Thursday, April 05, 2007
A Sad, Sad Day
Goodbye, my love.
You may not remember me. As a callow sportswriter in college, I was too busy getting drunk, high and laid to put any real effort into my columns. Instead of coming to watch you and a damn good little basketball team, I would take bong hits out of a three-footer and drink a sixer of Fat Tire washed down with some Goldschlager. Then I would proceed to mail-in a piece about Bobby Knight or the Broncos before having a heated NHL '96 battle with my roommate. It was college, and I was on my own for the first time.
I could've had total access to you. I could've ran with you at practice, given you a pasty, plodding 6'5" body to drive by and whip passes around. Then I could've written about it, and got even more people to come to the games.
But I didn't.
I wrote a column about one game, where you got ahead of Air Force 36-1. Remember how the crowd would stand until the opposing team scored? We stood for eight minutes. You took the opening tip and whipped a Magic-worthy pass to Katie Cronin for a layup. On and on you went, dribbling behind your back, zipping off no-look dimes, hitting runners, floaters, jumpers. To this day I don't know what's prettier - you or your game.
And now you're gone.
When I moved to New York, one of the first things I wanted to do was write a story about you. Maybe meet you at practice, play a fierce game of H-O-R-S-E, take a walk, get a pretzel. Spreading mustard on it and talking about the benefits of the box-and-one, our eyes would lock - you'd reach up and wipe a glob off the corner of my mouth - and it would be over. I don't know why, but I thought our alma mater, our love of hoops and dogs, and our small-town sensibilities would spark something deeper, something real. It wouldn't matter that I wasn't rich or famous or that you would make probably quadruple what I did (at least). What matters is that we would have finally been together.
You've been traded to San Antonio. Now when I find myself walking in front of Madison Square Garden - or anywhere else in the city, for that matter - that minuscule (really, really, really minuscule) hope of randomly bumping into you will be gone.
Just like you.
Farewell Becky Hammon, my sweet.
P.S. Watch out for that zone trap.