Saturday, May 25, 2013

Your Daily Sports Affirmation 5/25/13

"In the end, it’s extra effort that separates a winner from second place. But winning takes a lot more that, too. It starts with complete command of the fundamentals. Then it takes desire, determination, discipline, and self-sacrifice. And finally, it takes a great deal of love, fairness and respect for your fellow man. Put all these together, and even if you don’t win, how can you lose?” - Jesse Owens

This is the first of what I hope to be a daily entry about sports, life and everything in between. Too often in the sports media our focus is on the negative. And while there will certainly be things in this blog that I go off on, my hope is that this can become a place for sports fans to visit and walk away feeling better about themselves. Please feel free to include any notes or subjects you'd like discussed or mentioned by finding me on twitter (@sportsnarrative) or via email ( I believe in an all-inclusive forum where no ideas are rejected. With that as our backdrop, let's look at the world of sports through the prism of life.

The Pacers-Heat series certainly lived up to the hype last night. Of course the focus for the Main Stream Sports Media (aka ESPN) is on LeBron's failure in the clutch with 2 critical turnovers. I choose to focus more on the emergence in this series of Paul George and Roy Hibbert. George had a MONSTER DUNK down the lane past LeBron and in the face of the Birdman Chris Anderson right before the half. LeBron followed it up with a 3 at the buzzer and some playful taunting to George that ended with the two slapping hands. To me that showed that LeBron has respect for George, and coming from the best player in the game right now, that's high praise. I think the entire series could come down to who gets the better of that match-up, especially in crunch time. The first 2 games certainly did, as LeBron's driving lay-up past George in Game 1 was the difference and George's defense led to LeBron's ill-fated turnovers in Game 2. But the X-factor in all of this could be the big fella for Indiana. Hibbert left from Georgetown with limited offensive skills and an aggression for shot-blocking that led to lots of foul trouble. I think the sign of a truly great player in the NBA is one who can develop and improve throughout his career at the highest level. Jordan went from a high-flying scorer to an all-around player with a lethal fall-away J and the ability to distribute too. Now Hibbert's game includes an underrated jump hook and the ability to go straight up and change shots around the rim. Despite all the amazing talent of "The Big 3," they really have no answer for a skilled 7 footer. If Hibbert and George can team up to dethrone King James, it will truly be a triumph for hard work and defense in the NBA. But I'm sure the NBA owners and TV partners would rather just have the ratings machine that is LeBron instead!

That's it for this week. Remember that all of us can find room for improvement. Confucius said "When you see a man of superior character, think on how you can be like him. When you see a man of inferior character, think on how you are like him."

Be Well and Be Good

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