Tuesday, May 28, 2013

The Unspoken Greatness of Tim Duncan

Tim Duncan...Greatness has never been so quite.
Once upon a time, someone asked me who I thought the best basketball player of this generation was. Who was the one player I’ll remember the most? Who was the player that I’ll proudly look back to and gloat that I was able to see? The easy answers would be players like Kevin Garnett, Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal. All of these guys great. All of these guys NBA Champions and NBA MVPs and NBA All-Stars and blah, blah, blah, but none can ever really be called the “best” player of their generation. Shaq was the most "dominant". On the nights when Shaq gave a f**k, no one, and I mean no one in the history of basketball, was stopping him. Part of it was skill, but a good chunk of it was Shaq hitting the physical lottery. No one is stopping 7’ 2” and 325 pounds when it’s engaged and motivated. Garnett was the most "intense." KG always gave a crap. Even on those hopeless T-Wolves teams in the early 00s he always gave 110% and played each game like it was Game 7 of the NBA Finals. Bryant was the most gifted and most fun to watch. He's the closest thing we will EVER see to Michael Jordan and enough can't be said for that. He runned-and-gunned his way to over 30,000 career points and has played at a 1st Team All-NBA level for over 16 years. I can’t even begin to explain how hard that is to do.

Celtics fans really hate this picture for some strange reason

But again, none of these guys were the “best”. All except, Kobe where traded at least once. (Before LA hijacked Pau Gasol from Memphis, Kobe did everything but wear a “for sale” sign on the court.) Shaq was too busy rapping or being funny to truly care about basketball the way he should have. (Shaq is the GREATEST WASTE OF TALENT IN THE HISTORY OF THE NBA. Again, dude hit the physical lotto, but didn't do everything he could have done to be the best player ever. And that pisses me off. Shaq only made 3 All-NBA Defensive Teams and each was only 2nd team. He only won one MVP and had he gave a crap about making at least 70% of his free throws, he could have scored at least 2,500 more points. Shaq, you owe my Lakers at least 2 more titles and I say they should have waited at least 10 years to retire your jersey. AM I THE ONLY ONE THAT KNOWS YOU WERE A F***ING CELTIC!!! Ugh!!! Let me move on before I get madder.) Garnett wasn’t good enough to build around and had to go to Boston to win a ring and he may even be traded again after this season.
The Debate can go on for years. Kobe or Duncan?
I’m the world’s biggest Kobe fan, but I have to admit that there were a lot of years Kobe wasn’t the best teammate and/or, by all accounts anyway, the best person to be around. Trade talk not withstanding, Kobe had his troubles off the court (Lakers fans seem to forget about Colorado.) and was so un-coachable at one point in his career that Phil Jackson said "Screw it! I'm out!" (Do you think Phil Jackson ever thought about NOT coaching Michael Jordan during his prime?! How bad of a person was Kobe to have a coach give up on him during his prime?!) Only one player was good enough to truly build around. (As in, other players would have killed to play with him. And if they couldn't kill to play with him, they'd take less money to play with him.) Only one player NEVER, EVER, EVER had his team think, even for a millisecond, of trading him. Only one player has won 70% of his games. Only one player has won at least 50 games  every year. (Strike shorten season of 1999 not withstanding.) That player is Tim Duncan.  Even his nickname is boring. The Big Fundamental?

We, basketball and sports fans in general really, have romanced over the “flashy” athlete. Over the ESPN SportsCenter highlight warriors like T-Mac (Who looks like he’s going to ride Duncan’s coattail to his first title. Feel free to run outside and scream at the thought of that like I just did.) and Vince Carter. But we get mad when a guy complains about not making enough money. We think it’s the end of the world when a guy beats his wife or girlfriend. We can’t stop “killing” a guy when he has a “me” first attitude or when a superstar throws his teammates under the bus. We "say" we just want our athletes to play hard, always give a crap, make their teammates better, get better when it counts and not be a complete tool off the court. 

For years now Tim Duncan has done all that and MORE but what does he get? He gets called “boring”. Funny huh? Duncan does it right all the time and yet we don’t give him the props. We can "say" we like all that "good guy" stuff but we secretly like watching the car wreck. We love when a guy is a d-bag. We can't get enough of it when a guy gets the talking heads on sports radio or First Take and PTI going. Tim Duncan is like a mini van doing the speed limit, where as Kobe’s like a Ferrari doing 95 in a 55 zone. It’s just more fun watching the Ferrari, even if it’s gone off the road a time or two and could possibly kill us. In a week or so, Duncan has a chance to win his 5th NBA title (Tied with Kobe and Derek Fisher for the most by an active player.) and his 4th Finals MVP, some 13 years apart from this first Finals MVP. A feat only Kareem can lay claim to. 
Duncan and Shaq in one of their epic battles.

Sure, Duncan did have some good luck on his side. He’s had the same coach, a steady organization and a string of good teammates throughout the years. But that’s like early man beating his chest about all the great things they accomplished. It all starts with the sun homie. Tim Duncan gives life to the Spurs the same way the sun gives life to the planet and everything else falls in line. You can’t have ANYTHING WITHOUT THE SUN. (Extreme example I know, but I couldn’t think of anything else damnit so sue me.)

This very well could happen again.
As a Laker fan, I know all too well of the heartbreak Tim Duncan and the Spurs can bring. Duncan has at least two LA championships and the Spurs were the “harbingers of doom” again this season for the Lakers. (A four game sweep in round one of the playoffs.) So I’m sure when I post this, only a few people will read it because after all, it is Tim Duncan I’m talking about. I mean, who wants to read about Tim Duncan?  But when I look back on these last 15 years of basketball and I’m really honest with myself, there’s one player I’d start a team with. God love him,and he’s my favorite player ever, but it ain’t Kobe Bryant.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

I May Be Wrong, But I Doubt It! (Episode 8)

The Heat celebrate after LeBron James' game winning layup.

After an epic Game One victory by the Miami Heat over the Indiana Pacers, you know I gotta get at my brother Zeph. (Come on guys I had to, it's my one moment so far!) We talk about the greatest of the game, the greatest of LeBron (Or at least I do.) and what both teams need to do in order to come away with a win in Game Two. Share, subscribe and ENJOY THE VIEW!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

I May Be Wrong, But I Doubt It! (Episode 7)

It's been a minute, but the podcast is back! With the Western Conference Finals heading to Game 3, my brother Zeph and I, breakdown the series between the Memphis Grizzles and San Antonio Spurs so far. (Which is playing out just like Zeph said it would...again...) We also talk about the upcoming Eastern Conference Finals matchup between the defending champion Miami Heat and the Indiana Pacers. Zeph gives us another epic Anti-Lebron rant and we both give you our series prediction. (I'm sure you guys know which way my brother is going.) Share, Subscribe and please feel free to join the debate by leaving us a comment below. Thanks for listening and as always ENJOY THE VIEW!


Monday, May 13, 2013

Sins of a Father

My Daughter and I.
Dear Aaliyah,

Right now you’re not old enough to understand this because you’re only 8 years old, so it’s going to be a long time before these words have any real impact on your life. But that’s okay. I’ve been wondering what to write for days now. Wondering what I should say. What I shouldn’t say. It would be easy to say your mother’s wrong and paint her as the "bad guy", but it’s partly me too. I’m the bad guy.

I would let your mother and your stepfather dictate when, where and how I saw you.  I’d just say a prayer; close my eyes and rest well at night thinking you were probably fine. The old “No news is good news” approach. Selfishly, to guard my own heart I’ll admit, I just turned a blind eye to some of the things going on in your life, because your mother wielded my love for you against me like a deadly weapon. Rather than enduring, facing the pain and fighting for you, I just became numb to it all. I would call and call, but for whatever reason I couldn’t get through. I'd send gifts and money but for whatever reason, you didn't receive them. So after several birthday cards and Christmas cards were "returned to sender" I just stopped. I stopped calling, stop sending things and I halfway stopped caring. There were so many nights when I would beg God to help me get over the love I had for you. Anything had to be better than having you, knowing you and not getting to see you or talk to you.

Aaliyah and Dominic
I mean things worked out so well with your brother Dominic’s mother, as far as getting to see him and talk to him that is, I thought if I just gave all the love I had for you to him, it’d be a reasonable substitute for not being there. Hell, most people didn’t even know I had a daughter. I’d never mention you, or talk about you, or bring you up in passing, because it was easier to pretend. To pretend you weren’t there because anything was better than the daily pain of worrying about you. How were you doing? Were you safe? Were you happy? Not anymore though.

I never thought this day would come. That this moment would be real. It’s been like a beautiful dream and I’m so afraid it will end. For over a week now, when you’ve laid your head down to rest at night, I’ve been there. I’ve just watched you sleep and looked on in amazement. Before this week, I hadn’t seen you in over four years. In that time you’ve grown so much. You’re so smart, so beautiful. You’re an amazing little girl and I’m proud to call you my daughter. Proud to call you my first-born child.

Now I don’t know what the future holds, because as of today where you’ll ultimately live is still in the air as there are still some legal issues that must be ironed out. Your mother loves you very much, but she has things that she needs to work on and I know if no one else is,  I’m rooting for her like crazy to get her life back in order, but I don’t think she’s the best option anymore. She’s done an amazing job, given the circumstances, because there’s no way you’d be so wonderful and so intelligent if she didn’t do something right, so I owe her for that much. If you ever want to know the truth about what really happened, Dad’s here and I’ll answer any questions you have. All I know is you’re here now because a judge asked you where you wanted to go and you said here with me. With Dad. I asked you again today and you said, as long as you can visit your mom, you want to stay with me. You want to live with me from now on. You're almost 9, so I feel like you can make a decision like this. If you were Dominic’s age, I’d never ask you anything like this, because you could be influenced to say what I want, but your not a baby anymore. If you’re old enough for a judge to think you can make a choice about where you want to go, then you can tell me what you want too.

How can you not love that face?
Your mother is a little upset with me about it and I completely understand. Because again, I know she loves and misses you very much, but I feel like she should want what I want. Which is, “What does Aaliyah want?” For too long we, your mother and I, have only cared about our personal and trivial grievances with one another to really ask that question. The most important question, “What does Aaliyah want?” “What’s best for Aaliyah?” We’ve both acted like spoiled children and never really stop to think about what’s best for you but never again.

Everyday I wish that you could un-see the things you saw, but you can’t. I wish I could change the past but I can’t. All I can do is change the future right here and right now. Over the next few months, Dad’s in for a long battle to see who gets to tuck you in every night and never before has that mattered so much to me. Never before has seeing you everyday meant the world like it does now. I promise that no matter what happens, whether you are here with me or there with her, know that Dad did all he could and that I’ll never, ever leave you in the hands of anyone that I don’t trust. That I’ll always be there and that I’ll venture to hell and fight Satan himself to insure these three things: That you’re happy, that you’re safe and that you’re loved. Honestly, I don’t quite know how I’m going to do it all, but I KNOW it is going to workout. Dad has tons of friends and family that never gave up on him and never gave up on you. So there’s NO WAY I WILL FAIL!

As of today, May 12, 2013, these words mean nothing to you, but one day they will. One day, you’ll know that there was a time when Dad wasn’t there. When I wasn’t the father I should have been, but you’ll also know that one day it all changed. That one day, at the drop of a dime, Dad dropped it all to be with you. That when you needed me the most, I was really there for you. Like I should have always been.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

I May Be Wrong, But I Doubt It! (Episode 6)

I've been away but I'm back! I had a few personal things going on, good personal things, and I'll tell you about them soon. (I'm going to blog about it.) Anyway, the first round of the NBA Playoffs is over and round two is in full swing. My brother Zeph and I break it all down. Feel free to leave a comment below and as always, enjoy the view!