Because really, who’s more qualified to talk about Jazz than Paul Shirley?
All kidding aside, Shirley’s article touches on something that I’ve thought for years, and articulates it pretty well. Namely, there’s a number of sports that you have to have played (in my case, poorly) to really love them. Baseball is chess. I’ve known so many people that have said to me over the years, “Baseball is soooo boring.”
And it can be. But not if you love the team, and the Zen-like day-in, day-out grind of baseball that is so much like life: Today was a good day, to quothe Ice Cube. On days that you get slapped around like Pacquiao beat Hatton, you think, “There’s always tomorrow.” You have slumps. You have streaks. Sometimes nothing goes your way. Sometimes everything does.
I think that’s why baseball interviews are so trite, like Crash coaching Nuke in Bull Durham. Because so much of daily living is trite: “We’ll get ’em tomorrow.” “Take ’em one day at a time.” “It ain’t over ’til it’s over.”
Where was I? Oh, yeah: Paul Shirley on Jazz. I think his basic premise is correct: basketball is best appreciated by people who played it, even if it’s only pickup Saturday basketball. Jazz is best understood by people who really get music, or have at least played an instrument. Which reminds me of a Itzhak Perlman quote.
When a woman said to him after a concert: “I’d give anything to be able to play like you.” “How about twelve hours a day?” he responded. I’m murdering the quote, but the idea stands. Jazz is a rarefied art form (despite my classical musician example).
How’s that for a meandering, poorly written-and-constructed post? Eat it, Hunter S. Thompson! I rule!
NBA PLAYOFFS UPDATE: I think the Nuggets are going to have the Lakers for breakfast in 6. That is, if they make it past the Rockets, but Houston’s pretty depleted after losing Yao. Full Disclosure: I’d love to see the Celtics survive and beat the Cavs, just like Nuggets over Lakers.
But I won’t be surprised at all if it’s Lakers/Cavs, ultimately. Kobe v. LeBron is what the NBA wants.