Sunday, February 8, 2015

You My Bess

Did you happen to watch Cleveland play the Lakers this afternoon?  It was such a gathering of ex-Knicks as to make my heart pump hard against my ribs and tears well in my eyes.  The basketball version of an Entmoot, if that's not too obscure.

Jeremy Lin, for starters, although he's no longer starting for the Lakers.  It's always good to see him.  Linsanity, as brief as it was, was one of the few high points of the last Knick decade.

Then the recently exiled Iman Shumpert and J.R. Smith.  Both were key players in the only decent Knicks season in recent history.  56 wins, if I remember correctly.  Beautiful to watch, even though we came apart against the Pacers in the playoffs.  Shumpert had that outstanding haircut and a keen defensive game.  And J.R., who won 6th Man of the Year that year, was one of the loveliest parts.  Like Ophelia -- a bit unhinged and difficult to understand, but beautiful to behold in her terrible majesty.  I love the man, in a sort of a way.

For more than a thousand years sad Ophelia
Has passed, a white phantom, down the long black river.
For more than a thousand years her sweet madness
Has murmured its ballad to the evening breeze
--Arthur Rimbaud

And finally Timofey Mozgov -- which is a fun way to spell Timothy.  He was part of the core group of engaging, talented young players that the Knicks owner, who we'll refer to as Voldemort, forced Donnie Walsh to give up to consummate the Carmelo Anthony trade.  Which you could perhaps forgive (because the NBA is a league of superstars, so you need some -- even ones as dysfunctional as Anthony),  except for the fact that Anthony was going to be a free agent in a few months and ready to come to New York for nothing.

That was a fun team to watch.  Mozgov, Danilo Gallinari, all spellings approximate, Wilson Chandler and that noble warrior, Amar'e Stoudmire.

That, friends, was a black day for basketball.

Today is a black one too, since it was sometime last night when Dean Smith died.  I never disliked Smith the way a lot of my friends did.

Adios Campagnolo.  Somewhere in heaven they're playing the four corners.

Me?  I'm licking my wounds and listening to Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald sing Summertime from their version of Porgy and Bess.  Which is something, I can tell you.

Summertime and the livin' is easy
Fish are jumpin' and the cotton is high
Yo' daddy's rich and yo' mama's good lookin'
So hush little baby, don't you cry
One of these mornin's you gonna rise up singin'
You gonna spread your little wings and you'll take to the sky
But 'till that mornin' there ain't nothin' gonna harm you
With yo mama and daddy standin' bye
Now it's summertime and the livin' is easy
Them fish are jumpin' and the cotton's 'bout waist high
Yo' daddy's rich and, ya know yo' mama's good lookin'
Now hush little baby, don't you cry
Ah, said it's summertime

It's 13 degrees out, and snowing again.  No fish jumping here.

No comments:

Post a Comment