I know this is old. I know I’m late to post it. And I know this isn’t basketball.
Professional sports is out of control. Athletes are overpaid, overexposed, underdeveloped child stars. The games are essentially meaningless, and winning a championship is almost the exact opposite of “unique.” In fact, it’s mandatory. Titles are given out every…single…year.
But sports, and their teams, do give us all something to rally around. Sports bring us together. When Boston was attacked, Boston’s sports teams became as important as they had ever been before.
Their first game back after the Marathon tragedy, the Red Sox won no championship. They didn’t win a pennant, or even make the Playoffs. The game and it’s score were, as previously mentioned, effectively meaningless in the context of the sport and season. This game was, however, one of the biggest, and most important moments in their team’s storied history.
So, when it came time to speak to the people of Boston, to the beloved fans of the Boston Red Sox, during a truly sensitive and vulnerable time, who better than a good, ol’ fashioned American immigrant success story - David Ortiz?
What he said is above, and what’s important to remember is that sometimes it’s important to swear. Sometimes, there’s no better way to say it.
I tip my hat to you, David Ortiz. You are one fine American.
Blake Griffin needs to know if the story is true. Ever since he first heard it last July, he’s been obsessed with it.
“The first night we all got into Las Vegas last summer for the USA Basketball camp, I heard Kobe went on some 40-mile bike ride at night through the desert,” Griffin says. “Forty miles? At night? You think it’s true?”
Before I can answer, Griffin continues:
“When I found out about that bike ride, I was so tempted to ask him if I could go next time.”
This is my favorite part about Kobe: you assume this story is true. Forty miles in the desert? You don’t even question it.
…in this moment, all Griffin wants to talk about is whether or not Kobe Bryant really got on a bike and rode 40 miles through the desert last July.
“I love that stuff,” Griffin says. “I love all those stories.”
The story Griffin heard turns out to be true. And it goes something like this: Bryant told his longtime trainer, Tim Grover, that he wanted to add in bike training to his summer conditioning. Grover researched a trail in Las Vegas, rented three bikes — one for Bryant, one for himself and one for Bryant’s security guard — and on the night before the first day of practice, they each put on headlamps and headed out to the trail and rode.
“We finished up around 2 a.m.” Grover said. “And we were back in the gym working out by 7:30 in the morning.”
And that’s just it. To Blake Griffin, and most of the NBA, these are just stories.