But they will still probably take Towns, who's got greater scoring potential, leaving Okafor for LA. The Timberwolves ought to be able to get a decent player for Nicola Pekovic, maybe have to eat some of the big man's huge contract to do it.

Rumors also suggest that the Knicks will select 7'.0 "sweet shooting" Kristaps Porzingis. Along with Andrea Bargnani, that will leave them with two "sweet shooting" European shooters. I hope Porzingis can defend and board better than Bargnani, who couldn't guard my grandmother, and she's been dead for a long time.

D'Angelo Russell better be able to live up to his swagger. "The best player in this draft," he calls himself. He may be going to the Philly 76ers, a bone yard for point guards.

I was watching the NBA combine and loved what I saw of Pat Connaugton of Notre Dame., a 6'5" shooting guard with great athletic skills. I like "chip on the shoulder type of guys" in late rounds, and he's definitely out to prove he can play in the NBA.

I believe any team that selects Sam Dekker will be getting a winner. Some Blogs say Miami. Good for the Heat. I'm thinking another Shane Battier.

What's the deal when a kid is down graded because he stayed in school and graduated? For example: "Rakeem Christmas would likely be a lot higher on the board if he wasn't 23 years old." Oh, say it isn't so? That old? Can it be possible the NBA is under the misguided impression that you have to be a one and doner to have the capacity to improve? At 23, is Christma really set in his ways? Give me a break.

Unlike last year, this is going to be a strong draft. Many of its choices will become the future stars of the NBA.

Thinking of a poem for this blog, I thought of the Women's soccer team defeating the team from Columbia, but couldn't find a good soccer poem. I will at some point. But it's also baseball season, so here's a poem about a girl playing baseball.

Pasttime   by Emilo De Grazia

A girl, nine years of wonder
Still on her face,
Stands directly on the bag at third
Running amazed fingers along the wrinkles
Of my old leather mitt.
It is the bottom of the ninth,
And everywhere in the world
The bases are loaded.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Victory Parade and NBA Draft

I rode in the Golden State Warrriors Victory parade on Friday in a BMW convertible. Right behind me were the Warriors owners. Joe Lacob and Peter Guber. As we waited for the parade to start I was able to talk to Joe Lacob.This is what I told him: "Joe, when I first started teaching high school after I retired as a basketball player and coach and other negligible professions, our high school had great kids and superb teachers. But the school never achieved the ultimate high performing status until we got a superior principal. There are times when the trickle-down-effect actually works. Joe, you and Peter represent that superior principal. The entire culture of the Warriors changed the day you men bought the team."
The honors for the funniest speech at the ceremony went to Coach Steve Kerr who, tongue in cheek, took credit for everything that his players accomplished, teaching Curry to shoot, and Klay how to play defense, and Draymond to rebound and on and on, the crowd and his players loving it. Having Curry as head coach bodes well for the Warriors for a long time. Kudos also to Ron Adams and Alvin Gentry, two brilliant assistant coaches. Congrats to Gentry for getting the Pelicans' job. I only wish we weren't losing him.Honor for the best dancer goes to Justin Holiday.Most emotional honors to to Draymond Green.

I'll be sorry to see David Lee go, which is what all the indication seem to be. He was the first acquisition in the transformation process of the Warriors. I suspect wherever he goes, he'll always think of himself as a Warrior. But maybe not. This had to have been a terribly hard year for him, ring or no ring. Let's hope he ends his career on a high note.

As strange as it sounds, I sort of felt as if I won an NBA Championship along with these young Dubs. This entire season has made all of us old Warriors proud, for their spirit, for their tenacity, skill, and toughness. 

I'm starting a chapbook of short/short sports poems. Haiku-like but not really. Here's one for Curry.

STEPH     by Tom Meschery

The deep three
     Taught by the father
     Finding its own nest.