I was saving this little anecdote for an offseason rainy day and, while it is beautiful out, it’s not like there’s been any headway made on the Marquis Daniels‘ sign-and-trade so enjoy.
This past Easter, I was invited to spend the holiday “week” with one of my best friends from college. I say week because we attended a Jesuit School and they love Easter so much that as students we got the Wednesday before and the Monday after off. He usually spends Easter with good family friends with his parents but his parents weren’t able to make it this year so he asked if I’d like to tag along. I jumped at the chance, not only because his family friends lived in a beautiful home in a beautiful climate, but also because the head of the household happened to be an NBA Hall of Fame player, coach, and executive (After finding out I wrote for a blog dedicated to the Celtics, he smiled and said, “No unauthorized quotes.” I chuckled a little, not knowing if he was serious or not but the sheer aura of this man made me not want to risk it. So out of respect for his wishes, he must remain anonymous. I will simply refer to him as “Hall of Famer”).
Anyway, the week had many highlights with the only lowlight being that in a few days I would have to leave this gorgeous house and this gorgeous weather and the amazing hospitality I received.
One particular moment will last we me forever. The Hall of Famer, my friend, and I were watching the Celtics play the Hall of Famer’s team (I was told we would have gone had the game been home and not in Boston) when Bill Walker slipped behind their defense and threw down a huge alley-oop dunk. I whooped like I would have watching it from Mary Ann’s and the Hall of Famer said, “You know, it’s like we always say, ‘Protect without Vision Equals Embarrassment.’”
Until then I was just watching the game with two friends. It was so strange how quickly I got over the initial shock and awe of where I was staying and just living as if these wonderful people were old friends. This situation snapped me back to reality for a second. I responded with the biggest attempt and fail to come off nonchalant with a “Really?” Meanwhile I’m thinking, “I’m getting coaching tips from an NBA Hall of Famer!!!” Before I had the chance to daydream about barking this mantra to a bunch wide eyed youth basketball players who don’t even know they have a left hand, the Hall of Famer replies, “Yeah, hold on I’ll diagram it for you.” He proceeds to take out a piece of paper and quickly scrawls out what happened while explaining how to defend it. Then he hands be the piece of scrap paper and says, “Here, you can have this. I’ll even sign it for you if you want.” Again with the stupid faux-nonchalantness I managed a “No that’s okay.” Very stupid, I know.
I asked the Hall of Famer about Bill Walker and he said something like he was a good young player and only time will really tell. Which I guess is the best way to describe him. It’s easy to get caught up in the hype of young players, which I often do and will still continue to do but to guys like the Hall of Famer, they are just the next crop, some will make it, some won’t.
I, for one, believe Bill Walker will and tomorrow I’ll tell you why. As for the diagrammed dunk? I can’t find it. I know I still have it but I just recently moved and in the rush to get this out I just couldn’t seem to get my hands on it. Once I find it though, which I will, I’ll immediately post it and you guys can try to decipher line strokes and hand writing in order to figure out who the Hall of Famer is…because you’re not getting it from me- not even with CIA approved or unapproved interrogation tactics.