Larry Bird Can Trash Talk

[In my January 1, 2015 post, I christened this the “Year of Learning” here on the blog. Each post, I’ll aim to share something recently discovered (or re-discovered) in the hope that you might add my learning to your own discoveries and make double-moves forward and upward this year!]

Dominique Wilkins dunksI used to love watching Dominique Wilkens dunk a basketball. His explosive vertical and his wild windmills always made me think he was the best at that particular hoops skill. Wilkens recently sat down with CBS Sports to share a memory from his rookie season, from the first time he played against Larry Bird:

“One of the first times I ever played against him, I went out for the opening tip and I went to shake his hand. He just stood there and looked at me stone-faced with his hands behind his back,” Wilkins said recently.

“I was like, ‘Whoa.’ Then we were getting ready for the tip and he says to me, ‘You don’t belong in this league, Homes.’ I couldn’t believe it, but it happened so fast, I didn’t know what to think.

“Then they had the ball and I was on him and he said, ‘I don’t know why they got you guarding me, Homes. You can’t guard me.’ Then, whap, he hit a 3. Then he came down again and said, ‘They made a mistake putting you on me, Homes,’ and he took another 3.”

Getting into the story, Wilkins began to act things out with his facial expressions.

“So now I’m hot,” he said. “I’m hot. I mean, I’m steaming.

“Then a little while later, I came down on a break and he was backpedaling. I just went right after him. I jumped up and he tried to challenge, but I took that right through the rim. He fell and hit the basket support.

“He got up and said, ‘I like you, rookie. You’ve got(guts).’ I was happy for a second, and then he said, ‘But I’m still going for 40 on you tonight.’ ”

He then paused the story, stepped back and smiled.

“But I got him,” Wilkins said. “He only scored 39.”

Smile.

So today’s lesson: Don’t expect graciousness anytime soon if you’re asked to guard Larry Bird at local pick-up game. 🙂

 

 

 

Thursday Thanks (86-90)

fiveMy lack of posting recently would suggest that I’m an ungrateful ingrate. My post today, at the very least, is intended to show that I am not entirely so. Back on the gratitude horse!

Each week (I aim for Thursday), I’ll use this space to list five things (items, experiences, people, whatever) for which I’ve been recently grateful. Consider it my “blessings count”. Ann Voskamp’s famous challenge to list 1000 gifts seemed daunting — I’m committing to 500, a task which will take me well over two years to complete at my current rate!

1) Warmth
While I hear snow is headed our direction today, we are enjoying an unusually mild Fall. It is a true pleasure!

2) Costumes
For Halloween, our family had two Rapunzels and one Winnie the Pooh, possibly the three cutest trick-or-treaters I have seen.

3) Braces
Every week I join a mostly-younger crew of men for some basketball. Certain pieces of my body are falling apart, and I am grateful that other human beings have constructed clever devices to hold together the joints of this guy!

4) Help
Whether it is the small hands of my daughter helping me bag leaves or the grown-up hands of a crew cleaning up after a Fall Supper last night, it is a simple pleasure to tackle tasks with other people. Don’t underestimate the blessing of teamwork!

5) Chocolate Milk
Every so often, my sweet wife drops a special treat in the shopping cart. Has a finer drink been invented?

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Thursday Thanks (81-85)

fiveEach week (I aim for Thursday), I’ll use this space to list five things (items, experiences, people, whatever) for which I’ve been recently grateful. Consider it my “blessings count”. Ann Voskamp’s famous challenge to list 1000 gifts seemed daunting — I’m committing to 500, a task which will take me two years of weekly posts to complete!

As a child, I heard a story about a tortoise who won his race. I’m on that pace, trying to be equally persistent.

1) Travel
Last weekend afforded me the chance to be part of a conference in Toronto with a number of other pastors from around the nation. It is a real treat to see new places and take in new experiences.

2) Hugs
Our three little girls love to snuggle, and this Dad loves that they do!

3) Ribs
A recent meal with friends provided me with a menu that included BBQ ribs. And I needed little drive to place my order!

4) Basketball
Last night I played competitive basketball for the first time in nearly a decade. I was thrilled at how fun it was, sobered by how below-average I am, and alert to how many very sore muscles I had this morning.

5) Painting
Next week, I’ll spend part of day painting what will become a prayer room in our church. There is a special pleasure to the task of putting fresh colour on walls. Looking forward to it!

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Thursday Thanks (51-55)

fiveEach week (I aim for Thursday), I’ll use this space to list five things (items, experiences, people, whatever) for which I’ve been recently grateful. Consider it my “blessings count”. Ann Voskamp’s famous challenge to list 1000 gifts seemed daunting — I’m committing to 500, a task which will take me two years of weekly posts to complete!

Despite disruption to last week’s post, I was still grateful! Here, I’ll prove it to you…

1) Small Voices
Our two-year old loves to sing. Every night before bed, we read a book filled with the lyrics to “You are My Sunshine”. I lead and leave out words for her to fill — and some of those fills are the cutest sounds human ears have ever heard.

2) Thunder
Our city had a lot of rain this week, and even some thunder. Even some morning thunder! What is it about those sky-shaking acoustics? I don’t know exactly, but I love it.

3) Execution
Though that word may bring to mind the death penalty in Texas, this is actually a statement about basketball in Texas. In the NBA Finals, the San Antonio Spurs took a Miami Heat team loaded with talent and then destroyed them. If you wanted to see how basketball is supposed to be played, the clinic was aired on TV for the world to learn. It’s fun watching perfection!

4) Praying Friends
I sent a text to several friends last week, asking for specific prayers. Many responded quickly that they were on it. That makes me grateful.

5) Rockin’ Robin
Our five-year-old had her preschool concert this week. The whole program was about birds — trivia, jokes, poems. But no doubt, the highlight was a choreographed performance to Rockin’ Robin. My wife could hardly breathe, she was getting such delight from the show! And I was grateful for both a dancing daughter and a weeping wife. 🙂

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Thursday Thanks (31-35)

fiveEach week (I aim for Thursday), I’ll use this space to list five things (items, experiences, people, whatever) for which I’ve been recently grateful. Consider it my “blessings count”. Ann Voskamp’s famous challenge to list 1000 gifts seemed daunting — I’m committing to 500, a task which will take me two years of weekly posts to complete!

Sunday isn’t quite Thursday, but I don’t want to fall behind, so here goes!

1)  Words
I love that there are sounds that can embody thoughts, with slant and style and nuance. Written or spoken, language is certainly a love of mine. This is still somewhat shocking to a “math and science” guy in high school days!

2) Green
The park outside my office window has become very green very quickly. The rods and cones in my eyeballs are happy about this change.

3)  Sleeping Children
I love my three daughters all of the time, and their waking moments are certainly the most entertaining. But there really is something priceless about watching them sleep, hearing their breaths and brushing their cheeks and stroking their hair. The words mentioned in #1 above would be hard-pressed to capture the tenderness of such moments.

4)  Haircuts
My last haircut was a couple weeks ago, but I love that fleeting feeling when your hair is just the right length. It doesn’t last long, so enjoy it while you’ve got it!

5) Swish
The church where I work used to be a school building. Basketball nets still hang in our auditorium. Coffee breaks do nothing for me (I don’t drink that stuff), so when I need to get my blood pumping, 5 or 10 minutes of shooting hoops is my activity of choice. It amazes me that the sound and motion of a ball sailing through the mesh never gets old. I have loved that since I was a kid, and I’m sure I will until I’m bracing myself at the free throw line with a walker.

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Schooled by Uncle Drew

What happens when a bent, white-haired, old man gets called into action from the sidelines of an inner city basketball court?

He destroys them… if he’s Uncle Drew!