meta name=”robots” content=”index, follow” Meschery's Musings of Sports, Literature, and Life Meschery's Musings on Sports, Literature and Life: 2018

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, December 31, 2018

A Few Passing Thoughts Going Into 2019

One: I turned 80 and can play better D at my age than my Dubs are playing these days. Come on, fellows, don't let an octogenarian show you up. Talk, close-out, switch hard, get in peoples' faces. D is a 48 minute job. D is also a habit that can be lost if not played all the time.

Two: Raider fans don't deserve the screwing their getting from Little Davis, and I mean little and greedy. And from Mr. Know-It-All Gruden who struts the sideline like a banty rooster, with about as much football intelligence as the feathery critter. I hope they have to play next season on some Vegas high school turf..

Three: I'm not ruling out the 49ers the way I'm ruling out the Raiders. With the 49ers, you c;an detect a plan and an energy that will take them into next season. Not saying they'll kick ass next NFL season, but there will be lots of good carry-over. 2020 will be their year.

Four: Is there any way to get rid of Shaq and Barkley and giggle master Ernie from NBA broadcasting. Kenny, the only one who tries to talk hoops. All the other three do is clown around. Fans deserve better. Great to see Candace Parker talking basketball.

Five: Serena Williams is a STUD, and GORGEOUS and TALENTED. Why isn't tennis covered more fully in our newsprint? By the way, where are all our American tennis pros???

Six: That goes for lots of other so called "minor " sports - one of my favorite gripes. I'm getting really tired reading about what NBA stars having an owies and which NFL player has been suspended for beating up his girlfriend, and which college football stud has been suspended for using whatever frigging substance. Let's sub a womens' volleyball game story in instead of these boring and tawdry revelations. Americans have got to wean themselves off the Big Three Sports -baseball, football, and basketball diet. It's like get off the red meat and eat more veggies. With apologies to my Warriors. You know I love you.

Seven: Speaking of NFL, this year is noticeable for a whole group of new and exciting quarterbacks. Love Mahones, so much fun to watch. Along the same vein, great fun watching speedster DeAndre Fox of the NBA's Sacramento Kings. We're talking serious lightning speed..

Eight: The Sacramento Bee, our local newspaper, does not cover late ending sports, thus there is never a story about the Young Kings team, the city's only major league franchise when they play at home. Is that bush league, or what? Double ??? You think the NBA is going to award an All-Star game to a city with a rag like this?

Nine: I have never been an advocate for the death penalty. There is simply no evidence that it deters murders. However, as a high school teacher, I've been a witness to males (fathers even) abusing young girls and can not imagine anything more vile. Regarding the animal who abused all our lovely female gymnasts, I'm okay that the state give the SOB the needle. And any other abuser of children. Good riddance! And lets hear it for those young female gymnasts, in the middle of this monstrosity that was happening to them, still performing their sport with courage and dignity.

Ten: 2018 saw Tiger make a substantial comeback. He'll never be the Tiger,Tiger burning bright, but he can still play the game and get fans excited. A back injury in golf is like an Achilles injury is in basketball, tough to recover from. With that in mind, let's cross our Warrior fingers for DeMarcus Cousin's return from his torn Achilles tendon injury.

Eleven: Hey, I was sure sorry to read this morning about the 173 U.S. billionaires losing 5.9 percent of their wealth, leaving them - oh woe is me - with $1.9 trillion bucks. Can we all shed a tear?

Twelve: Some lies are more venal than others:. Closing out 2018, Trump tells our brave soldiers in Iraq that he got them a 10 % raise this year. TOTAL FRIGGING LIE. Go stand in the corner, Trump.
Has anybody figured out how many lies this man has told to the American public in 2018?

Thirteen:  One more time: Why not a four point line in the NBA? Tell me it wouldn't be exciting.

Fourteen: 2019 should be the year college football drops all these silly bowls: Music Bowls, and Ceramic Bowls, and Pizza Bowls and Mineke Muffler Bowls. Really? Do people give a sh-t?

Fifteen: Any bets on how many Trump groupies (read administration) will be indicted and begin serving time in 2019? The Republicans sold their souls for the 20% tax cut, and the Christian Conservatives sold their souls for anti abortion judges. And Fox News simply sold its soul.

Sixteen: Huge shout out for Lebron Jame's starting his I Promise Elementary School for At Risk children in his hometown of Akron. Also big thank you to Lebron for supporting new and wonderful medical insurance for NBA retirees. And to the NBA League and Player's Union for similar support and dedication to the guys from the past.

Seventeen: Bravo to Matt Millen, just underwent successful heart transplant surgery. All fingers crossed for a football warrior. We should all think the way he thinks about life when he said, "I'm thankful for what I have, and I'll take what I get."

Eighteen: Alabama and Clemson should be interesting. Got to hand it to Nick Saban; he continues to produce winners and that is not easy on any level of coaching. Sure the more you win, the easier it is to recruit the best HS players. But coaching the best is not easy and requires a special kind of personality. It's not just X and O's.

Nineteen: Pop doing some terrific coaching with a whole lot less talent that he's had in the past.

Poem for the end of the year and for the coming year: Has nothing to do about sports, except JOY is a Coach Kerr of Golden State Warriors mantra.

Don't Hesitate    by Mary Oliver

If you suddenly and unexpectedly feel joy,
don't hesitate. Give in to it. There are plenty
of lives and whole towns destroyed or about
to be. We are not wise, and not very often
kind. And much can never be redeemed.
Still, life has some possibility left. Perhaps this
it its way of fighting back, that sometimes
something happens better than all the riches 
or power in the world. It could be anything,
but very likely you notice it in the instant
when love begins. Anyway, that's often the
case. Anyway, whatever it is, don't be afraid
of its plenty. Joy is not made to be a crumb. 

Monday, December 10, 2018

Holiday Season review of NBA, and etc

The Golden State Warriors recent success when lots of talking heads were questioning the Dubs chances, is a perfect example of how essential a healthy team is in today's fast paced league. Curry out hurt was like losing the hub of a wheel, but also some missing spokes, like Draymond and at times Livingston, Igudala, McKinnie. Now the Dubs have lost Damian Jones. Sorry to hear of his injury, but the Warriors are fine playing small ball, so I'm not as worried.

The loss of key players is Houston's fault for not recognizing how key Ariza and Mbah a Moute were to the defenisive integrity of the team, be it ever so humble. The two missing players traded away kept defense together after the initial two passes, after which Harden, Paul, and Gordon  get lost or confused. It was even worse last season when Anderson was on the court. Couldn't guard my grandmother. Now Anderson is defenseless in Phoenix.

Does the Sun's coach have a clue? This team sucks on Defense. And, I'm not sure what they're trying to accomplish on offense, do you? I really believed Ayton was going to be much more NBA ready than he is. He needs a summer and work.

A team can't possibly be as bad as the Wizards are with their personnel. Can John Wall be anything better than a bolt of lightning? This is all mental and coaching.

I take back anything I said about Doc being an overrated coach. His Clippers are tough and are making noise in the West. As early as it is, Tobias Harries is having an All-Star season. Harrell is a load. They defend aggressively. I didn't consider the Clips in the mix in my start-of-season NBA evaluation. The team chemistry has made me change my mind.

Butler has turned the 76ers into a championship caliber team. But I really question Butler's attitude and whether he might turn on his team like he did against the Twolves and the coach he owed his career to. I have a thing about loyalty, and Butler, in my mind, doesn't seem to seem to consider it important.

I didn't believe the Lakers could be competitive this year, even with Lebron, but I was mistaken. I do believe that Javale is one key, making a big difference for the Lakers, and good for him. Shaq has stopped dissing the man. Warriors could use the big fellow. But probably couldn't have paid him after last season. Sometimes these financial things are bad news.

 The Bucks' Antetetokounmpo really, really, really must develop a jump shot beyond five feet. Didn't any coach on the team tell him that's what he needed to work on during the summer. I would have had a shooting coach baby-sit the young man all summer. I would have done it. I love Greek food.

The Celtics are still my favorite to win the East. They just seem a little tougher mentally than the 76ers, Bucks, and Toronto. Hayward off the bench is working, but I'm betting in crunch-time Hayward will contribute to a essential wins.

OKC is playing extremely well, but I have never trusted Westbrook when it comes to decision making. The addition of the young German,Shroeder has added significant depth at the point. He and Westbrook actually play well together. How many teams would kill to have Adams?

The Jazz added depth they desperately needed with the addition of Korvar. The Jazz are well coached. They execute. They are solid in all areas, but their level of physicality is one rung down from the top.

Minnesota continues to be soft. Who would have thunk it with Coach Tibs at the helm. Has Wiggins improved? I don't think so. Twolves need a smart point guard desperately.

Indiana is similar to the Jazz. Lots of solid players but only one great one in Oladipo. To win a championship in the NBA these days, a team has to have at least two superior players at two different positions. Three would be even better.

Doncic is everything he was cracked up to be. His presence makes the Mavs a contender. However, I'm not a big Smith fan, but he'll suffice for the time being. Rim protector, rebounder and dunker in the paint with D'Andre Jordan. Harrison Barnes, Westly Matthews, JJ, Powell - more than enough offense now.

Did the Kings make a mistake not taking Doncic? Yes, they did, but with reservations. Bagley has a high upside, a long, fast lefty who, unlike Doncic, needs some time. Will he ever make the impact of a Doncic? I doubt it. However, if Bagley works hard, he will be an All-Star, in my opinion, so the Kings can't beat themselves up over the loss of the Slovenian, Larry Bird

The King's Fox is also the real deal. I love how he improved his three pt shooting over summer. I love players who improve themselves, work on their game. The Kings have to stay patient. Keep those young guys going and growing. One more solid draft choice. Look for the Kings to make plenty of noise next season. In the meantime, enjoy the speed as Fox races you down the court. How about this for a website title: Fear the Speed.  More evocative than Fear the Beard or Fear the Deer. Who the hell fears a deer, anyway, perhaps a stag or a moose. And a beard, how do you fear a scraggly bunch of hair. My wife says she sees critters living in Harden's Half of America's males are looking like the Wright Brothers cough drop guys. Looks like they're all living rough and doing the signs.

The Kings might consider firing the exec (alleged exec) who started talking about Coach Joeger and GM Divac having differences. Loyalty issues for me again. And upfront issues too. If you've got something to say, say it and own it.

Denver is definitely in the hunt. Big talented guy Jocic in the post. Some sharp shooting wings and backcourt. Millsap out but will be back after first of the year. Good coaching. Spoilers, but not winners, at least not yet in my opinion.

Portland at 14 and 11 for the moment. But only for the moment. Nurcic is not consistent. If he could be, that might change my opinion of team prospects. Aminu is not consistent. The Blazers are still lacking a dependable stretch three. Defense needs a tuneup as well.

Looking at the leader boards, I guess I shouldn't leave out Memphis, Charlotte, and Orlando, all playing well, but does anyone believe they'll be there at the top in April?


Here's my idea for Kareem Hunt and guys like him who think it's okay to beat up women. Put abuser and abused in a vacant room. Tie both hands behind the abusive guy's back and give the woman a baseball bat. Then lock the door.

I've always believed a team wins championships with defense. Finally, the American people have put a good defense in place by voting in a Democratic House. Whatever trump's offense is, it will have to compete against a fired up Big D. What's going on in our country is totally crazy. Has the United States of America ever been in such a mess? Perhaps during the McCarthy period in the Fifties, but in that case we were anti-Communist and looking for American traitors at the expense of civil liberties. Now civil liberties in general are being manipulated out of existence.Were McCarthy alive today, he'd only have to look to the White House to find a Communist stooge. Yes, a Communist, Putin-loving stooge. When trump gets impeached, I suggest he go to Russia to live out his miserable life. Let's get our country back!

Amen to that, my wife says.

The Advantages of Being a World Class Athlete  by Anthony Lacavaro

In the end when the doctors circle around
Like doctors, they can find nothing wrong.

A perfect body they murmur over
And over like a prehistoric discovery,

Nothing wrong, nothing wrong except it's dead.
There will be no reason for this tragedy

Which catapults your death into the world
Of public myth: were you too good

For us, did they take you, or were you not
Of the earth to begin with and just returned.

The results of the test say nothing about it.
Though one of the doctors speaking

Out of turn, will say softly,
"One foot appears to be larger than the other."

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Warriors Demise and etc

Mark Twain said, "The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated." Twain could have been talking about the Golden State Warriors, who are experiencing an unexpected losing streak. Horrors! Not the Dubs, not our darling Curry led angels (with one less than angelic Draymond, but what the hey, John Milton would completely understand the need for a seraphim with a chip."

To those of you who are rubbing your little anticipatory hands in glee, relishing an NBA Finals without the Warriors, you might want to revisit the Warrior roster. If I'm not mistaken, they still have the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse: Curry, Thompson, KD, and Green. They still employ the wily two vets, Livingston and Iguadala. The bench is improved over last year. And, sitting in the wings, or on the bench, wearing unnecessary speckles, healing from last season's Achilles injury, Gold Medal winning center, Demarcus Cousins.

Just saying!

My biggest etc is directed against the Sacramento Bee. In some management's wisdom, they have decided not to cover late sports. It has been totally frustrating to watch a game on TV, the Kings for example, watch them win, which didn't happen much for the last few years, and have nothing in the morning paper. This morning brought my temp to a boil. Yesterday the KC Chiefs and the LA Rams played what might have been the best Monday Night Football game in recent memory and there was nothing about it in the morning sports. It was the game didn't happen. Yesterday evening the Sacramento Kings, a bunch of growing youngster super stars, upset the seasoned and perennial playoff team the OKC Thunder and there was nothing in the sports this morning. It was as if the game had never been played. There wasn't even any coverage on the their On Line Bee. How hard is that to type in a story? Shame, shame, and shame. If the newspaper is so financially strapped that they can't cover late breaking news, they should fold their tent and slip into oblivion.

Hated to see the Chiefs/Rams game end on a Mahonnes' interception. Both QBs were magnificent.

For Hank Greenwald, the wittiest sports broadcaster in the biz, here's a poem I wrote in his honor.


           For Hank Greenwald (1935 – 2018)

Hank calls it:
A 20 foot shot,
that goes 15.

Fans’ laughter
lighting up the airwaves.

It’s electric,
someone says.

“If that’s what it takes,”
Hank says, “I’ve got
plenty more
where that came from.”

And he had.
And he did.

Game after game
Warriors & Giants,
his words, like
lighting up radios.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Klay & Etc

The warrior's Klay Thompson's 52 point record-breaking performance against the Chicago Bulls was, often noted but not nearly enough, an example of why the warriors are such a powerful team. Scoring performances of this kind are not some new phenomena for the Dubs. The Splash Brothers have been at it for a while, and KD has joined them to make it a scoring trio. So, what makes this newsworthy again and not just another ho-hum-in-the-zone-eye-popping-three-point extravaganza? It's not the player doing the scoring, that makes these performances, as brilliant as they are, important, it is the  performance of the players on the bench. As Klay's scoring against the Bulls proceeded, the ball dropping rimless into the basket, the net flipping like a young girl's skirt, the Warrior bench was on their feet, dancing, whooping, signing the air, holding each other in a display of team unity and affection that does not exist on other NBA teams - at least not with this exuberance and heartfelt joy. There has never been a professional sports team that exemplifies team camaraderie like the Dubs. It should be emulated by athletic youth throughout this country.

Right on Dubs.

I noted this morning sports page of the Sacramento Bee that Boston winning the World Series was not a headline. In fact what would have been headlines of most papers front page twenty years ago was down at the bottom of the sports page. I am not a baseball fan, but, come on, Bee, this is the World Series. The best the sport can offer, the Mount Olympus of sluggers and pitchers and fielders, and spitters, and hand-signalers, the  worthy descendants of royal game of cricket. I was beyond grief.

Okay, so I'm being a little sarcastic.

Lowell High School where I played and became an All American, was over 50% Jewish American kids. When I started playing in the NBA in 1961, most of the teams were owned by Jewish men. The owner of the team I started for, the Philadelphia Warriors, was Eddie Gottlieb, RIP, one of the good men of our sport. Playing in the NBA put me in touch with many wonderful Jewish Americans. I do not understand anti Semitism. It is so illogical and ignorant and brutish. I have been grieving for the families of those who died in their synagogue in Pittsburgh. And I am disgusted by the divisive comments and behavior of our president. This was the perfect moment for him to be presidential, to mourn with his Jewish American citizens, to don a yarmulke, to wear it so all Americans can see, and to publicly denounce the fascist and white supremacists, to name David Duke for what he is, an anti American bigot.

But, we all know trump can not and will not do this because the raciest, and Neo Nazis and white nationalists are part of his beloved base.

I have no answer for donald trump's evil. But I offer this to think about.

trump (v.2)

"fabricate, devise" 1690's, from trump "deceive, cheat" (1510's, from Middle English trumpen (late 14c.), from Old French tromper "to deceive," of uncertain origin. Apparently from se tromper de "to mock, " from Old French tromper "to blow a trumpet." Barchet explains this as "to play the horn, alluding to quacks and mountebanks, who attracted the public by blowing a horn, and then cheated them into buying worthless products.

Consider that people whose last names are baker probably originally were bakers, and those whose names are Smith had an original family member who was a smithy or a blacksmith. It does not surprise me, then, that donald trump is a descendent of deceivers and mountebanks. The acorn does not fall far from the family tree.

Here's a poem I wrote recently about being in the zone. I dedicate it to Klay Thompson.


   I am building a fire, and every day I train, I add more fuel. At the right
   moment I light the match.

             Mia Hamm

I remember the game. I was on fire.
Shot after shot dropped.

Someone yelled from the stands I was hot.
I yelled pass me the fucking ball.

On the next move I burned my opponent
and scored. I was like one of those birthday candles,

the ones with the flames that never go out.
The arena was filling up with smoke.

Fans were holding handkerchiefs over their noses
In the distance I could hear sirens.

I was too hot to care, I was reckless
like a kid playing with matches.

It was only a game of basketball,
but I would not recant the story of my life.

If you tried to stop me,
I’d just add more fuel to the fire.

The rest is history. 

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Baring Injuries and etc.

After the first week of the NBA season, I'm picking the Boston Celtics and the Golden State Warriors to compete in the NBA Finals.


Well, not exactly. Boston lost to a very tough Toronto Raptors last night.. The Warriors have won two uninspired victories. Last night's game against the Utah Jazz should have been a loss, considering their lousy first half defense, salvaged at the end by a tip in by Jonas Jerebko on a missed Durant jumper with one tick left on the clock. So, some observers might say it's not quite such a "Duh!" as to the winners of the East and West.

Except for this:

BARING INJURIES Toronto and Utah looked to me as if they were already playing at mid-season form if not exactly at playoff level. Both the Warriors and the Celts, not at all. Boston has still not incorporated Gordon Hayward and Kyrie Irving into their offense as Coach Steven certainly will by the first of the year or sooner. The Warriors are not nearly in sync with a number of additions to their team. Klay Thompson's three is still in China. Igoudala, a key defender and leader, is missing. And the Bigs: Looney and Jones are not where they will be at a later date [you choose the date] Looney on offense, and Jones on Defense. Looney is showing me some moves on offense I never expected. And, does anyone doubt that Klay will regain his touch? Also, a surprise to me, I'm beginning to believe Damian Jones may possibly turn into a young Tyson Chandler who led the Mavs to a NBA Championship. This belief after the first two games, requires me to take back what I said about him in my last blog. I take it back, my man, and apologize, but don't let me down!

For the time being lets not count on Cousins.

I've got to give a shout out to the Utah Jazz. I liked them a lot at the end of the last season. Based on what I saw last night, I like them better. I'm still trying to figure out how Ingles gets that three off. He must be a lot quicker than he looks. He kind of lumbers along and appears about to fall asleep. Then, he's shooting in your face. Must be the Aussie factor. And I'm betting his real age is somewhere in forties.

It's a little early to be making predictions, since I haven't seen all the teams play yet. I could be surprised.


I'm delighted with the rebirth of the BIG MON in the NBA: Ayton in Phoenix, Bamba in Orlando, adding to the presence of versatile bigs already in the league: Joel Embid, Anthony Davis, Kristap Porzingis, Rudy Gobert, and Demarcus Cousins. It was just a matter of time, wasn't it? I wish I could add Cauley Stein but he's still missing an ingredient on both ends. Still, he is a legit 7 footer and can flat out run the court.

I've always loved this poem about a sport not much is written about in our sports pages.

Karate   by Stanley Plumly

If I could chop wood.
If I could just cut through
this furniture

the paraphernalia
of blocks
and stacks of boards,
wedged and

If I could break the back
of a single two-by-four,

if the Japanese instructor would only
lay his little building
of bricks
in front of me,

if I could only drive nails
deep into the hard rose of the wood. 

Monday, October 15, 2018

2018/19 NBA Season Comments

Another NBA season that looks top heavy in the West, with Boston, Philly, and Toronto, easily the favorites in the East.

As a general rules, in my opinion, a team to win the NBA Championship must have at least two WOW players - Super-All Stars such as LeBron James, KD, Curry, Antetokoumpo, Paul George, James Harden, etc.

                                                      EASTERN DIVISION 

Boston Celtics: They are solid at every starting position with solid bench strength at every position. Irving and Hayward are WOW players (If Hayword is healthy) with some HALF WOW's in Jaylen Brown  Horford and emerging WOW player, Jayson Tatum.  The Celts can run, but are also patient. They can defend and rebound. Bench is strong. They have an excellent , gifted coach and appear to have all his players on the same page in terms of goals. You can't out tough them and you can't out finesse them, at least not in the East.

Philadelphia 76ers: They should be the second best team in the East, but a lot will depend on Embid's health and the development of Marquelle Fultz. Other questions, can Ben Simmons ever learn to shoot? Can JJ Redick have one more top notch shooting season after 13 years? I think the addition of Wilson Chandler will provide depth at the SF to help an great but inconsistent shooter Robert Covington. I like the coaching, but this season will test his mettle. Can the team defend as a team beyond the third pass? Joel Embid is a WOW players. Simmons is a HALF WOW, not a full WOW until he learns to shoot from middle distance and free throws. If all the stars are aligned, the 76ers could upset the Celtics. But not in a 7 game series.

Toronto Raptors: Have a point guard problem. Is Kyle Lowry a true point? Probably, but I'm not entirely convinced. He can shoot, even though streaky. Fred Vanvleet is a solid point guard, but over 80 games? Can the Raptors stretch the floor shooting threes? Lowry and CJ Miles are both streak shooters in my opinion. Danny Green is strong addition, and he can shoot deep. Green could turn into an X factor. Kawhi Leonard gives the team a WOW player. Lowry is a HALF WOW. But will Kawhi by in mentally is the question? Will he stay healthy? If he's right, the Raptors will be very tough. They are very solid at the center and power forward positions. I see lots of growth in Siakim.

Indiana:Pacers: Two huge question marks for a team I like a lot. Do they have a true starter-type point guard who can be a complete floor manager? I see Darren Collison and Cory Joseph as excellent PG backups. Perhaps Aaron Holiday? But he is a rookie and that's a lot to ask a rookie to take over the running of a team. At every other position I love this team. Oladipo is a WOW player. Myles Turner is a HALF WOW player with a caveat, which is - will he or won't he insist on being the star he can be? Or is he just a little too congenial?  I'm not sold on Doug McDermott, but he could prove me wrong. Bogdanovic will stretch the floor and Sabonis might make an All Star team one of these days. McMillan is a solid coach. Put an All Start type point guard on this team, and they go to the finals of the Eastern Division playoffs and maybe further.

Milwaukee Bucks: I'm picking the Pacers over the Bucks, but this could flip, as the Budenholtzer factor has to be assessed. Here's another team like the Pacers, with some questions at the point guard position. I've never been a Bledsoe fan. I think he makes bad decisions. Dellavadova is a true point guard, but he's slow and an inconsistent shooter. His D is top notch. The Bucks play him off the bench, and I bet most teams in the NBA would like to have a tough strong thinker like Delly coming off the bench for them. That leaves Malcolm Brogdan at the point. I like him, but not with any enthusiasm. Antetekoumpo is a WOW player. Krhis Middleton is a HALF WOW in my opinion. Zeller, Lopez, Maker are solid in the post. Can Snell at shooting guard shoot consistently? They have strong help off the bench at the power positions in Henson and Ilyasova. I think the Buck are one season and one draft choice/trade away from making some real noise.

Washington Wizards: What is it about the Wizards that I don't like? The chemistry? Wall and Beale should be dominant. Why aren't they? Was Gortat for Howard the gamble that will pay off? I doubt it. Never thought Howard ever worked hard enough at his game. Some strong young shooting forwards in Porter and Obre. Will Austen Rivers be the guy off the  bench that makes a difference?  Just too many question marks for this team to do anything but play themselves out of the first round of Eastern Division Playoffs. I wouldn't be surprised if they didn't make the playoffs. If Miami can get Butler without giving up too much???

Chicago Bulls: Surprise team in the east.

                                                         WESTERN DIVISION

Golden State Warriors: Always tough for me to evaluate the Warriors objectively as I'm an ex Warrior and one of their biggest fans. So, I'll begin with the obvious - if Demarcus Cousins can recover fully from his torn Achilles tendon and play the way he did in New Orleans, the Warriors should win a fourth NBA Championship. If not, the Dubs have a problem in the post, (not sold on Jones) and may have to rely on Draymond and small ball, which is not a bad thing because Draymond is a Mr. All Around Stud. In all the other four positions, the Warriors are super solid. Cook has come along nicely and it looks as if Jacob Evans, the team's 1st round choice in June, will be a solid defender. Igudala and Livingston are a little long in the tooth, but should have enough where-with-all left for this season. I'm interested to see how Jerebko fits in to the Dubs defensively. I've always thought of him as a little soft on D. I'm a big Jordan Bell fan and am getting to be a Loony fan as his progress has been steady in defense and offense. Curry, Durant, and Klay are WOW players. Green is a HALF WOW (got to put more arc into the jumper for consistency's sake). Cousins is a WOW player. Lot's of WOW's going on. Could be a starting five with 5 All Star players. Coaching: EXCELLENT.

Houston Rockets: I thought that the Rockets would miss Ariza and Maboute, but I've changed my mind. PJ Tucker has shown me some stuff. He is definitely an X factor player. The Rockets have never had any defensive toughness, but PJ can change that. Even so, he is only one player. I still think the Rockets remain vulnerable on D: Hardin is an unwilling defender; Chris Paul, when all is said and done, is too small; Gordon is not a solid defender, and neither is Carmelo, who always looses defensive focus after the 3rd pass. .I'm a huge Capela fan. If Dwight Howard had Capela's work ethic, he be superman. Gerald Green is too flacky for my taste, and can make and has made in the past some awfully stupid moves. Ennis might turn into a strong acquisition. The Rockets will still be able to stretch the floor, so they will always be dangerous. As long as Chris Paul has a full healthy season, the Rockets are the only team I see giving the Warriors any trouble. D'Antoni is only an adequate coach in my opinion. Run and gun is easy to say.

Oklahoma Thunder: I will never be sold on a team with Westbrook running the show. Russell's problem is he's not a good point guard and he's not a good off guard. So what is he, really? A point shooter? Now what do you do with Dennis Schroeder? Is he really going to be happy coming off the bench? If OKC can figure out this problem, they'll be the 3rd best team in the west. At the forward and post positions, they are extremely strong. Steve Adams is awesome and doesn't need the ball to be successful, a HALF  WOW.  Paul George is a WOW player. Is Russell Westbrook? Not in my book, but I'll grant he's a HALF WOW. Nerlen Noel might turn out help when Adams has to rest. I like the Noel pick up - a little soft, but very long. Grant and Paterson are solid. Robinson will always play great D, but remains a shooting liability. Got to improve his free throws. Coaching has got to improve for this team to move forward. I see no strategic defensive or offensive strategy that's at all innovative. .

Denver Nuggets:  Lots of talking heads are predicting a break out year for the Nuggets, led my Nicola Jokic, a WOW player. Maybe, if Paul Milsap, a HALF WOW player, stays healthy and Isiah Thomas can find his Mojo. If those two players have strong seasons, there is enough talent that the Nuggets could upset OKC and hold off all other challengers except the Warriors and Rockets. And if I were the Warrior and Rockets, I wouldn't take the Mile High City's team too lightly. They can shoot and penetrate. Even though Plumlee is no threat offensively, he's a first-rate backup center, who'll run the floor and pick up cheap baskets. Solid if not imaginative coaching.

San Antonio Spurs: . Pop will find a way, but the loss of Kawhi was big. I've never been an Aldridge fan and Pau is getting old. Aldridge is a HALF WOW player. Who's going to run the club, now that Murrry is gone with an injury? Patty Mills? Maybe, but I like Patty coming off the bench. Who's going to stretch the floor? Derozen is a WOW player. but a middle distance shooting expert, Other than Patty Mills, where are the 3's coming from? The Spurs may turn out to be the worst three-point shooting team to ever make the playoffs.

Utah Jazz:  A well coached team, a year away, in my opinion, from contending for the finals in the West if they make the right trade and draft choice at the end of the season. Not impressed with the point guards.I don't care if he's improved, Rubio is still a poor shooter so teams can slack off. Same is true with Dante Exum. Neto is marginal off the bench. Team needs a stud at the point, then watch out. Donovan Mitchel is a WOW player. So is center Rudy Gobert a WOW. Joe Ingles always mystifies me, how does that slow dude get his shot off? Crowder and Favors will give the Jazz strength at the power spots and occasional big point production, but not consistent. Will see about the progress of O'Neele. Looks like a lot of potential. Still wondering where there's real jazz in Utah.

Los Angeles Lakers: Will make the playoffs on the back of Lebron James. Definate young stars, Ingram and Kuzma will contribute. Rondo will help, but is a flake factor, so what will he be like at the end of the season? Other flake factors: Lance Stephensen, and Mile Beasley, with these two anything can happen. Javale, I love you, but not as a starter. The more minutes you get the greater the chance of errors. Lonzo Ball looks like he's worked hard on his jumper, but I'd still slack off him if it meant stopping James, Ingram or Kuzma. I was hard on Ball last year, but I'm seeing him in a more positive light. I like hard workers, and he appears to have worked hard on the off season to improve his game. I'm a big K Caldwell Pope fan, but there is only one basketball to share. Walton is a good coach and getting better OJT. If Kawhi comes next season, the Lakers become scary.

Surprise Team: If Doncic is as good as his rep, Dallas, maybe.

General over-all not going into the 2018/19 season: There are a lot of mediocre players in the NBA, so I hope the NBA is not thinking of expansion for a while.

It's still football season, so here's a football poem I wrote recently.

JAXON    by Tom Meschery

I’ve a grandson who plays high school football.
He’s a linebacker, which means he attacks
the ball carrier, hoping to dislodge
any pig skin or weapon of mass destruction 
tucked under  the runner's arm with the intention
of harming the National Interest or ruining
the chances of his team winning the game.
Football is that kind of sport. The difference
between death and a losing season is blurred.
Why not chuck a grenade to a wide receiver
and watch him explode into the end-zone,
or take a hit from a 300 pound line-man?
Or, in the case of line-backers, volunteer
to lose their memories before they’re fifty.

Monday, October 8, 2018

Why Am I Not Surprsed

I've been on vacation and have not kept up with the sports news. Too busy enjoying the quiet of New York City.

So, I came back to the Raiders fumbling the season. Why am I not surprised?

First of all: I knew from the start that they overpaid Carr. He's a worthy QB, but not at the expense of failing to sign Kahil Mack. Stupid and short sighted. This is on Mark Davis. (what kind of a son constructs an eternal flame for his father anyway?) I'll guarantee Al would have traded his eternal flame for Mack any day. Football decision, not BS.

Second of all: It is my belief that the principal of IRONY must be taken into account whenever decisions are made. When you hire a person who is presented to team fans as a season changer, "to fix thing for good" the chances are excellent that irony will step in, and the opposite will happen. It is an act of arrogance and arrogance always fails.

Third of all: John Gruden was out of the game for a very long time, a very long time. The game changes, players change. Was he really ready to take over a failed program? Really? As a color broadcaster I never thought he was that informative, but that is my bias. I will offer this, bias or not, that on air Gruden was way-over-the-top-full-of-himself. He reminded me of a puffed up little bantam rooster. I never felt he was authentic. Lack of authenticity is something pro athletes pick up on very quickly. The locker room has to be REAL. If it is not, things start to fall apart fast.

I've always loved the Raiders and Raider fans. My best friend, Bill King broadcast the Raider games for years, so I'd love to wish them success. However, success doesn't seem in the cards for the Black and White this season.

And, finally, perhaps this failure is the result of bad karma that is the result of  the team leaving their loyal Oakland fans for glitzy Lost Wages.

Or, could it be, that the fruit of the tree has fallen too far away from the tree.

Or, all of the above?

A 63 yard field goal by Graham Gano for the Panther's win deserves a kicking poem.

The Kicker's last Steps

     For Jack Driscoll

One point behind, ten seconds left,
I lunge forward

a halo of gnats around my head.
I always thought field goal kicking
should be easy,
like pushing a word
from my tongue into the air.
But the goal posts
move backward
ten yards with each step.
And alone on this field -
only the year lines like a ladder I've forgotten
how to climb, the moon's floodlight
like a stiff graduation gown,
the empty avenues
of bleachers?

When night fog clutches my ankles
like the pudgy hands of a linebacker,
I try to thin of anything but kicking
(the river beyond the goal posts,
the blank scorecards. of my parents faces),
try not to think that in an instant
my toe must dive
deep into leather
as if it's in love  with it.

From the sidelines my approach must look
almost casual, as though I hardly care -
in the silence of this last step
I hear the winds of three ducks above me
flying toward the creaking ice of the river.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

The Start of the NFL and Etc

Oakland Raiders: John Gruden may not be enough and Derrick Carr looked frightened. I mean, did you see that last intercepted pass. That was a basketball shot that looped straight into the hands of LA defensive back's hands. Guy looked totally surprised before running for a TD. Carr looked uncertain and flinchy the entire game. like he was worried about getting hit. I hope that's not true, but I think Gruden made a mistake saying "everything they [Raiders} do is about Carr.

San Jose 49ers: (Let's call them what the are and not SF) Back to football. Garapolo looked pretty average. He's obviously not. But at the end of last season, he was a surprise. Now that teams have film of him, they're better prepared. This makes all the team deficiencies more important to solve.
In the meantime, Shanahan wins the "Spin" of the NFL's first week: impressed with how G handled adversity.If you don't make it as a head coach, Kyle, there's a job waiting for you in politics.

New York Jets: Have finally got a QB. Darnold looked mostly like a vet as he led his team to a win over the Lions, which is not a shabby outfit. It was a serious performance.

Early betting on the vikings to win the Stupid Bowl would be reasonable. LA Rams next in line.

Arizona Cardinals might as well get it over with and make Rosen their starting QB. Preseason showed the kid had poise, skill and cockiness needed to be a big time NFL quarterback.

My long-shot team for max improvement is the Cleavland Browns.

This could be a very lopsided NFL season with wide disparity between the good teams and the bad, a little like our economy, the rich getting richer and the poor (and Middle Class) getting poorer.


Pro Tennis has got to get off that weird and outdated rule that coaches can't coach from the sidelines. In what sport, other than tennis, do coaches have to sit on their hands and keep their mouths shut as they watch their athletes perform? DUMB AND MORE DUMB. That silly ass ref during the Serena William's match calling calling a foul for a coaches "thumbs up" gesture. It started a chain reaction. Serena should not have blown her cool. Her racquet toss required a point loss.

Lots of CHEERS Keegan Bradley winning the BMW. Bradley hasn't won since since 2011. Love watching him approach shots: approach, step back, approach a second time. measure, step back, approach, twist club a couple of times. My wife calls him "Nervous Nelly". Nerves off steel at the end against Rose in the playoffs.

More CHEERS for Djokovis wining the US Open. Got a ways to go to tie Federer's 20 Grand Slams, but he's in striking distance of Nadal's 14.

The recent death of my old college roommate and Saint Mary's College basketball teammate, John Shirley prompted this poem.

On Hearing of John’s Death   by Tom Meschery

Got an email
from Ron with a poem
about the wind that is a gift
on a day I needed one having heard
of the death of my college roommate,
the best and only one-legged basketball player
in the history of Saint Mary’s College who’d limp
past you for a lay-up if you weren’t careful, so smart
he barely studied his sophomore year and got straight A’s
and nearly drove me out of my mind learning, instead of reading
the Classics, while I was struggling with the dactylic hexameter of the Iliad,
how to play one fucking song, Easy Rider on his guitar, the same notes over
and over; and the poem Ron sent me closed with the wind sounding like
a blues harmonica that arrived, as befits poetic license, all the way
from Pluto, the farthest planet in the Universe, which is where,
perhaps, if one does not believe in heaven, my roommate
John is now entering like the wind, the fierce wind
of his life no longer limping but sure footed
past Pluto, past all other undiscovered
planets, their moons and suns
and the dark matter
of our lives.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Stolen Base Gone like the Dinasaur

In this morning's Sacramento Bee Sports dated 8/21/'18, there was an article by Gary Peterson arguing that baseball was better before Metrics. I'm not a huge baseball enthusiast, but along with the article, there was a photo of Goose Gossage stating that baseball today was very difficult for him to watch. As much as I was a fan, Gossage was one of my favorite baseball players. He had a great name and a great flair and a great mustache. So, I read. After I finished it seemed to me he'd made his point: "The game is all home runs and strikeouts, absent all risk/reward gambits." Why? Because the actuarial tables say they result in negative metrics. The writer went on to illustrate with a bunch of comparisons between teams of the past vs teams of the future. Since he used metrics, my eyes glazed over. Let's see if I get the gist: Hits to strike out ratios - today more strikeouts than hits.  According to Scott Miller of Belcher Report: If you have a poetic bone in your body, you got to love this: As if they [batters] were 18 blindfolded men chasing a butterfly. As for pitching. American League as of today had turned in only 20 complete games. The National League only 10. At this rate, AL would complete 31 and NL 13. Giants Sam Jones in 1960 completed 13 himself. Onward and upward. According to the writer, there has been an average of 1.37 stolen base attempts in the majors this season, the lowest figure since 1964.

I told my wife. "Geez," she said.  "the stolen base was the only exciting play in baseball." That sort of summed it up for me. But I email my friend Larry Colton, ex of the Phillies and holder of the single game strike out record for the University of California for his thoughts on the subject, who is my baseball guru for his comments.

We wait with bated breath.

Metrics strives for some kind of statistical perfection. Not only is that impossible, it is boring.

Not exactly a baseball poem, but it could be.

Midnight Lazaruses   by Chaun Ballard, from Rattle summer 2018 issue

we were married
                                   playgrounds, blacktops
                                   where seven days

                                   a ball would drop

and like that
                                    bodies would complete

                                    and a game would be


Monday, August 13, 2018

Mea Culpa Redux

I've already apologized via my blog for my years of denigrating golf as less than a sport. And to all golfers who give a jot about my beliefs, I apologize again big time. After watching the latest Open won by Brooks Koepka, chased to the 18th by Adam Scott and  Tiger Woods  (Go Tiger!), I have come to this realization: Golf played on the professional level is the most psychologically (mentally) and physically demanding sport of all the major sports in the world.

Please note, however, that I limit my definition to professional golf, not the ordinary get-out-and-play the links on weekend variety, in which case the level of mental and physical wear and tear drops significantly..

Onward and upward to the pro golfer. No athlete is challenged to perform his or her sport under such mental and physical strain while requiring such precise accuracy than golf played on the highest level. Mental acuity, physicality, precision, accuracy, and subtlety - all must come together at exactly the same time with different requirements of force for each stroke from the T to putt.
Not to mention the hazards. Imagine what kind of skill is needed to come out of tall grass or looking up through trees as your ball rests on the side of a hill. It's a little like asking a basketball player to shoot the ball from where it lands in the stands after an errant pass. I watched with renewed respect for the game as Koepka, Scott and Woods, three marvelously conditioned athletes, competed.

Let me say that I'm not blind to a few of the tubbys on the professional tour, who provide hope to all the rest of the out-of-shape weekend linkers, but I do not exclude them from my definition. They will simply play themselves out of the pro tour with back problems. A few, such as the enormously out of condition, John Daly, might move on to the Champions Tour by dint of their superior skills. So be it; there are always anomalies. 

Least people didn't read it in small print and on the last page of the sport's section, our U.S.A women's softball team defeated the Japanese to win the World Softball Championship. WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP, not some weenie championship. In my section of the paper, overshadowed by less important articles, like the Ryder Cup who's in the conversation.

I don't blog about baseball, but this baseball poem I recently read in a must read collection called This Loss Behind Us; A Triple Play of Poetry (Pint Size Publications) is beyond funny.

Pope Vincent by Paul Hostovsky

If you would like to be summarily excommunicated from the merry flock
the blue and white acolytes who clap on cue and shout appropriate epithets,
all you have to do is say something less than supportive about his royal divinity
Pope Vin Scully
Now 88 and still helping the team sell things.
Let us pray he never dies.

Sunday, August 5, 2018

NBA Off Season Craziness

My interest to blog flags once the NBA season ends. However, there are always a few newsworthy incidents or moments that require comments.

Urban Meyers, like Rick Pitino, bball, coach of Louisville, didn't know squat. Anyone who believes that I have the Golden Gate Bridge I'm willing to sell him for a modest price. Yeah, like donald trump didn't know nutting about Don Junior meeting with Russian agents of the KGB.

What is it about people who have power and money? Why do they think they can get away with lying?

As a high school teacher, if I didn't report even a suspicion of abuse to my principal, I would be fired. Which is what needs to happen to Meyers and the man running our White House.

Speaking of racist, trump, he's at it again, attacking Lebron James for "Awwwww," hurting the little president's weeny feelings. Why doesn't trump attack David Duke?

Speaking of loonies, was Terrell Owens born that way or did he grow into it? Okay, perhaps the Canton Hall of Fame snub is not that big a deal, but why wouldn't Owens want to join his fellow football players on such a profoundly important day? Could it possibly be that he want all the camera to be on him?

If Vladimir Putin KGB killer president of the new Soviet Union, could have scripted a perfect way to sow division and suspicion between the citizens of the United States, there would have been no better president to have sitting in the White House than donald racist trump.

I was sorry but not surprise when Lebron said all African American people, no matter how successful, continue to suffer racism.


His coach told the reporters it was hard
for a player to adjust to playing in Russia,
not knowing the language or culture.

It was hard for me to be in elementary school,
a Russian immigrant, wearing short pants
and not knowing how to speak English.
But that was a long time ago. Now,
you find language lessons on line.
I’m taking private lessons twice a week
at Alliance Francaise, so my wife and I
can move to France because our country
is suffering under a racist dictator.

Perhaps Hunnicut’s death at the hands
of the police, or by his own hand
had nothing to do with language
and the foreign culture. What if
he was simply tired of living as a black
man in our culture? I wouldn’t be
surprised. I’m white and I’m watching
my depression rising like mercury
in a glass thermometer in a heat wave.
Tyler’s depression might have reached
the melting point and burst, the shards
of glass flying through the air with his blood.



Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Boogie Warrior

Shall we say that between Draymond and Boogie, the pair might set a technical fouls record to go along with the Warriors third NBA Championship in a row.

My first reaction to hearing DeMarcus Cousins had signed a 1 yr contract with the Warriors was an extended moan, that turned into a question mark, and finally into a Holy -hit. The last expletive had to do with the kind of unique talent Boogie will bring to my team. The Warriors have not had a real post since the days of Nate "The Great" Thurmond. And a post who can go out onto the perimeter and shoot threes. Mama Mia!!!!

There has never been any question that the Boogie is an Awesome physical and skilled talent. For me, it has always been about attitude on the court and in the locker room. In past blogs I've accused him of being a dark cloud downer, a whiner, a locker room lawyer, and a candidate for anger management intervention. My wife, who hates cry babies, was not nearly as nice as her husband.

That said, so I can't be accused of hypocrisy, Cuz is now a Warrior and that means I have to cut him some slake. Such slake cutting has to do with the possibility that Boogie has been changing for the better since he left the dysfunctional Kings. Remember, I said, possibility. Boogie watchers, like my wife's grandson, John-Clark, who knows his basketball, has never wavered in his support of Boogie. He points out Boogies total career stats, and his performance last year with the Pelicans, before he suffered and Achilles tendon injury. John-Clark is right. There's is not a better pure center in the league than Cuz. This may change with DeAndre Ayton, but that's for another Blog.

Keeping John-Clark's loyalty in mind, I will consider (only consider, mind you) that there could have been a shift in Cuz's court attitude that started during the 2014 Olympic Games in Brazil. The theory might go like this: Cuz played his butt off for America's Olympic Team. No denying that. His effort won him the respect and friendship of his super star peers (Draymond Green being one of those players). These guys embraced the Cuz when he was, for the most part, being viewed around the league as a knucklehead. There is a lot to say for friendship and support. It might have been the motivation to consider changing his attitude and behavior. 

I'm just saying. It could have happened this way. And, it could be something the Warriors took into account when deciding whether or not to take DeMarcus Cousins into the fold. . .

And into the waiting arms of Draymond Green if the Boogie doesn't boogie straight.

Going into this season I will remember the free basketball clinics you have provided in Sacramento and the funeral for Stephon Clark you paid for. So, welcome Boogie Cousins to my Warriors. I wish for your Achilles injury to heal, for you to regain all your skills and physical prowess. You can be part of a great tradition, even if it will probably be only for one season.

Go Warriors!

This is a poem about climbing in Scotland. Not exactly a rope-up Mount Everest type of poem, but athleticism non-tthe-less. And a good old fashioned well-rhymed poem is always pleasant to read.

Climbing in Glencoe   by Andrew Young

The sun became a small round moon
And the scared rocks grew pale and weak
As mist surged up the col, and soon
So thickly everywhere it tossed
That though I reached the peak
With height and depth both lost
It might as well have been a plain;
Yet when, groping my way again,
On to the scree I stept
It went with me, and as I swept
Down its loose rumbling course
Balanced I rode it like a circus horse. 

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

2018 NBA Draft and Etc

Let's begin with ETC first: When Jesus Christ said, "Suffer the little children. . . " he had no idea how many little children would suffer in the years following his ministry. History is witness to such monstrous suffering: Add to that list of monstrous acts against our little ones, the policy of donald trump that separates immigrant Hispanic children (four year-olds even) from their mothers and fathers. The people of the United States have lost the moral high ground. Yes, not only the White House and the Republican Party, but all of us. Every single person in America should be on the streets protesting what is going on at our southern border. Until we do and stop trump's immoral behavior, we have no right to criticize the German people for electing Adolf Hitler and the subsequent passive acceptance of his diabolic policies by the citizens of Germany.

I was a seven year old immigrant, son of Russian immigrants, who was accepted by this wonderful country of ours after the Second World War. The ship carrying my mother, sister and I docked in San Francisco in 1947. With other immigrants, we walked down the gangplank and were met by U.S. immigration officials. They did not take my sister and me away from our mother. Instead, they hugged us and gave us candy.

Americans, we all better stand up and be counted. These are children being harmed. Children, the little ones, the innocent, the least able to defend themselves, the future, whatever color that future might bring.

Now for the DRAFT. Funny how the importance of it pales by comparison with what's happening to those poor children.


Suns: Ayton is going #1 and will be a another, less prone to injury than Embid, Embid. How's that for a little rhetorical  flourish?

Sacramento has the second choice. I pray only that the  Kings don't take Michael Porter Jr., whose back injury makes such a high choice too great a risk. I worry about Marvin Bagley III, a sure winner, except that his grandfather is Joe Caldwell, one of the great knuckle-head NBA players of the sixties, who made my life miserable when he played for me with the Carolina Cougars of the ABA during the 1971/72 season. Does the acorn fall far from the grandfather tree? To me, Luca Doncic is a solid choice, a veteran of the Euro-League, and this season's Euro All Star. He's been challenged by grown men and in return challenged them. There is no reason he can't play and defend the 1, 2, and 3. He's gritty and confident and skillful.Remember, the Kings already have a 4 in Harry Giles III, who should be recovered from knee injuries and ready to show his stuff that made him the top high school player of the year two years ago.

Spurs: My prediction based on Pop's decision not to trade Kawhi Leonard to any Western Conference team is that Leonard goes to the Celtics. The Celts have draft choices for a rebuild, and Jalen Brown, and a second young player to create a deal that would work for the Spurs. Come to think of it, given the Spurs roster, this trade might actually work in their favor. There are already rumors about this trade on the internet.

Whatever team winds up with Mohammed Bamba is getting the next Dekimbe Motombo.

Jaren Jackson Jr, 18 yrs old, youngest big of the bigs, is going to become an NBA All Star dual position 5 and 4.

Trae Young will not  pan out. Donte Divincenzo is going to have a solid NBA career. Perhaps more than solid.

Kevin Huerter is a light's out 3 point shooter, and one of my surprise picks.

Warriors: I'm betting on Bob Meyers nose for sleepers.  Something like a great sommelier can pick the finest wines. 

The following is an appropriate poem about an immigrant to honor immigrants in today's sinful environment.

How I Became An American   by Tom Meschery

A few home-run kicks at kickball,
in fourth grade, and I knew that's what
I needed to do to become an American:
kick farther, run faster, jump higher.
Then, it didn't matter if I spoke with
a Russian accent and my mother wore
a babushka and my father could barely
speak English. I was no longer
an immigrant, I was an Athlete.
I'd circle the bases and be embraced
by my teammates as a citizen
of a country of many sports, although
I was years away from raising my hand
and repeating the oath of allegiance
that would bind me in ways 
to the United States of America
that I would never fully understand.

Monday, June 11, 2018

The Simple Answer for Why the Dubs are a Superior Basketball Team and Etc

Sometimes the best answer to a difficult problem is the easiest one. This morning I read Kevin Durant say this about his personal approach to basketball: "All I've ever wanted was to be one of the guys." Sub gals for guys to cover the gender issue, and voila, here's what team sports is all about - being a part of the whole. "Every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main,' so wrote British poet John Donne (1572-1631) in Meditation XVII. Durant may not have read John Donne's meditation that states, "No man is an island," but his simple declaration demonstrates he has Donne's sensibility and understanding of what it take to be human. I hasten to add, an understanding that our current President does not.

Being one of the guys is also the simplest reason why the Warriors have won 3 out of the last 4 NBA titles. It's an emotional glue that binds the Warriors players, coaches, administrators and owners together.

On a more realistic level, it's why Warrior ownership should keep the Core of the Warriors together for a few more years, subtracting bench weaknesses and adding bench talent, keeping in mind that whomever they add to the team, such a player wants to be and appreciates "being part of the guys."


I was reminded in this mornings sports page that the World Cup in Russia will feature the competition between Lionel Messi and Christiano Ronaldo chasing their first ever World Championships, a height both superstars have never reached. While we in the United States will be watching boring old baseball, the rest of the world will have their eyes trained on Russia and the two arguably greatest soccer players of all time.

Justify should be voted 2018 Athlete of the Year.

trump vs the rocket man: two losers facing off against each other. The media must feel just slightly ridiculous calling this  a summit, to equate trump to Regan or Kennedy. Give me a break. I was never a Regan fan, but he had a modicum of gravitas. This so called summit is like Mike Tyson facing off against Dennis Rodman.

Speaking of trump's recent tirade against Canada's Prime Minister, Canadian Foreign Minister, Chrystia Freeland said her country "does not conduct its diplomacy through ad hominem attacks." May I humbly suggest to the foreign minister that in the future she use simpler language. There isn't one person in the trump administration who has the slightest idea what "ad hominem" means.

Rafael Nadal wins the French Open, another victory in a series of victories on clay. Here's a fine tennis poem from a fabulous magazine, Sport Literate:

Tennis Lesson   by David Radavich. 

The ball bounces
again and again

like a self
against its cage

tryng desperately
to get out

seeking a point
any point

but only 
now and then

over the line
out of bounds

in love

and no longer 
in love

two exchanging
their hardest

and then 
one losing.

Saturday, June 9, 2018

3 out of 4 NBA Champs

Had a hard time sleeping last night as the Warrior win played itself out through my mind until the sun rose. I woke up exhausted from my effort, grabbing those rebounds, settting screens, blocking off the boards. I told my wife, I'd led my team to the championship once again. "Where's your ring?"she asked.  "Maybe they forgot," I said.


I have a feeling I will be congratulating them for many more years.

Given the ages of the Dubs players and their dedication to physical fitness, the Warriors have at least four years of championship caliber play. I don't think anyone should be surprised if the Dubs come up up Champs again the next couple of years. That would be fine with me as I have a bunch more grandchildren I can take with me and my wife to ride with us in the parade.

Ah, the Parade. In Coach Steve Kerr's words, what joy!

The NBA grind played with JOY, what a concept!

After the game Charles Barkley and Grant Hill criticized Lebron James for his underwhelming performance. I thought they were too harsh on the King. I simply believe James was operating on fumes, nothing left in the tank. Sure, the Cavs feed off his performance, but beside Kevin Love, not a single player on the Cavs stepped up. Barkley was right, however, that Michael Jordan remains the best NBA player pound for pound. And it's possible (anyone who agrees, raise their hands) the second best is Kevin Durant.

On that note, I end today's blog with a poem I wrote for KD entitled


Our seats are on the courtside floor
under the basket. Before the game,
I’m watching KD, working on his shots
with a coach. His long, lean body
moves through drills with measured
speed and grace. I’m wondering
where have I seen such grace before.
It is unusually fluid almost like liquid
as if he were proving the truth
of the words Keats had inscribed
on his tombstone: Here lies one
whose name was writ in water.
If I watch KD with my eyes closed,
will I see waves? For a moment
I smell the fresh air of oceans,
but think myself foolish,
conjuring images of childhood delights,
sitting on a beach while all around me
the wild courtside din of spectators
roar through the arena with approval
of KD’s moves. I sit with wife
and grandson watching and admiring,
not unlike the way I imagine waves
on the beach, one shot following
another and another, rising and falling
into the wide net of imagination.