“Consistency is boring.”
I was ear hustling a convo at the airport and heard this in response to a statement regarding LeBron James’ career statistical steadiness on the eve of what looks to be his seventh consecutive NBA Finals appearance.
Similar things had been uttered about Floyd Mayweather, Tom Brady and the New England Patriots… even the San Antonio Spurs over the past almost twenty years.
There must be something to being “boring”.
But, on a planet enraptured with the movements of a family with little to no appreciable skill outside of drama and multiple cosmetic surgical procedures or a man so grossly unqualified for the office he holds, it might stand to reason that the opening adage might not be necessarily true for some.
My Father once told me:
Be Consistent In This Life, Son!
Whether Consistently Good Or Consistently Bad, Be Consistent!
Whether or not I had taken his words to heart, deeds and actions can be subject to interpretation; I’m still writing chapters.
What can’t be disputed is the depth and breadth of the man’s imprint on the fabric of my Life.
When I was eleven, my father abused me mercilessly on the court.
He pushed, prodded and provoked the worst in me, exclaiming it to be a necessary evil not only for the wars I’d face through basketball, but also in Life.
It didn’t matter.
I hated him for it at the time and all I could see was getting better so he could never beat me again… in anything!
That Fall and Winter, I played alone everyday; working on skills I’d learned battling bigger, stronger, smarter and better players.
Yet all I could see was Him.
Risking frostbite, shoveling snow off outdoor courts to practice at night in mittens and gloves by the light emanating from the headlights of his car, I worked in silence.
Tears damn near frozen to my face, I had but one goal…
The next Spring, I was ready… or so I thought.
As we headed to the court, my nerves and my ego waged an epic battle.
Game 1: 12-7.
“Oh… Someone’s Been Working On Their Game?”
Fouls, pushing, shit talking… Worse than they had ever come from my LifeGiver.
I remained silent; vigilant.
Game 2: 12-4.
Game 3: 12-2
Game 4: 0-0
“My Back Hurts. Let Me Stretch A Bit.”
My Father left the court that day, never to play me in one-on-one again and only once stepping on a court with me once after that, to play H-O-R-S-E in Germany and talk to me about my travels in Europe during my university summers.
My Dear Ol’ Dad (Bless The Dead) would have celebrated another birthday recently.
Celebration was not something I witnessed the man do in any outwardly visible fashion.
Maybe it was a circumstance of a time long gone with the “Strong, Silent” type of man…
Perhaps it just wasn’t his thing.
I can’t very well ask him now.
Whatever the case, much of how I see the world was shaped in early, everlasting lessons from the man.
Recalling another recent conversation where I was an active participant, there was an interesting supposition posited by one of the parties in the chat.
“If Vincent Lamar Carter Possessed The Valentine And Testicular Fortitude Of Michael Jeffrey Jordan Or Kobe Bean Bryant, We Are Talking About An All-Time Great.”
I said it.
Thinking about my interactions with Vince during his time in Toronto, this notion doesn’t seem all that far fetched to me.
As a now – 40 year old free agent who played well enough in Memphis to warrant more than a couple calls from a team on the cusp of some special things in need of a quality veteran leader who was a 39% 3PT shooter both in his time as a starter and key cog off the bench last season, I’ll throw something else out in the hoops atmosphere:
Bring Vince Carter Home, Toronto.
Yeah, the relationship ended acrimoniously amidst claims of Carter quitting on his team and duplicitous behavior, but somehow along the way the “crybaby” who many still decry for putting his university graduation before the franchise’s first-ever playoff Game 7 is also guilty of the following:
Masai Ujiri and the Raptors just lost their General Manager and lots of upheaval seems to be on the horizon for a squad that fell two games short of the NBA Finals in 2016.
In reshaping the roster to do more than compete at the top of the Eastern Conference, Vince’s free agent status is serendipitous with former GM Jeff Weltman departing for the Magic Kingdom and my desire to apply for the gig, even if only in this article.
Not only would I love to see Carter’s narrative end in a Raptor uniform, Prodigal Son returning to right the wrongs and close his Hall of Fame career in style and grace, but I would dive head first into my job as GM in this way:
2017-2018 Toronto Raptors, Coached By Jerry Stackhouse, Might Look Like This:
PG- Cory Joseph
SG- DeMar DeRozan
SF- Norman Powell
PF- Carmelo Anthony
C- Serge Ibaka
Vincent Lamar Carter
Anthony Leon Tucker, Jr.
Vince Carter is one of the NBA’s most unique athletes ever.
There may never another to have been voted the greatest dunker in the Association’s long existence, doing things like this:
But also sit in the Top 5 of all-time three-pointers made in the NBA, at least currently.
Coming full circle to help the Raptors achieve unprecedented heights in a highlight-filled career in front of a country of pro basketball fans that grew with him would be one hell of a swan song.
But… there is something else.
Bringing Vince back to Toronto would also give him a chance to redeem takin’ an L to one of his camp conveners in a game of Two Dribbles.
You guessed it.
His face told the tale that day after the game in a flick we took with one of the campers, my ManChild.
I got him 5-2 at the end of camp one day, not necessarily because I was better.
That would be patently false.
I was just ready for the moment.
My Daddy Tools.
I want My Dear Ol’ Dood (Bless The Dead) to know that I am thinking of him.
We had so much more to learn together, but not enough time…
So many opportunities to grow an even greater relationship…
I hope that somehow you can feel the impact of my efforts to help lead the family you were a huge part of starting.
I wish you could see the men and women your progeny have become and will be.
I wish you could enjoy seeing your grandchildren as evolving, unique and very special beings…
I wish you could be here to walk these steps together with my Queen Mother in the Autumn of her years…
My Love for you has been complicated at times, primarily by my youth and lack of understanding the world in which you lived…
My resentment no longer exists.
But know this:
My Love for you is also unyielding, unrelenting and undeniable.
These here are My Daddy Tools…
You are missed.
We’ll keep carrying the torch.
In Your Name,
Ride The Wave
Back in October the sky was the limit. LeBron had decided to move to LA and join the Lakers. Things were good then.
Back in October the sky was the limit. LeBron had decided to move to LA and join the Lakers, drawing in a decent support team and a lot of talk that the West was looking incredibly dominant next to a “weaker” East. Things were good then.
Five months later and things couldn’t be farther from that idylistic picture. The East thrived without the King and GMs put together some of the most noteworthy teams in a while. And the Lakers? The Lakers currently sit in the 11th spot of the Western Conference with very little hope of making it to the playoffs. They’re a team that is constantly attacked for their lack of chemistry, skill, and effort. For the first time in a long time, LA became synonymous with “hopeless”.
This wasn’t the future we saw for the King.
On the heels of a night filled with one of his greatest achievements ever, the Lakers as a team walked away with a loss to the Denver Nuggets. A night that began on a high note went out on one that was equivalent to sour candy. Furthermore, a frustrated team left an arena, hopped on social media, and found a bevy of congrats for their star player, while enduring the storm that came with another Lakers loss.
It seems that James’ stardom has reached a tipping point, one that makes him a GM one moment, the King of the league the next, and finally the biggest point of contention within the locker room. The most notable thing is that it is clearly wearing him down. Chris Martin let us know that “nobody one said it was easy”, but you’ve got to ask yourself, does it have to be so hard?
The answer is unfortunately, yes. It’s always going to be this way, and there is no fighting the current, but there is beauty in riding the wave. Embracing that moment when the wave comes crashing down on you is important, because it’s always going to happen, but your attitude will always be remembered. LeBron rides high, and keeps things in the positive light for the media, but he’s got to realize that they are writing his story, and he doesn’t have to play into their’s. Ride the wave, and take the loss in stride with all the great that has come with it, but take the loss because your part of a team that is.
The wave has crashed down, but the current will bring another.
Year 15 | A Mini Documentary
Year 15 of a legacy…
Something Out of Nothing
It’s March 2016, and I’m driving with Alan Shane Lewis to Montreal to meet with Marc Griffin and Phil Boileau. We’re meeting to speak about this exciting new idea I pitched to them. We were tired of spinning the wheels on our own individual internet shows, and I told them that it was time we stopped waiting for a network and became the network.
We spoke that weekend about creating a community of content creators that all loved ball and came together to make unique content with unique voices – voices we felt were never heard in the mainstream. This community was the base of Press and we’d continue to push forward from that spot. We spoke about some amazing show ideas, article ideas, social media plan. It was truly an exciting time, and still one of the best weekends of my life.
Two years later and that group is a lot smaller, and that idea is Press Basketball.
It caught fire at the beginning and we had people joining our bright shiny new plaything left, right, and center. It was exciting, but now I kind of realize that a lot of it was just that we were that “bright shiny new thing”.
We ended up with a lot of Press Basketball “members” but when I stepped back and looked at what was happening… it wasn’t what I’d imagined. The fire burned out. The idea was gone. We had just become another thing trying to stay alive, waiting for some deus ex machina to show up with money and make everything okay.
I’ve gone through most of my life making something out of nothing. It’s never easy, but when it happens it’s always worth it… ALWAYS. Press made me feel alive at a point. It was literally all I could think about, and while it still is on my mind, it doesn’t make me feel alive. This hurts more than I can ever explain.
Changes are coming my friends. We’re not laying down and dying, and if we do it’s not going to be like this.
The core of Press will be setting fire to a lot over the next few weeks and I personally can’t wait for this to start. From the ashes something new will rise (I watched a lot of XMEN growing up).
Stay tuned, because it’s not over.
Ride The Wave
Year 15 | A Mini Documentary
An Ode to the 2007-2008 Warriors
USA VS EVERYBODY | The Break | Episode 17
Trading Places | The Break | Episode 18
Christmas Day Showdowns | The Break | Episode 10
Western Conference Preview | The Break | Episode 1
Eastern Conference Preview | The Break | Episode 2
NBA & More Mailbag with Josh Howe — TWT 102
Memphis Grizzlies Season Preview with Keith Parish — TWT 101
Ride The Wave
Back in October the sky was the limit. LeBron had decided to move to LA and join the Lakers. Things...
Year 15 | A Mini Documentary
Year 15 of a legacy...
Something Out of Nothing
It’s March 2016, and I’m driving with Alan Shane Lewis to Montreal to meet with Marc Griffin and Phil Boileau....
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