KD is Alright

And Taishi Ito is more than alright.

We never really know the athletes, actors, and other public figure’s whose work we enjoy. With that caveat, I liked early Kevin Durant, the one who talked lovingly about his mom when he was named the NBA’s Most Valuable Player in 2014.

Since then, he has gotten incredibly prickly, or maybe surly is the better word. Sensitive to criticism, the more he received, the more surly he became.

And then I read this Ryan Hockensmith piece, “The year (and friendship) that changed Kevin Durant forever” and I’m back to giving KD the benefit of the doubt. I’m sure that news will make his day.

Friendship first.

Dane Ferwey FTW

Half-marathon runner hands his winner’s medal to a rival because of a routing mistake.

“I told him, ‘Not to worry, mate, I saw the bike take you the wrong way. And after doing the maths and calculating how much time you lost because of the mistake, it was clear to me that you would have hung on and won had this not happened.'”

The Mail Online gets seriously carried away with their retelling of the story, “. . . shocking mistake, drama afterwards, stunning gesture.” Maybe they could’ve shortened it to “Ferwey is a good dude.” On the other hand, I am “chuffed” whenever “chuffed” is used.

And in Sports

  • Lamar Jackson, Ravens QB, was widely criticized for negotiating his own contract without an agent. He just signed for $260m for 5 years making him the highest QB for now. Agents get something like 5%, so Jackson has a $13m bucket for quarterly estimated taxes.
  • A friend asked why 15 University of Colorado players entered the transfer portal on the same day. Because the student-athletes discovered academic programs more to their liking at other institutions of higher learning. It is no longer college football, it’s semi-pro football.
  • In the London Marathon, it took Kelvin Kiptum 27:50 to run from the 30k mark to the 40k.
  • If I had one player to pick to start a team for these NBA playoffs, it would be Steph Curry. Everyone overlooks his uncanny ability to get to the rim. It’s really not fair that he’s also a scratch golfer.
  • Giannis’s presser has gone viral. The critics are wrong. It’s a wonderfully heartfelt, fiery, but respectful response. Major props to the Greek Freak. Subtlety and nuance is lost on the critics. There’s a difference between disappointment and failure.
  • My NBA theory. Total bench scoring is the single most important stat. Every team has similarly talented starters who usually cancel each other out. Hey ChatGPT, what percentage of games do teams win when their bench players outscore their opponents’ bench players? My guess, 85%.
  • Best baseball story of the young season, Drew Maggi. When you look up resolve in the dictionary, you see his face. Second best story, the $75m Pirates kicking ass.
  • Some people are spreading a weird rumor that Seattle has a hockey team. And they aren’t stopping there. They’re saying they’re in the playoffs.

Sifan Hassan Is Fine The Way She Is

If you’re ever in a race with Hassan, you better damn well drop her before the final 400 meters. Or you’re toast.

120 mile training weeks in the lead up during Ramadan, meaning no water or food during daylight, is inconceivable.

Her first marathon after dominating on the track. Afterwards, she was asked if she’s the best ever. She said, “No.” The followup, “What do you need to do to be considered the greatest of all time?” Hassan paused, and said, “I don’t need to be the greatest ever, I’m fine the way I am.”

Fireworks on the men’s side too. Kipchoge has a peer. Kelvin Kiptum ran the second half in 59:45 to finish in 2:01:35, 16 seconds off Kipchoge’s world record.

March Madness

Watching the tournament in real time feels like watching one long commercial with intermittent basketball breaks. I have to mute the sound. And the officiating video replays aren’t quite as bad as football and pro basketball, but they’re still bad. One time in the first round the broadcaster said, “And this official replay is sponsored by X.” I can’t remember the company because I was going into epileptic shock. The sports watching apocalypse is upon us.

I have one regret. Larry, my college roommate extraordinaire, has a hundy on the Bruins to win it all. I wish I did too. When that happens, he’ll collect $1,900. Wonder if he’ll claim his $1,800 on his taxes?

At least I’ll get another t-shirt as a result of the great East-West battle royale. Probably. Richie had Virginia, Duke, and Miami. I had Arizona, UCLA, and St. Mary’s. I told Richie, despite all the weightlifting I’ve been doing, I’m still a medium. Go figure.

Zag Nation and everyone else still standing, prepare yourselves. The UCLA Bruins are cutting down the nets. And it’s gonna be oh so sweet.