Monday, June 6, 2011


I'm definitely in a state of yo. Stopped running (for the sake of running) for a few weeks and really stopped, it seems, everything. I ate a few doughnuts, stopped in-haling IPA, didn't worry about anything other than my family and professional prospects (my family) and watching some TV, and following some very interesting folk on twitter (not the kind that say "I'm wiping my ass" but rather the kind that say before anyone else says it "Bin Laden is toast," or my recent favorite line going something like this: Bin Laden's replacement has been whacked; I hope they have some depth on that roster).

About 3 weeks ago I started doing some short hikes to go along with the light squatting and lunging and various upper body "presses" I've been doing. In the last week I've started to jog a little and am getting that itch again.

Best of all, I've been playing soccer on weekends with some "veterans" who still have some handle. It's been nice getting out and pushing some fellas around, dusting-off some of my collegial moves and so on. My son having joined an Under 8 traveling team is fairly cool, as well. Last weekend, spent the day at a tournament (2 full-days). Much more competitive then the juniors teams I have coached this past year. My boy is in great company and has a lot to learn.

Then, to celebrate my running itch return, I tweaked my leg in yesterday's match, so I need a few days before I can get back to the trail.

Some thoughts on some things. . .

This NBA post-season has left me with a few thoughts:

Kobe Bryant's lengthy and tumultuous attempt at GREATNESS went thud. Of course, his bid for a three-peat with the second most talented team in the league went disasterously bad by getting swept badly out of the playoffs. But for the keen observer, it's The End. It's clear that his game has gone dead south, so much that I am seriously wondering why beyond the prospects of continuing to collect a check he will continue to play, especially since the demise of such a high-level talent can be intolerable, mostly for the one with the talent (Granted, I am aware that his "pursuit of greatness" will continue as he wants merely to add to his all-time scoring total so he can continue to climb that list certainly to eclipse some of those greats, especially ONE in particular). But, can he really continue to play without Phil Jackson on a team that has run-out of gas, mainly because he himself is running on empty? I could find the stats, but the point is he may only be in his lower to mid thirties, but has late 30's wear and tear on that body. He came into the league when he was 12 (or 18) and has played a lot of ball. But style plays into this math, as well. For the keen observer, he, UNLIKE JORDAN, has always had to work much harder for his production. He's not too pretty. He's done. And the league, as evidenced by this post-season play, has accepted its youth movement: there are new kids in town (see Chicago, Miami, OK City, Memphis).

The Miami Heat are on the verge of winning a championship. I am actually surprised they have been able to pull this off in their first season together as the Big Three and (bargain role player) Company. So, kudos to them. They have two of the best players in the league. A few things on that dynamic.

Fascinating watching the back and forth concerning who is the leader of the team. At this point, D.Wade appears the winner, but has been the natural leader all along. He's won a championship and finals MVP (2006), he's older, he has tremendous big game talent, and Lebron signed-on to join him (Wade), meaning despite Lebron winning two league MVPs recently, and many people already anointing him best player in the league, he chose to join Wade in Miami. In other words, it was Wade's team and still is his team.

But to complicate matters, Lebron, the anointed one, has taken over several games this season and more importantly in the playoffs. Taken over means this is my team and I am going to will this team to victory. If that kind of transaction happens enough, a player like Lebron ends-up with enough currency to take ownership of the team. He was really dominant in the Eastern Conference Finals against Chicago. His multiple fourth quarter masterpieces have complicated the leadership dynamic.

Furthermore, Scottie Pippen, Michael Jordan's second in command during their massive and indelible reign, said recently (during the aforementioned Chicago series) that Lebron will be the greatest of all time (if not now) someday. For pretty much anyone who knows the NBA, this was blasphemous.

But my point is that he's NOT THE BEST on his own team. I think his style is more commercial, bigger in the sense that he "looks" so dominant. At 6'8" 260 Lbs., he's a beast with a lot of versatility, a lot of power on both ends of the floor. He took the league by storm coming out of high school and leading his hometown Cavaliers to the playoffs, to the NBA finals (where they were swept by the Spurs in 2007). He's the next great one.

But these playoffs have for me realized that Dwayne Wade is the best player on the Miami Heat. He's been overshadowed and I'm not sure how. He won a championship, but then that team was broken-up. He didn't return to the finals ala Kobe and the Lakers. Wade didn't have the team to do that.

And now he does. In this post-MJ league, Wade is the best two-way 2 guard in the NBA. He defends and scores better than anyone. Lebron might be his superior someday, but right now, James can't close consistently like Wade. He's not as clutch.

But as Miami closes in on its first of several championships, Lebron James may have an opportunity to develop this story in his own light. For now, however, it's all about D. Wade, the best player in the league. Believe it or not.

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