Humor from on High

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Angels and Giants: Part 1

(Editor's Note: this post was originally posted here at Tuesday's With Torii)

Oh what a turmoil our local sports franchises have thrust upon us. And oh what a turmoil our carefully selected blog name is wreaking on my sports soul this weekend. Tuesdays With Torii was chosen with no small amount of brainstorming and mental gymnastics. It perfectly befit our sports and pop-culture leaning mentalities, as well as incorporated, at least in my eyes, the most magnanimous and engaging character on our favorite stick-and-ball club. If "Garnett" rhymed equally well when inserted into the title of a popular, cheesy, touching, yet slightly overrated novel, I may very well have pressed for a basketball-centric outlet. And these two giants of these two (fraternal, not identical) twin cities, and the manner in which they have now departed, are the subject of this post.

I loved loved love Kevin Garnett, and I'm not afraid to say it. As far as arbitrary lists involving sports "heroes" go, he is well up into the lofty heights on mine. The troposphere maybe. My connection with KG has a rich history, and is intertwined with my own personal basketball career in a way for which I will always be biased in his favor. Until I got old and my knees slowly turned into the consistency of a Jolly Rancher (green apple) left out in an acid rainstorm, basketball was by far the biggest sport in my life. The Wolves became our team, and their formative years were also mine. Drafting Garnett coincided with my entry into college, and the Wolves' transition to "adulthood" mirrored my own (those who maintain that I am one anyway). After college, I had the opportunity to be in two commercials with the Big Ticket for his (then) shoe company And 1 sports, and he did not disappoint in real life either. The upper part of my face and forehead debuted to critical acclaim during the All-Star game that year. As a basketball player, his skills perfectly befit my mental disposition for fandom -- intense, versatile, freakishly athletic, smooth. And the parts of his athletic personality fit too -- humble, loyal, extremely self-motivated. There is a lot there to respect. During the end of the last season and throughout this off-season the critics buzzed about one thing -- the time had come for KG to go elsewhere and the Wolves to start over. And this strange feeling came over me...acceptance. It felt right. And when the Celtics maneuvered to nab Ray Allen on draft night, I remember distinctly thinking that KG would go there. Now, I've never been a Boston Anything fan, the Sox least of all, but the Celtics a strong second (and the Bruins about 8th, even placing after Freddie Prinze's Cape Cod minor league baseball team in that movie where Jessica Bier is wet). But as soon as my all-time favorite basketball player became the third of a very Big 3, and with the Wolves impending sucktitude, I decided to adopt them. For 2 years. And a fan option on the third. I knew...KNEW...as soon as the three were assembled that they would perfectly compliment each other - and I truly wish I had documented this certainty for personal ego-stroking purposes....I knew before everyone else and all that. But that is minor, really. More importantly, so sue me, I like to watch fun things. Entertaining things. And I intuited almost immediately that this would be a fantastically fun team to watch exactly because of the way they would compliment each other -- a dominant frontcourt guy, a sniper, and a hyper-effective slasher. A hyper-competitive chest-beater leader-by-example, a cucumber-cool Jesus Shuttlesworth, and an existing team leader in need of someone(s) else to shoulder some Sisyphus duty. But maybe, just maybe, the reason I need to adopt the Celtics is also that me and the Wolves...well...we just need a nice long break from each other. I can watch them from a distance, you know, checking in from time to time. But me and McHale just have too much baggage to make this thing work right now. He messed up time and again (about 84 by my count) in trying to match complimenting players to my favorite 6'13" player, and worse, enabled his jackass buddy to save his own (jack)ass in the very fell swoop McHale could never accomplish in more than a decade's worth of trying.

Not that I'm bitter.

Stay tuned for Part 2...

(This post is mirroed at 6'2")