It's time to get this game over and done with
Okay, I’m suffering quite a lot from Chris Bosh burnout.
But I don’t know if you are so …
It was actually not bad to sit down with Chris with Zic and a gaggle of Miami writers because he did have some marginally interesting stuff to see and, despite his flaws, he has always been willing to engage in conversation.
Nothing earth-shattering, as you know from having poured over this tome, right? But the rather short conversation did cement home one thing I’ve thought about him for a long time.
He wants to be liked. He likes to be liked. He needs to be liked.
Doesn’t make him a bad guy, in fact it makes him like a lot of us, but I wonder if the desire to be all things to all people doesn’t take away from his abilities on the court. He doesn’t have a mean streak about him, which is a good trait in almost every instance, but a wee bit more nasty would have made him that much better a player.
Now, if we can just get tonight over with without any great incident, I’ll be quite happy.
I have a new thing in basketball that I hate more than anything.
Coaches who call timeouts in the dying seconds of lost causes for no reason other than to show someone that they’re working or something.
Frank Vogel did it in Indy last night, calling one with his team down seven and 15.2 seconds left and Vinny Del Negro did it Sunday with, I believe, his team down six and about five seconds left.
Really, what’s the point?
You think either of them had some super-secret seven-point play they could draw up? And don’t give me the “they get to advance the ball and you never know what’ll happen” stuff; that’s too far-fetched.
I think they do it so they feel good about themselves, they can leave the court knowing they did everything in their power to make themselves noticed or something. Or to drag out a game and make my writing life miserable (and we know, it’s all about me).
It’s right up there with a reset to 14 on the shot clock off a kicked ball and the refs who aren’t going to call a foul if a shot goes in but mysteriously toot their whistle late if there’s a miss.
I’m cranky when it comes to that stuff.
Want to know what they’re writing in Florida about this gigantic struggle tonight?
I’ve seen a lot of things on the basketball courts over the years but I cannot ever remember a 90-foot lob pass.
So when Dwyane Wade threw one to LeBron James last night – rebounding a miss under the basket and heaving a perfectly-placed pass to James at the other end, it was perhaps the “wow” moment of the season.
Phil Kessel scored two goals in one game?
I was going to make some snarky comment but I got distracted by the pigs that were flying past my head.
Okay, I have a direct 7 a.m. flight from Indy to Toronto and a speaking engagement out in Scarborough at 11 a.m.
Surely to all that’s good in the world, nothing can get screwed up, can it?
Wish me luck.
I would assume a lot of you read, or heard, about Bill Russell getting the Presidential Medal of Freedom down here yesterday, right?
Now, you know how I feel about Russell and what he meant to the game with all his many accomplishments.
But what he went through off the court was no picnic and he took stances at a time when it was a dangerous thing to do, he broke down barriers (first African-American coach of any pro sports team) and carried himself well in every possible manner.
Now, we can debate the role of athlete’s in a city, whether they should be lionized or loved or simply appreciated for the time they are there before moving on but I don’t think that’s the case with Russell. He was Boston.
And every time I’m in that city and go through the Ted Williams tunnel out of Logan or see the statue of Red at Faneuil Hall or hear them talk about Yawkey Way or the erecting of a statue at the Garden for Bobby Orr, one thing comes to mind: When are they going to get around to doing something for Russell. And I mean something big.
Send me some mail.
I’ve got five hours to kill in a plane, the current issue of The New Yorker has been read; not sure how much of Vanity Fair’s Hollywood Edition I can handle and I need something to kill some time.
So I’m sitting on a stool after the game typing some of this stuff up and the fellow next to me looks over and says: “It’s too late to be working, man.”
And I’m thinking, I need to put that guy in touch with the honchos at the Home Office.
You remember TJ Ford, right?
Slight fellow who played in Toronto once?
Well, he’s still in Indy – ran into him in the hallway at Conseco the other day – but he’s certainly not part of any Pacers future.
They’ve been trying to trade him for about a year and haven’t been able to finalize a deal and you know they are working diligently to ship him about before Feb. 24.
I have no idea whether he can still play even a little bit – and I would suspect the answer is no since he hasn’t now for two different Pacers coaches – but I will always give him this: After every game or practice, he’d walk by the assembled media and ask, “do you guys need me?” and not too many athletes do that.
The things you see when you’re paying a little attention when you normally don’t:
Roy Hibbert skips rope on the court before the game to get loosened up.
I don’t think I’ve ever seen that before.
What’s the rest of the week look like around these parts?
Good question that I don’t really have an answer for.
Guess there’ll be the usual gobbledy-gook here in the morning before a noonish flight to L.A. and I’m wondering about the advisability of an IGBT on Sunday night?
May as well, right?