As an NBA fan, I can’t help but have my favorites and least favorites. Besides being a dope name for a blog, Dancing with Noah is about expression, about the individual, about finding yourself and being comfortable in what you find. I wish I could say that was the case with me more often than it actually is, but as it stands, my partial self-discovery makes me honor and celebrate the individual even more intensely. But to take that idea even further, I celebrate the authentic individual even more if the journey is painful (isn’t it always?). That whole martyr yourself for yourself thing that’s not really a thing. But to make all this shit more relevant to this basketball world: I hope to god JR Smith blows up. I hope Earl Clark becomes a better Tim Thomas. I can still remember all the Eddy Curry scouting reports about how his gymnast background made him a light-footed, unstoppable giant…still waiting. I’ve mostly given up on Anthony Randolph, but that game when he goes for 18pts, 13rebs and 7 blocks, a small part of me will flicker…it’s the same part of me that wants to believe in ghosts and the supernatural…but that flicker of hope will be suffocated by the latex-gloved sterile hands of logic. And please don’t allow me to run alone through thickets of my imagination with Terrence Williams. Otherwise, I’ll be referencing D-League triple doubles, bad breaks, worse coaches and mini-Lebrons.
But on the eve of war, this is what I got:
LeBron James to Damion James,
Kobe Bryant to Koby Karl,
Travis Best to David, Delonte and Jerry West,
To the Griffins, here and gone … Blake, Adrian and Eddie
Drink to Kings and Sonics, Braves and Thunder, Vancouver and Memphis,
Lab geek rats and playgrounds,
Plus/minus, double rims, chain nets,
Crossover commonalities of Jay-Z and Tim Hardaway,
Learning the hard way,
Eddy Curry’s waistline to the baseline,
Mount Harden sitting on an ever-growing tangle of black forest,
Bynum’s knees channeling Bill Walton’s feet, Rose’s and Rubio’s ligaments, Eric Gordon’s fragility, breaking Bogut, culture-shocked Euros,
Bounce bounce bounce, we’re bouncing…
Playground to gymnasium to arena, stadium, center, garden, and Palace—aren’t we so royal?
When Ernie Johnson mentions your name on a Thursday night for the first time, you’ve made it,
Studios, columns, blogs, Twitters, predictions, swagger, anything’s possible, but only a few things will actually happen.
This is a Malcolm Gladwell explanation, it’s hard work, talent, discipline, sweat, soul, life, Sonny Vaccaro, William Wesley and your AAU coach, it’s a Michael Jordan poster and your first pair of Jordans (blue IVs for me), it’s all a dream like Biggie said,
A brotherhood (Grants, Lopez’s, Jones’s), fatherhood (Rivers’s, Karls, Currys, Thompsons), and parenthood (Shawn Kemp and Calvin Murphy)
Death too soon … (Reggie Lewis, Bias, Drazen, Duckworth, Pistol, Eddie Griffin, Bobby Phills, Tractor Traylor and Chris Street),
Fraternal orders, culture crossing …
It’s the eve of purpose for the Heat, Lakers, Thunder, and Spurs.
It’s the eve of hope for the Celtics, Pacers, Clippers, Nuggets, and Nets.
And above all else … it’s OK to be hopeful in the face of guaranteed failure.
It’s the final opening evening for a few, the first opening night for a few more, another in a boring series of many for the unappreciative, the 15th for Vince Carter, the second for Kyrie Irving, will be watched from home, if at all by Allen Iverson and Michael Olowokandi and I’m sure there’s at least one dude who thinks the season’s already started.
Dust off the kicks, squeak the soles of those shoes on the finely polished floor for the first time all over again, fire up League Pass, get your beverage of choice and some snacks and settle in for disappointment, fulfillment and surprise … this is basketball, this is life.
Finally the election is over and I could really sit back and focus on your blog. Go Obama!!!! I can’t relate to basketball but certainly appreciate your way with words. Your words bring beauty to basketball!
Thanks for the kind words and thanks for reading!