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Is KG Quietly Gone?

He’s known for his mouth
“Anything is Possible”
Now Quiet Goodbye

He’s a catchphrase, but not a cliché. He’s the hard-working player who talks a lot on the court, but doesn’t really want to talk off it. He’s a ritual and a new ritual is coming. Knowing that, is he also gone?

He’s a bit of a contradiction. He’s a nice guy who curses regularly. He’s famous for talking, but really only in his circle. He verbally pushes teammates; he physically and verbally antagonizes opponents. He quietly brushes by fans.

He’s “Da Kid” and he’s done it for 20-plus years. He has earned league-wide respect. And when he talks about it all, he doesn’t talk about himself.

If you’re a fan waiting pre- or post-game, you see a different guy than on TV. You see the contradiction. He’s a quiet guy who looks down as he goes by. He’s his own man walking quietly by in a black suit covering a simple black t-shirt. That’s “The Franchise?”

Is he shy? You might think so. But it’s really more about being private. So he’s an all-star sports star who wants his business personal.

We all remember his public moments. I was there when he jumped on the table to celebrate a game 7 victory. It was a public display of a private man. I was watching when he was speechless, then preaching.

Now, I still watch him. I still ponder the contradiction of KG. And I watch him quietly walk into the locker room wondering if he will return.

 

Special KG Moments:


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Kobe and KG – The Career, The Endings

Work Leads to Wins, Rings
Hoisting the Trophy. Now time
for the next youngsters.

#KB20 is trending. You can buy shirts and hats with the logo celebrating his final season. KG21 shirts and jerseys are still available, celebrating his return to Minnesota.

Kobe and KG are two great players who are “starting” on young squads, but nursing decades of intensity-causing injuries. And I think both are retiring. It’s so strange how they are so similar, yet so different.

One of the strangest items in my sports collection is a reversible KG and Kobe jersey. It’s blue on one side and yellow on the other. When it came out, I was amazed. Two young high schoolers who had successfully “made it” in the NBA. Now many years later, I’m amazed how similar their careers actually have been.

Both players made an insane amount of money and both won titles (Kobe has 5, but KG has the honor of taking one from Kobe – which might’ve motivated him greatly afterwards).

Now both are the ‘face of the franchise’, but both can clearly see in their rear view mirror that ‘next’ is truly visible and imminent.

Kobe is playing games in-between rest for his shoulder. He’s embarking on a farewell tour and suddenly, the villain is being cheered as a hero. ESPN SportsCenter covers his goodbye moments nightly.

KG is out. He hasn’t played since January 23rd in a win over Memphis. Since then, he’s been quietly “inactive.” There’s  a great tribute song about his 2016 season by Timberwolves The Podcast at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fYW0qiEde_E. I hear that song today and feel blessed to have been there.

Now, it seems both are bowing out at the same time, though in very different ways. Both will have their numbers retired and that reversible jersey will have great significance for me. Did I see KG and Kobe’s last games in Minnesota in the same year? It’s strange, but possible.


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Keep the Family Together

We’re losing; change things! That’s the yell. “Stay the course” is the quiet reply.

Minimal change. Keep
the family together.
Shake it up later.

I don’t know the locker room, very few do. But I’m watching; I’m listening; I thinking.

It’s crazy for me to see the results in Minnesota and compare them to Los Angeles. The Wolves have the 4th worst record and are often playing teams tightly. They are young and fighting. The Lakers meanwhile have the 2nd worst record and have a tendency to be blown out. The announcers are not afraid to say the defense is lacking.

Both squads have a base of youth supported with aged vets. Both have a superstar on their way out. Both have fans yelling to fire the head coach.

But no one has been fired. I guess is both teams have an agenda: gain experience, create good habits, and win later.

Now we wait for later.


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Patience….

Whether it’s life, work, or sports, Tuesday is a great day to remember that you must keep driving, keep working until the week (or sports season) is over. The weekend / off-season seems too far away and a promotion / playoffs seem too far away.

The Patience Haiku:
Patience grasshopper.
The sun rises tomorrow.
Empires build slowly.
(originally written Wed, Mar 01, 2006 01:49 PM)

These thoughts resonate with me as the NBA’s second season start. As I plan to attend games, I will look at the small improvements each day and not worry about the glory.

I know the future is bright. The youth will learn now and hopefully by next season, some veteran help will join the kids and the playoffs won’t be so far away.

Until then, patience.


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Appreciate Kurt Warner Because of the Doughnut

A Hall of Fame career can be defined in many ways. Including a doughnut to me shows worthiness and does not invalidate a career.

From nowhere twice? Wow!
Not one, but three Super Bowls!
You can dismiss that?

I heard Peter King on the radio this morning. He said they are not allowed to speak to particulars, but was able to say that the “doughnut” in Kurt Warner’s career is why he was not voted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2016.

In my view, his return to the third Super Bowl shows greatness and this is a reason to say he does deserve to be there.
It’s classic fun to say “from Supermarket to Super Bowl”, but seriously, Kurt Warner’s career spanned years. He led the Rams back to the Super Bowl in 2001. What happened next is a mystery to me, but it meant that Kurt had to start over. He did and he led Arizona to the Super Bowl after the 2008 season.
Obviously, something was wrong, but does that mean he isn’t worthy of being in the pro football storybook? Perhaps that mystery will be told, but even chalking it up to some injury and denial, is Kurt’s story not a Hall of Fame story? Obviously, the voters disagree, but I think they should seriously ponder the question.
Maybe next year, we can dismiss the idea of voting no.
(Full Disclosure/Coming Clean: Yes, I’m a Rams fan and I’m a little smitten by the Kurt Warner story. To be honest, I was ready for Kurt to go when he struggled because I knew something was wrong, and saw nothing but denial. Kurt’s return to the Super Bowl impressed me almost as much as the first time because of how unlikely it was. It showed me he was an amazing football player. Amazing players are worthy of the Hall of Fame.)


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All-Star Joke? No, All-Star Story

Let’s vote him in! Go!
Glorified exhibition.
Do it every year!

Yes! What a fun story!?! While the Pro Bowl happened, a Dad lived a dream. We love how some farmboy named Luke becomes an elite fighter known as a Jedi, yet it’s a joke when we take a journeyman defensemen and make him an All-Star MVP? I’m loving it!

While NFL millionaires enjoyed a Hawaiian vacation, the NHL went to the town built on sad country stories and left writing a great happy tune.

So instead of celebrating some mega-star’s greatness, we got to see someone truly enjoy the moment.

Let’s do this every year! #Him4MVP


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No Surprise! Now It’s Your Move, Stan (Rams Move, Part 3)

No, I’m not surprised. My friends contacted me with “breaking
news” that I had expected for months. The Rams were now the LA
Rams again.

That was not news. What happens next, just might be.

(The haiku)
Now it’s your move, Stan!
Your plan has worked. Years pay off.
Time to fill the stage.
The move to LA was not breaking news. Being a Rams fan who chats
and emails other Rams fans daily, it’s rare for anyone to beat
myself and my Rams buddies to the punch.

So the “news” wasn’t news at all. What was news was the vote. 30-
2? Wow! I had expected 25 or 26 yes votes. I NEVER expected 30.
That’s unbelievable and that truly points to how hopeless Saint
Louis’ attempt at keeping the Rams was.

But what happens next could be news to me. Here’s what I think
will happen.

1. Fisher will be kept as the Manager to handle the transition
to LA. That was probably the plan years ago.

2. The LA situation will be fun and new. Fans will go to check
out the “new” team and be part of the novelty of LA football.

3. The team will not see much change. We will pursue an okay
quarterback and will not grab someone completely amazing. More
than likely, there’s no free agent spree until 2017.

4. The Rams glide until the new stadium happens. They will enjoy
being the “shiny new toy” in California.

If anything else happens, I will be happily surprised. The
pressure to win in LA will come, but I fear that it will take
some time.

The Stan the Ram now has his chance to create a legacy. Moving
the team is a short-lived achievement in the eyes of the
destination city. In the departing city, his “home” statue, his
legacy is made. What he means to LA will depend on what he can
accomplish as an owner. Can he build something other than a
building? That will matter. Stan, you can build the stage, but
can you put a good show on it? That’s the true test.

Stan, it’s your move!