Remember when you looked forward to shaving?
You were a man once you began to hack whiskers from your face first thing in the morning, right? I didn’t shave more than once a week until I got to college. I’ve since come to view the now daily act as a chore I’d rather not perform.
Patti and I recently spent a few Marriott points at the Vinoy, which led us to the beach one day. Of note was my rookie mistake of removing my shoes before reaching the cool sand near the water. The powdery white stuff scorched the bottoms of my feet. I used to know better. On that same trip, we raced to stay ahead of the storm as we walked from the Don Cesar toward our desired oasis, The Brass Monkey. We made it, and managed to order whiskey for our men and beer for our horses. FYI, I’m speaking metaphorically. We didn’t ride horses, but we did quench our thirst.
Finally, all this Pokemon Go fever reminded me of End of Watch, the Stephen King book I just finished. In it, kids were chasing fish on a video game and, unbeknownst to them, ended up getting hypnotized. Dire results followed…
Tim Duncan’s career, and the way he went out last week, reaffirmed the fact you don’t have to show your underpants to be great.
I’ve debated with friends young and old about my all-time top five NBA team. The bulk of the disagreements come in my insistence on Kareem over Shaq and how Lebron fits in with Bird and Magic. Nobody ever argues whether Duncan belongs in the group.
Nobody disputes that he’s the best power forward to ever play in the league. His selfless style personified the beauty of the game. The points he scored, the chemistry he brought, and the championships he led were derivatives of team basketball, a style that “hero ball” and highlight dunks can’t touch.
Duncan always knew that.
The NBA superstar never sought to become a brand. He simple went about the business of trying to win every night. Most nights he did. Just check the percentages.
Duncan is a shining example for anybody performing any job: Strive for excellence and over deliver.
Was anybody surprised when he announced his retirement after the season rather than orchestrating a season-long farewell tour? Playing the game well — doing his job, was always enough for Duncan. And in the end, he rode into the sunset with his dignity intact.