Various bits of flotsam that washed up on our computers, before we moved to a better blog system in November 2004. Now a repository for YouTube videos and testing new tools. Go to for more recent content.

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Ralph Wiley, prescient

apologies to PKD...
and really, I'll eventually stop writing about the NBA, right about the time that the season starts again. Kidding. No, the question I want an answer to is, who'll be traded, Chris Webber or Peja Stojakovic? What? you thought I'd talk about who is traded on the Lakers? not in your life. The Sacramento Kings aren't dead yet, they're just stunned, just tired and shagged out. Page 2 - The Lakers' armor is tarnishing:
"Personal Aside Alert No. 2: I often thought of myself as the Larry Bird of Sports Illustrated during the 10 years I wrote articles there -- a statement that might at this very moment be causing anguished screams from my colleague, Mr. Bill Simmons, and why-black-people-tend-to shouts from my friend and occasional collaborator, Mr. Spike Lee, although for different reasons.

But, not counting public sentiment, I know the comparison to be apt. I lived it. I know very well what it was like to be good in an occupation where nearly all the good guys were of the other so-called "race," and assumed by divine right deep down that this was the way it was. That made you not a colleague but a threat.

I'd heard the equivalent of "If Larry Bird was black, he'd be just another player!" about myself. I'd gotten the equivalent of a literary choke-out. People want you to be good at the things that make them comfortable, and bad at the things that they are good at; that makes them most comfortable. Some people buy into other peoples' evaluations, and never get the best out of themselves. I give you Detlef Schrempf. But some guys, like Larry Bird, don't care. Later, for some conversation, they think. Let's play and talk; but either way, let's play. I always felt the same way. Let's just play and see. In my case, let's put it in black and white. Let's put it in black and white and see. One thing I did learn: I always could tell when I was writing well, because I would come in and nobody would speak to me.

This probably ticks off everybody from Simba the Sports Guy to Spike, not to mention you, pilgrims. But if that's the way you want to take it, hey. Complain to the eds. Talk to God, not to me. I was there. It happened ...

... so I was glad, glad I tell you, when Wally World bumped Fisher off his spot with a pick."

Of course he is referring to this incident, and Karl Malone's play.

I'll miss Ralph Wiley, I always got happy whenever he posted an article because the articles were well written, in a jazzy, literary manner. Too many sports writers get stuck in the AP mode of reporting just the facts.

Now playing in iTunes: Sister Ray, from the album White Light-White Heat by Velvet Underground


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