meta name=”robots” content=”index, follow” Meschery's Musings of Sports, Literature, and Life Meschery's Musings on Sports, Literature and Life: 2019-06-09

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 14, 2019

Toronto Wins With an *

I played the game long enough to know there are no "What if's." However, if one did exist, this season's NBA Finals would be that exception. With a healthy Kevin Durant and healthy Klay Thompson, the Golden State Warriors win the 2019 NBA Championship. Period. End of story.

That said, the Toronto Raptors are the champs. They were not responsible for the Warriors injuries. All they could do was play the best basketball they could play, and they did. They were aggressive and determined. They shot well and defended well. They did not not get over-confident even as they saw their chances improve dramatically with Klay Thompson's knee injury in the 3rd quarter..A lesser focused team might have made mistakes. The Raptors won the Championship fair and square.

As for the Dubs.I applaud the fact that they managed to hang in after Klay went down. All that was left of consistent shooters was Steph Curry. And that was a heck of a smart play Kerr designed during the time out with 9 seconds to go in the game that got Steph a shot for the win, albeit a difficult one that did not drop. Loony was guts out but injured. DeMarcus still overweight and not fully back in playing shape from his injury. And the Dubs were still throwing punches, but there wasn't much knockout strength behind them. If this had been boxing, the Raptors won on a TKO.

If any team needs to find a nice quiet spot and rest, it's the Dubs. Have a few cold ones, nap under a palm tree, sit on the beach or by a lake, read. listen to music, watch clouds. listen to rain.. CHILL.

I am proud on these Warriors, who have earned the title Warriors.

So, the season ends and we'll miss the joy of another parade. Instead of Oakland, the Parade will be in Toronto, Canada and Canadians should be proud of their team. Historically, it's the first international NBA team to win a championship. And that's significant. Maybe in the future, an NBA team from an expanded European NBA will win a Larry O'Brien trophy. Maybe some day an NBA team from Africa will win a championship, coached by Serge Ibaka. Oh, well.

Still, in the mind of an old Warrior, the Raptors name on the 2019 Larry O'Brien Trophy will always have and asterisk after it. And the Raptors will look at it and know exactly why its thee.

In honor of KD, a poem from my new collection, Time Out


From our seats
beneath the basket,
watching KD
before the game,
I’m wondering
where have I seen
such fluid grace before,
almost like liquid,
as if Durant
was out to prove
the truth
inscribed on Keats’ tombstone:
Here lies one whose name
is writ in water.
KD shoots again, all net.
If I close my eyes
will I see waves?

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Last Game at Oracle

My jersey #14 was the first to be retired and hung in the rafters of Oracle arena, so there's some nostalgia I'm dealing with today. On the other hand, I was a San Francisco Warrior of the City Auditorium and Cow Palace era Warriors, so I'm looking forward to seeing games at Chase Center, next season, my team back in The City.

About tonight's final game at Oracle, the Warriors must keep in mind something an old street fighter told me, "He who gets the first punch in, has the first punch in." Great advice if you find yourself in a street brawl, but also good advice for the Warriors as it applies to Defense. The Dubs must be the first to set the defensive tone of the game. The popular word these days is "aggressive" Stay aggressive, always take the fight to your opponent.

I'll spell it out Lots Of Love to Kevin Durant. I'm not sure what all the blather was about KD, should he or shouldn't he? When, why? etc. All pro athletes know that if its the Finals, the Super Bowl, the Stanley Cup, the World Series, you're going to do everything you can to play, to make a contribution. KD did, Those early buckets sparked the Warriors, they ignited a will in the Warriors that took them to the final victory in Toronto. Thanks KD, for the inspiration and the guts, but you'd say I'm sure that you were doing what any athlete worth his salt would have done. You couldn't have done anything else but risk it. It's who we are, it's what we do. We couldn't live with ourselves if we didn't give it our best shot.

So let's stop with the media second guessing bullshit and applaud a great professional basketball player.

I remember driving to Live Oak playground (ok, so it's in Berkeley) to play against the best the East Bay had to offer. Here's to them, some I played against, some I didn't: Joe Gardere, Bobby Dold, Bepo Dyer, Don Barksdale, Joe Ellis, Jim Hadnot, Paul Silas, Bill Russell, Jerry Mullin, Joe Barry, Rick Lawless. Just the ones that come to mind, many more great hoopsters I'm forgetting. 

Not a poem but close: 

Live Oak,
The  playground.
The games we played 'till dusk
Came back for more at night
Emblazoned on Warrior jerseys
Last game in The Town
Thanks for the memories.