How much does "character" impact the memory of a player?
All kinds of little things today, maybe something catches your fancy.
Super Son sends off the text as I’m driving back from the Falls to let me know of the impending retirement of Allen Iverson and the immediate reaction?
You mean he’s still playing?
No, this is not big news – at least not to me – but it does give a chance to figure out just where he fits in the big picture and since he was so closely linked to the best time in Raptors history I imagine there’s some interest.
I always found Iverson to be a polarizing figure, he was self-confident to a level that some felt was off-putting but I think that’s what made him special in a lot of ways.
I’m sure there was a rather substantial chip on his shoulder and he didn’t mind that everyone knew. He had a level of disdain for authority that was palpable at times, his clashes with Larry Brown were significant but those are two very strong-willed men so that shouldn’t come as too much a surprise.
I guess the biggest thing is that all the extraneous stuff – the posses, that legendary practice rant (and it was my dear friend Phil Jasner who started that, bless his soul), the tattoos, the “I’ve got to get mine” attitude – probably clouded judgement of him too much.
And that’s his own fault, isn’t it?
I’m not suggesting he – or anyone – should totally change the way they are just to get along or to present a false version of their character but at some point if you’re in a team sport, some bending for common good may be necessary.
Iverson never seemed to do that, never seemed to really think about where he fit, what impact his actions would have on others; there was a measure of selfishness that I think kept him from being all that he could be.
Now, he could play, that’s a given. As small guards go, he’d probably be right up there with the very best of all time but history might not judge him well because of all the other stuff.
Is he a Hall of Famer? I don’t know. I guess you could make the case that he is and I’m sure five years from now when he’s eligible for induction many will.
And probably by then enough time will have passed that people will forget some of the stuff that damages his reputation today.
If I was hanging around a beach or the water today – and I really wish I was – I would totally listen to this; it’s got a definite summer vibe.
We give up a two-run single to the first batter in the top of the resumed ninth and only get one back in the bottom.
Mighty Navy Tigers season comes to inglorious end.
Was fun, though. As always.
A few good ones I see now, always room for more at email@example.com.
I figure after a quick trip the peninsula today there’ll be some deck time and with the music on and the sun shining and the mind racing it’d be a good chance to get ahead on it so I can sleep in on the weekend.
And, yes, it’s all about me.
Hang on a sec.
We are supposed to be surprised that one of the zillion food booths at the Ex might not be up to full sanitary standards?
R.A. Dickey loses again, the Izturis dude goes on the DL, Bautista’s on the shelf and if they cancelled the rest of the Blue Jays season today do you think anyone would notice?
Man, this sure turned out diametrically opposed to what everyone thought, didn’t it?
And I sooooo wanted good fall baseball to get excited about because there’s nothing better than a pennant race when the season is turning.
In fact, that might be my favourite time of sports, some scoreboard watching, cold nights at the ball park, living and dying with nearly every at-bat.
Damn. I feel ripped off or something.
I see that Chris Paul has been elected president of the NBA players association – replacing Derek Fisher – and I would think he’s got some work to do.
For an association that is supposed to have the best interests of the collective in mind at all times, the NBAPA has become something of a joke.
There is still no executive director and the lawsuits and counter lawsuits and charges of malfeasance and nepotism are still unresolved and of all the pro sports unions, this one is more dysfunctional and off the rails than any of them.
Paul’s position is basically ceremonial, the real work is always done by the executive director and his staff, but as the out-front leader, he’s got some fence-mending to do.
I think the continued erosion of the so-called middle class is troubling, I’m sure there is a level of resentment by players who feel they might have been sacrificed by the union while the maximum-value players are still rewarded with unimaginable riches.
And that has to be Paul’s chief task, assuaging the feelings of the true rank and file and letting them know that their union will fight for them as hard as it can.
It won’t be easy because there’s always a feeling around basketball that the stars are taken care of at the expense of the others but he seems to have the personality to reach out to sooth his fellow players.
It won’t be easy until the stench of the end of the Billy Hunter era is lifted but it will be the most important work he does.