By TERRY LYONS
It was a beautiful service. Radio City Music Hall, in all its glory.
“We’ve got to go back to the office, now sir. We’ve got some decisions to make.”
“Would you do me a favor? Would you ask the agents to seal the place for a minute?”
You’re a Son of a Bitch, you know that?
“He was taking his daughter to basketball practice with her coaches and teammates, and you hit them with a foggy day.
“What? Is that supposed to be funny? Is it supposed to mean something?
“You cannot conceive, nor can I, of the appalling strangeness of the mercy of God,” says Graham Greene.
“I know who’s ass he was kissing there, because, I think you’re just vindictive.
What was Ray Amati? A warning shot?
That was my guy – our guy, and his smile was the sun. Your son. What did I ever do to your son, but praise his Glory and praise his Name? St. Ignatius to Trinity to St. John’s the whole way – 18 credits of Theology, and it was hard.
I saw Jerry West on TV, upset as I’ve ever seen him. You took his son. You know what Jerry West has done for this League? This Game? For Kobe? All Jerry West does is go around and fix franchises, help players. Like Kobe, a little kid from Italy and Philly.
“Gratias tibi ago, domine.”
“Yes, he made a mistake. We’ve all made mistakes. You made us human, remember? Have we displeased you – you feckless thug?
Nearly six Billion social media connections around the world, people picking up a ball and playing, laughing, enjoying our game, exercising out there with the fans from all the other nations – all as one. Wasn’t that enough? More than 40 million fans following the NBA on Facebook, another 30 million or more on Twitter. Steph Curry, himself, has some 47 million kids from every country on the Earth following him – just helping youngsters, who all love his game.
We got the kids from Serbia and the kids from Croatia, Bosnia and Montenegro all playing together in a Basketball w/o Borders camp. We taught people about living with HIV and David and Magic saved countless lives to teach the importance of safe sex and the AIDS virus you tossed at us in the ’80s, you creep. Did the same thing when we started Basketball w/o Borders in China.
In CHINA. Yao Ming wiped the tears from the eyes of some little girl, who for the first time could tell her story in public. She cried. We cried.
Stay in School, Don’t Foul Out, Hoops for Troops – we were trying to take care of the kids and the families, you know? It’s not about selling T-Shirts and Hats, it’s about getting kids off their asses and playing. Child obesity is a major issue in the USA and around the world. We were always trying to get kids – boys and girls – all playing our game. We started the WNBA, man.
And, personally, I raised two wonderful girls into amazing young women. Put every second of time into their education. That’s not enough to get me out of the dog house, so you take my main man, David. Why? He was just getting going with helping us, a few new companies, tech start-ups.
Morgan Wooten coached for 46 years at DeMatha. Yeah, I know, in ’96 you spared him with the kidney transplant from his son, Joe. He lived to a nice age of 88, but you took him from us, the basketball family, on January 21, just three weeks after David passed. The great DeMatha coach went 1,274 and 192, for Christ’s sake, at a Catholic school.
That’s petty good.
And, then you take Kobe. And his wonderful 13-year old daughter, and their friends, coaches and teammates, along with a talented pilot they all trusted.
“Haec credam a deo pio, a deo justo, a deo scito?
“Tuus in terra servus, nuntius fui; officium perfeci.
“Cruciatus in crucem,
“Eas in crucem.”
Editor’s Note: I wrote weeks ago, when NBA Commissioner David Stern fell ill of a brain hemorrhage, that I kept flashing back in time to the early ’80s and days gone by and memories of David, and of the NBA. I wrote of being in a Josh Lyman world, every damn time I turned around.
Denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance, huh?
Well, I’m pissed.
If you have NO IDEA what I’m writing about, that’s tough shit.
But, at the least I can do – I’ll give you a little insight. CLICK HERE.