The NFL made two big splashes in the news in the past week. The first: settling with Colin Kaepernick over his collusion case. Kaepernick, after a career-derailing struggle, triumphed victoriously over the corporate monolith. Or, alternatively, Kap capitulated and let the rich owners buy him out. One such owner made the second splash: Pats owner…
I honestly don’t get it. My life as a Knicks fan has been a tumult of shattered-hope sadness. There is a special kind of despair that results from getting the same misguided dream ripped to shreds every year. The Dolan Era of Knicks basketball is an arsenic-poisoned abyss. Stay away, for your own safety. This trade makes me irate — I hate it with a fury I don’t like to give to sports teams I’m not a part of. It just doesn’t make sense.
Spurs coach Gregg Popovich made waves recently when he dropped the “bombshell” news that former player Kawhi Leonard, the star who sat out a whole season with a suspect injury and refused to communicate with his team, was not a leader. In response, Kawhi got angry and claimed he was a leader. That makes sense. He’s a star player looking to get a supermax salary; he’s not gonna say he isn’t a leader. I don’t know what Kawhi thinks or how he conducts himself in his team’s locker room. His relatively quiet demeanor gives us a cool case study into what it takes to be a good leader.
Melo was destined to be one of the greats. Armed with a knife of a jab step, a buttery jumpshot, and two first names (think: Michael and Jordan, Kobe and Bryant, LeBron and James) Melo could score like few other players in the history of the game. In what was probably his most successful year individually, 2012-2013, he hung a cool 50 on LeBron James’ Heat, nearly exclusively scoring on jumpshots. That game finds me as his crowning achievement. He shot the shots he wanted, and he was so good it didn’t matter that they were all well-defended. He was a master artist who came of age a little too late, like a ragtime drummer born just at the tail-end of jazz’s heyday. I can’t say I’m an unabashed Melo fan. I’ve long criticized him, including getting into a fight with my high school point guard about how Paul George was better because he played defense. I eventually conceded my point out of deference to the Knicks, but deep down I still thought I’d rather have PG. Blemishes will stain Melo’s career when it’s all said and done, which is increasingly appearing to be closer to fruition than I expected. And that’s okay. It’s what he deserves.
“Let’s make a Black baseball team.” William C. Rhoden, author of Forty Million Dollar Slaves, shared that idea, speaking on behalf of former MLB manager Jerry Manuel. It would reinvigorate interest in the game from Black players, he said. It would make baseball more exciting. Most importantly, it would connect the game to Black culture and bring along more all-time greats like Hank Aaron, like Willie Mays. It’s a fun idea.
“You must really like the Suns,” my friend suggested, pointing to my purple T-shirt emblazoned with “PHOENIX BASKETBALL” across the chest. It was an innocent mistake; one people make all the time when I wear my Diana Taurasi Phoenix Mercury shirt. The orange spherical logo is placed aside, so that the big letters are all you see unless you look closely. I cherish that shirt. Later in the day I hooped on the Wilbur courts, doing my best to warmly welcome frosh with an L. The shirt feels like it belongs in a pickup game.
Trump’s groundbreaking meeting with North Korea was canceled because “hostile” behavior on their part. Trump explained that this missed opportunity “is a tremendous setback for North Korea.” In related news, the NFL announced their new national anthem policy which, believe it or not, they claim to have thought about carefully. They have decided that players are not allowed to express themselves or their views in any way that does not include standing for the entire national anthem. (They do get the choice to wait in the tunnel off the field.) This new policy is a disgrace to the NFL for a number of reasons, some of which I’ll discuss here.
Not like this. Not like this. This wasn’t how it was supposed to happen. Sure, I thought they might not win the Finals. I knew, deep down, that this team was fatally flawed in a way Golden State would be able to exploit. But I was so sure it would take the Warriors. I was so determined that they’d at least make the conference finals. Instead, they lost to the Jazz. Not like this.