End of an Era for the Heat… So Long DWade

A couple of months ago, I decided that I was going to watch Kobe Bryant’s last professional basketball game. That same night Golden State was vying for history as they searched for their 73rd win of the season. I love watching the Warriors play. They are just fun to watch. Still, I chose to watch Kobe play one last time. I don’t even like Kobe Bryant. I’ve never been a fan. And I’ve always disliked the Lakers (except when they were playing the Celtics… I HATE the Celtics). For whatever reason I chose to watch this historical game. Of course Kobe scored 60 points at age 52, or however old he is, but needed 95 shots to do so… He seemingly took EVERY SHOT in the second half for the Lakers. It must be noted that his teammates wanted it that way, so OK. I must admit as ridiculous as it seemed how often he put the ball up, at the end of the game he got red hot, and yes, singlehandedly brought the Lakers back to victory against a team that barely missed the playoffs (they were eliminated moments before the game). Those last 3 minutes were incredible, and for once I enjoyed watching him play.

As I mentioned I never liked Kobe. I’m not going to get into why now, because believe it or not, this blog is not about him.  More on that later. There was one thing that I did admire about the man. He stayed in one team for his entire career, and the night was special for the fans because every moment he gave, up until that 60th point, and his game clinching assist (yes he passed the ball at the END of the game!) were for those fans, and no one else. For whatever reason he stayed on this one team, remaining loyal to them throughout. Sure he threatened to leave on a couple of occasions.  But he never did. A Laker through and through, beginning to end.

That night, this one fact stuck wi me, and I did a little research. I needed to know how many players currently playing had stuck with their team for the entirety of their career, and to be fair each had to have played with this one team for a minimum of 10 years. Of course Kobe reached 20 years as a Laker. No other current player had played that long for one team. But as I sifted through all 30 teams, I had trouble finding players who met that criteria. In fact, during the 2015-16 season only 8 players did. EIGHT! In the entire league! That seemed crazy to me. What really got me was that 5 of those 8 played for a mere 2 of those teams. Who were the eight? Well, here they are:

Kobe with the Lakers; Nick Collison with the Thunder; Dirk Novitsky with the Mavericks; Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, and Manu Ginobli with the San Antonio Spurs;

The last two? Udonis Haslem and Dwyane Wade with the Miami Heat… My hometown Heat.

Does anyone see a pattern there? Loyalty seems to breed Champions. Kobe won 5 with the Lakers, the Spurs won 4 as a trio (Timmy won a 5th without the other two), Wade and Haslem won 3 together. Dirk won once, going to the finals twice. Even perpetual reserve Collison reached the NBA finals. Maybe it’s a coincidence, but I think not.  These guys stuck with their teams and they won.

As the year came to an end, I realized that the number would now be 7.  I honestly believed that all 7 of these guys would finish their careers with their respective teams.  They’d done so much for their teams and gained the love and admiration of their fan bases.  To many fans these guys were FAMILY for all intents and purposes. But then something changed this year. One of these guys decided to move on, and unfortunately, it was none other than our own Wade.

Wade had sacrificed plenty to be a champion, and to always help improve this team. Not once during his career was he the top paid player on the team, even though it can be argued that he was the Heat’s best player on at least 8 of those 13 years (excluding his rookie year, and the Lebron years… Some may also include year two when Shaq was still Shaq, one year before they won their first title). Some would argue he was the most important player on the team all 13 years, and they’d have a pretty good case to prove that. So it can be argued that maybe it was time that DWade finally got paid. Others may argue that being past his prime, he should simply be happy to get the 20 mil a year they were offering him for the next two years. I’m not here to argue either point.  I simply would have liked for him to end his career here, period. Now that won’t happen. And that saddens me, he could have been one of the last of a dying breed – the guy who started and finished his whole career with one team.

Now, the truth is he is going home to play for the team he grew up watching and rooting for as a child. This was the team he dreamed of playing for as he grew up.  So maybe he was just fulfilling a lifelong dream? And why not now, while he could still make a difference.  His best friends both play where they grew up.  Lebron is in Cleveland, close to where he was born and raised, and returned home to bring them a championship. And he made good on his promise. Carmelo is playing in New York City, where he was born and raised. Why shouldn’t DW get a chance to do the same? I don’t know if that’s his motivation, but if it was, can you blame him?

Well then, why don’t the other 6 guys go and play for their hometowns then? Why are they sticking it out? Let’s see, why don’t we. The Spurs trio were all born outside the Continental US. Ginobli is from Argentina, Parker is French, and Duncan is from the Vigin Islands.  No NBA teams there. Novitsky is German. No NBA teams in Germany. Collison is from Iowa. Might as well be Germany.  There are no PROFESSIONAL teams there.  Just a Field of Dreams. That leaves us with Kobe and Udonis.  Well, Kobe was also born in Germany, into a military family. So there you go! And UD? Well, he’s been playing for his hometown his entire career! That’s all he’s done! So these guys allegiance is strictly for their team. Home doesn’t give them that option. DWade had that option. And it is a viable one.

Just today, Ginobli resigned with the Spurs.  It really does appear that those 3 guys are going to finish their careers there.  And there are a couple of other guys on that team that may follow that rout. The San Antonio Spurs are just a special organization. They’ve been my second favorite team since right around the time Duncan got drafted to join the Admiral David Robinson (another lifer) to bring them their first title. Novitsky doesn’t appear to be going anywhere but who knows. As far as UD and Collison, I can’t see a reason why they wouldn’t just finish their careers where they are. Then again UD is a free agent. And his Captain just walked. Would he be willing to do the same? I really hope not. If there is one other guy that is all Heat, Heat lifer, as they say, it’s Haslem.

i honestly don’t think we’ve seen the last of Wade.  I’m hoping he’s satisfied with his two years in Chi-Town and returns to Miami to retire as a Heat, and do his own little farewell tour before his admiring fans.  Farewell tours are only done for players who were the heart of souls of their teams for years.  It wouldn’t happen in Chicago. It happened for Kobe in LA. In baseball we saw it happen with both Mariano Rivera and Derek Jeter th the Yankees, the only team they ever played for. It happened with Chipper Jones and his Braves. It happened with Ripken and Gwynn in the same year.  This year it’s happening with Big Papi, who didn’t always play for the Red Sox, but who remembers him in Minnesota? (I do, but that doesn’t count) He’s been the heart and soul of the Sox for over a decade.

Just as DWade was the heart and soul of the Heat for 13 years. Best of luck in Chicago.  But I really hope you find your way back here for one last hurrah, with the only team you’ve ever known until now.

 

 

Posted in Just thinking... | Comments Off on End of an Era for the Heat… So Long DWade

It’ll Do

Write another day

A haiku will surely do

Until tomorrow

Posted in slahoems | Comments Off on It’ll Do

Dark to Light

Life is not easy,  it’s no walk in the park

We sometimes hope things get better as we walk in the dark

No matter where we turn, we run into dead ends

And soon we lose hope because nothing makes sense

But it’s for that very reason that we should never quit

Never stop moving forward, we can show our true grit

Because for every one bad moment, there are four that are good

And from those we’ll gain happiness if we live as we should

We can sulk and be negative and get nothing done

Or we can live our whole lives with our focus on the Son

Though the shadows may engulf, we will still see the light

That the One has left for us to make it out of the night

Yes we will suffer, sometimes pains we can’t bear

But we can choose to grow stronger though sheer will and a prayer

So when life pushes you to the ground, and you feel you can’t stand

Pay attention to the Man who left his footprints on the sand

 

Posted in slahoems | Comments Off on Dark to Light

Another month gone by, another single post (Hopefully followed by a slew of posts!)

Yes, I’m writing this for the sole purpose of getting an entry in for the month of May. Truth is I wrote quite a bit over the last month, just not on here, as I was busy posting for 50 days on Facebook.  I was successful for a full 50, without fail.  Now I gotta challenge myself to do the same, just on this site.  If I can do it on Facebook, there is no reason why I couldn’t do it on here.  So, this the last day of May might just be the first of who knows how many consecutive days that I’ll be posting on this site.  3 years ago I started posting regularly.  It’s about time I start doing it again.

I have a feeling that my aim may be a little different than the last time.  I had to,stay positive back,then as I went through a dark time of my life. Things are a lot more positive now.  Life is good.  I’m happy and not bogged down with the situation I found myself in back then. But the world around me doesn’t seem so cheerful, and I must admit, it’s difficult smiling about so many of the things going on around us in this crazy world. So I think I’m going to start writing about some of these topics, and in the process, I’m going to try to put a positive spin on what’s going on in the world. We need rose color glasses, not to block out the bad, but to pull the good even out of the worst situations. I hope some of my posts can highlight the best coming out of the worst.  Let’s see. Hopefully this will be the beginning of a writing streak!

Posted in Just thinking... | Comments Off on Another month gone by, another single post (Hopefully followed by a slew of posts!)

Easter Challenge: the unforeseen consequences (good -n- bad)

I’m 2/3 of the way into my own little Easter Challenge. Of this who have been reading along, you know that I began this to,highlight those who are Christ’s light in my life in one form or another. For me, it was a way to reflect on the blessings in my life, with the obvious focus being the people who help make me a better person.  I also thought it would be a good opportunity to remind everybody that we are still in Easter. Most people think that Easter ends the day it begins, on Easter Sunday, and don’t realize that it is the longest of the “special” seasons of the year. Everybody knows that there are 40 days in lent and four weeks in Advent. I guess the whole waiting for the big day and the longing for it makes us aware of it.  But the seasons of Easter and Christmas, we always kinda reduce to a day. This little exercise hopefully kept us in Easter mode, and particularly helped me stay in the Easter spirit.

I felt I really needed this. Sometimes I feel closer to my God than others, and doing this helped me put a little time aside to think of what he’s done for me.  It’s forced me into prayer. Sometimes that’s what we need.  It definitely has helped.  But now that I’ve reached day 35, there are a few things that I realized I didn’t consider when I started this whole thing. Some are a pleasant surprise. Others, (one in particular) have me a bit stressed out.

When I started doing this little exercise, I figured I’d highlight some of the people in my life. One thing I wasn’t expecting was that some would turn around and highlight my presence in their lives in return. I’ll be honest, it’s nice to hear praise. But when one is not expecting it, it’s both heartwarming AND a bit uncomfortable at the same time.  You see, this exercise was not meant to be about me.  So although I love the responses, I really prefer the focus being on those whom I’ve chosen to write about.  I want everybody to realize that there are good people in this world and that somehow God has surrounded me with a great big batch of them. I, in turn, hoped that others would think of who is special in their lives and reflect upon that themselves. I honestly didn’t anticipate (though I do think I’m a pretty special guy) that they’d reciprocate right then and there.

A second thing I didn’t anticipate was how difficult it is to sift through the many people in my life. The first batch was obvious, and even still now, it has been pretty easy choosing who has been on the list.  A big family will ease that. But there comes a point where one has to start looking closer at those surrounding them, and figure out which ones have helped them grow more, consciously or subconsciously. Everyone comes into our lives for a reason, but who of those make a lasting indelible mark? Those are the ones I want to make sure are mentioned. And it’s going to get a little difficult in these last couple of weeks. And that leads me to my dilemma.

The one thing I truly DIDN’T consider was the people who don’t wind up on this list. I don’t want to leave anyone out. And there are people who truly have helped me become who I am today. And I’m wondering if there are any people who figure they belong here who won’t get singled out. If I’d have thought this through a little bit, I may not have started this list. There will definitely be people who may be thinking they deserve a spot here. And in some these cases I will have to agree. I just hope people understand that just because they didn’t make this self reflective list, doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate their presence in my life. I may have to “cheat” a little to incorporate some extra people. But even then, there will be people left out, maybe undeservedly so (kind of like the field of 68 in the NCAA basketball tournament). So, to all those that in two weeks time feel they deserved a shout out, know that, yes, you too have inspired me one way or the other. We don’t need a picture of us smiling on FB together. You still are special to me.

I hope, more than anything, that my posts have been a welcome respite to all the negativity on Facebook lately. It’s nice to open it up and not see the insults being thrown around left on right, mostly related to this political season in this election year. If nothing else, I hope it has put a smile on some faces. That’s really the whole purpose of this whole thing. Happy Easter everyone!

Posted in Just thinking... | Comments Off on Easter Challenge: the unforeseen consequences (good -n- bad)

Happy Easter

It’s been a while since I posted here, but not that long since I blogged. I actually did blog a couple of times, but not here because I ran into some technical difficulties with my page, and it was out of commission for almost a month. I want to thank my page’s “landlord”, Rob, for getting it back on track. There were a number of things I had intended on posting on here. Hopefully, I can get them in here soon enough.  For right now, I’m just working on getting back on track.

Today we celebrated Easter Sunday. It is a great time to share with all your loved ones and to remember the love of Christ that he shared with us through His Resurrection and His promise to us all that we may have eternal life. Now for the next 50 days we celebrate this hope that He gives us all that we will all celebrate with Him for all time.

Some observations I made through my day…

Today’s Easter Sunday Mass was your typical Easter mass. All those who go to mass weekly show up to mass only to stand the whole mass while hundreds of Catholics who haven’t been to mass since last Easter come and sit in their usual spot. On the one side, it is a bit annoying that we must race those who never show up to mass to find a place to sit. On the other hand, though, we must celebrate that they came, and pray that hopefully their appearance today may spark something in them and they will respond to a call to return weekly. If only every church was this full every week! Imagine how strong and alive our parish, and all parishes would be. Our Catholic faith would be thriving, and hopefully more people would realize how rich and wonderful our faith and the traditions of our Churcg really are! So, to all who showed up today, please come back! We’d love to have you! WEEKLY!

After Church, I was on my way to my girlfriend’s house and I saw one of the saddest things I’ve seen in a long time. There was a man walking among the cars that upon first sight, appeared to be begging for food or money.  When he came into clear view, it was something else that I and my sons witnessed. He was walking between the cars, wagging both his middle fingers in the air at all those stopped at the light. And he was mouthing to each car to F-off. Then, middle finger still extended he signed himself with the cross and kind of gestured upward. How do you react to that? I pointed him out to my boys, kind of without thinking. All I could think was, ‘what a sad sight on such a significant day’. I pray for him now, and ask anyone who reads this to do the same.  Who knows what pain he is going through that prompted this reaction.

Easter is really all about family, and celebrating all that bring life into our existence.  I was very happy to be able to spend part of my day with my children, my parents, my siblings, my nephews and nieces, my girlfriend, and her family, and some of my friends at different parts of the day. God blessed me with many special people. I’m glad that I realize this more than on special days like today. Life is indeed special. Easter is about new beginnings. I pray that this brings new, more meaningful life to all my relationships, particularly with those who affect my life, and whose lives I affect on a daily basis.

Today, I also start a new venture. For the 50 days of Easter, I plan on posting one special person each day that brings life to me. I hope I can stay on task.  This has two purposes. It forces me to look and see who is special and important in my life. It also will hopefully get me accustomed to writing at least a little on a daily basis. Let’s see how long I can keep this up!

Happy Easter everyone!

Posted in Just thinking... | Comments Off on Happy Easter

MY HOUSE. I’ll Do As I Please…

Work with me here. Let’s assume I own a house.  It’s paid off completely. I owe nothing on it.  I need to take care of it of course.  Pay to maintain it. Clean it. But it’s MY house. I have total control of all I’m going to do inside this house. MY HOUSE.

I have everything in my house that I need to live, and everything in there to make me happy and comfortable, all to my taste.  Because everything in my house is mine, I can do with it as I please. If one day I decide there’s something I don’t like in my house, I can trash it.  In fact, if there is something I really don’t want I can take an axe to it and destroy it, obliterating it into thousands of little pieces. I can smash it with a sledgehammer. I can light a little bonfire and burn whatever I no longer want, or shred any and all documents that I no longer need.  They are all mine. I can do with them as I please.  And no one can tell me differently because they are mine, and I’m doing all of this in MY HOUSE.  I can do with them as I please in MY HOUSE.

Now let’s say I have a child in my house.  Now the rules change, don’t they. If the child is mine and lives in my house, I cannot harm that child, much less kill that child, even though he is mine and lives in MY HOUSE.  Suddenly I cannot do whatever I want in MY HOUSE. You see that child has rights too, even though he is dwelling in something that does not belong to him.

Let’s go a step further.  Someone brings their child to my house and leaves him there. I have no right to harm that child, much less kill him, even though he is in my house.  In fact I cannot even choose to expel the child unless I can put him in the hands of someone who can take care of him, or I would be held liable.  All this even though this child was not mine, but in MY HOUSE.  I don’t want him, but I can’t get rid of him.

Now, I’m going to get a little ludicrous, but it will still make my point. Someone breaks into my house, and decides to do it with child in tow.  They forcefully get in, steal some stuff and destroy other stuff, and somehow wind up leaving the child behind in my house. Here I have a truly unwanted child in my house, yet I cannot harm this child.  He has a right to live and to be nourished and taken care of, even though he was forcefully left there and abandoned.  All in MY HOUSE. If I were to choose to hurt or abandon the child, I would be help liable, even though he is not mine.  It would be my responsibility to find someone, or some agency, or something to,take him in and provide for his safety and well being.  I do not have the choice to destroy him.  It would be inhumane.

Let’s go even another step further! I have a DOG in my house.  I choose to no longer have that dog.  I do not have the right to kill that dog for no good reason. If I were to kill that dog, I would have animal activists after me, and I would be considered cruel for mistreating a living being.  Even though he was living in MY HOUSE.  Wasn’t Michael Vick having dog fights in HIS HOUSE? He went to jail for that, didn’t he? And it was in HIS HOUSE.  It belonged to him, as did some of the dogs he was using for these fights.  They were HIS.  Doesn’t he have a right to do with his things as he pleased? Nope. Because these were living things that he was destroying within HIS POSSESSION.

So, just because something belongs to you, you can’t do what you please if it affects a living being.  The argument, “but it’s mine to do with as I please,” no longer carries any weight.

This is why I can’t buy the “It’s my body, I can do with it as I please argument.” You want tattoos covering every last inch of your body? Knock yourself out. You want to,pierce holes in every fathomable spot? Be my guest? You want to amputate parts of your body for no good reason? I’m not sure that’s legal, but I will not be the one to talk you out of it if you’re that sick in the head. But tell me that a woman has the right to remove a living being from inside her body, and I’m sorry but I have to draw the line there.  YOUR BODY? Yes. But what’s within your body is not yours to choose to destroy, just as a child in YOUR HOUSE cannot be destroyed.  There are limits to what one can do with what is theirs, especially if that something holds within it something, or rather SOMEONE that is alive.  And this is by no means diminishing the rights of the woman holding the child in her womb. She still has every right that every man has.  Meaning man and woman have equal rights here, as they should. What we are doing here is protecting the right of a living being who also has rights. It is not a woman’s right to destroy a life within her because it is HER BODY, just like I can’t destroy a living being inside MY HOUSE. In both cases ownership gives a right to do what one pleases until it infringes on the right of another.

I will listen to arguments about almost any controversial topic and see both sides, and even when I disagree, I will respect the opinions of the other because of a potentially valid viewpoint that is just not my own.  I cannot accept the argument, though, that terminating a life in the womb is justifiable under any circumstance. MY BODY? Not good enough.

Posted in Just thinking... | Comments Off on MY HOUSE. I’ll Do As I Please…

Wordless Message

There’s so many things to say

But the words get in the way

So I’ll let my actions speak

The message I hope you seek

If they’re not sufficiently loud

I’ll step out of this large crowd

And I’ll convey to you one on one

My message. Then I’ll be done

And if the message is not exciting

Then I’ll put it down in writing

The words would regain their power

And I’ll have lost a precious hour

So pay attention if you please

And you’ll understand this all with ease

Because in silence I will convey

Every word I plan to say


 

Posted in slahoems | Comments Off on Wordless Message

Hello 2016! I Resolve Nothing This Year

After a frustrating year post wise, I have decided not to resolve anything when it comes to writing. I had chosen last year to try to post 10 times a month as I had done for a number of consecutive months, and instead I wound up posting 10 times over the last 7 or 8 months combined. And most of the time it had to do with the fact I wasn’t posting… As I am doing right now! Now we have a new year upon us and though I resolve nothing, I will INTEND to start writing more often. It helps me collect my thoughts and organize them. I have to admit there were three things that dragged me away from writing (and for that matter, running). Facebook, TV, and in the end, (I’m embarrassed to say this) Candy Crush! Well, I’m over my candy crush phase. And though I have a TV in my room now, which I haven’t had in years, I think I’ll be able to curtail the TV. It’s the damn Facebook that has me. The worst part, is that it’s not even enjoyable anymore with all the posts by people insulting each other for having differing opinions. Whatever happened to conversation? Whatever happened to exchanging ideas? This can’t be done any more and it really sickens me. I think I go on every day just HOPING that people will ease up and just once say, “You know I disagree with you, but I see where you’re coming from… and this does not make me an idiot, bigot, racist, or hater… I simply disagree with you. Period. ” But we all know that’s never going to happen, so I will choose not to hold my breath.

So instead of me waiting for something miraculous to happen, I am planning to spend a lot of my Facebook time here, blogging. If I take just half the time I’ve been on FB to blog, I would easily have 200 posts a year. Yes, it’s been that bad.

So to everyone out there, have an awesome 2016. I plan to do so, and in the process I will hopefully release some of my vices! Here’s to another new beginning!

Posted in Just thinking... | Comments Off on Hello 2016! I Resolve Nothing This Year

Hear, Here! To Another New Year!!!

Another year has come and gone. Many great and wonderful things came to pass. Other events were maybe not so memorable. But now a New Year is upon us and we can only hope and pray for the best in 2016! God bless everyone in this upcoming year! May God bless us all!!!

Posted in Just thinking... | Comments Off on Hear, Here! To Another New Year!!!