emerald city

sea

In July of 1999 my dad took me to one of the final Mariner’s games in the Kingdome, which is now replaced by CenturyLink Field on the same lot in South Downtown Seattle (shown in the picture above).  That Mariner’s team in 1999 was entertaining and exciting to watch, being 8 years old I idolized Ken Griffey Jr. and Alex Rodriguez was my favorite player.  I played shortstop and so did A.Rod, this was the humble, gritty Alex Rodriguez before the steroids and before J.Lo.  That team also consisted of possibly the greatest DH of all time in Edgar Martinez, and the crafty left hander Jamie Moyer.  The flame throwing 6’10 Randy Johnson had left Seattle before that season, I always say The Big Unit would be the pitcher I would least like to face if I ever had to choose.

That game in the Kingdome was not only special because I got to see some of my favorite superstars, but because I received a gift that landed next to me in odds that were so slim it had to be some Act of Providence.

The M’s were squaring off against Rafael Palmiero , Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez and the Texas Rangers that day.  If I remember correctly, Griffey hit a towering bomb over the right field wall, he also robbed a home run and the Mariners got the W.  After the game, there were many pictures being taken, fireworks and celebrations on the field, some would go on to call it “a baseball theater”.  I had been to many games at Chavez Ravine and Angel Stadium, but I still remember being awestruck walking into that Pacific Northwest indoor giant.  It was nothing like an outdoor stadium, and to this day it is still the only indoor field I have ever step foot in.

We were sitting somewhere in the upper section, and I remember the wave being so well performed unlike the weak attempts I had seen tried at Dodger Stadium.  After the game amidst all the flashes and roaring fans I could see that players were signing baseballs and throwing them into the field level seats.  I was pretty far from those seats so I wasn’t banking on being somebody that received one of those baseballs, until one landed in the seat right next to me.  I had no idea how it happened, nor did I even think about it before I instinctually snatched the ball up quicker than a heavy set man going for it next to me.  It was unreal, the ball had literally landed in the seat right next to me and I hadn’t even seen which direction it came from.  What happened next was even more surreal.  I turned the ball over to look at it, and in fresh blue ink it read “Alex Rodriguez”, no way.  I showed my Dad and he confirmed it was A-Rod’s signature even though it was kind of difficult to read, I remember we joked about it because it looked like it said “Frak” Rodriguez.  I rode high off the excitement of getting that ball for the rest of the night, displaying it on our dinner table in the hotel later that night.

Over the years the blue ink signature faded to yellow, but I proudly kept the ball in a plastic case on a shelf in my room always glancing at it in passing and flashing back to that day in the Kingdome.  Sadly, I don’t know what ever happened to the Frak Rodriguez ball.  I must’ve left it behind with all of my other possessions when Heroin Addiction took over my life, left in a box somewhere and lost in a move.  My chemical dependency took me back to Seattle in August of 2013, back to the site of the Kingdome, to the streets of downtown and south downtown Seattle.

Every time the Seahawks play at home on Sunday Night Football, NBC does their usual pans across different parts of the city when returning from a commercial break. Last night, the rising star Patrick “Showtime” Mahomes lead the Chiefs against the already proven Super Bowl Champion Russell Wilson and the Seahawks.  Upon returning from a commercial break the camera glided across the Northwest Metropolis, from the space needle through the public market past the ferris wheel and on down to CenturyLink Field.  When I saw the Ferris wheel I was quickly rocketed back into a dismal month I spent on the streets of Seattle in August 2013.  From that excited young kid in the Kingdome in 99′ to a scared, hopeless junkie wandering on to that same lot 14 years later.

I had fled a small town in Alaska due to reasons I need not further discuss, and I didn’t have enough money to get to LA on a next day flight.  My only option was to get as far south as possible with the money I had, which landed me at SeaTac airport on July 31st, 2013.  I had about $42 dollars to my name, a backpack full of stuff, a suitcase full of clothes and no cell phone because it was taken by the Alaska State Troopers when they raided my apartment. I stepped out of the SeaTac airport with no plan, full of fear and lacking the courage to call anyone for help because that would mean I had to tell the truth.  I didn’t like telling the truth back then.  So what was I to do?  What I always did when I felt this way, drink and get high.  I had traveled around and ran the streets enough to know that drugs were always accessible in the downtown area of any major city, so I asked a nearby woman where downtown Seattle was and how to get there.

She told me to hop on the light rail and it would take me straight downtown, so I bought a ticket and was on my way.  I had no idea what I was doing, where I was going or what to expect.  I was riddled with stress, anxiety and fear and I needed those feelings to go away, I had to find my solution and I would.  I finally arrived downtown, came up from the train station and onto the street.  For about 5 minutes I smiled and looked around at the giant buildings and all the people, a new city, a new adventure and no one will find me here.  I began walking toward the water and arrived at a place the locals called totem pole park, and the smell of marijuana filled the air.  It was then that I remembered marijuana had just been legalized in the state of Washington, so I sat down on a grassy hill and observed my surroundings to see where I could buy some weed.  I quickly noticed an older guy who was being approached by all different kinds of people and walking them out of the crowd to talk.  I approached this man and easily got my hands on some potent Seattle buds, for $10.  i went and bought an Arizona iced tea drank half, poured the other half out and smoked the cannabis out of the can.  Away went the stress, away went the fear, away went the anxiety and on came the delusion that “everything would be okay”, even though I was probably in the most severe self-imposed crisis I had ever experienced.  I thought to myself, “I’ll get high and enjoy the city and sleep at the park tonight, and then I will figure out how to get out of here tomorrow”.  Tomorrow came, but I had no intentions on leaving or figuring anything out, I needed to find some Heroin.

With the shame and regret of throwing away my life in Alaska, and abandoning everyone who cared about me, I needed to be numb around the clock and the weed wasn’t enough.  I had ran out of money after 2 days, but that wouldn’t stop me, it never did.  I turned a gram of weed into $300 one morning and met a guy who would take me up to what they called “The Blade” between Pike and Pine on 3rd street in downtown.  He said just walk down this street and ask someone who looks the part if they have any pure, or if you want black tar ask for black it’s cheaper.  Soon enough I had 10 balloons of powder Heroin and a clean needle, I wanted to get away from downtown and all the commotion and explore the rest of the city and surrounding areas.  I bought some more Heroin and some meth and made my way back down through Pike Place Market to totem pole park, picked up my suitcase that I had hidden and just started walking.

Heavily drowned in euphoria from shooting high doses of amphetamines and opiates into my arm, I made my way down into what the locals called “SoDo”.  This was a desolate place full of abandoned warehouses , old buildings and streets with no sidewalks.  I stumbled across SafeCo Field and thought it would be cool to do some Heroin outside of where the Mariners played, just to say I’d done it, so I did.  It wasn’t as cool as I thought.  Finally, I came across CenturyLink Field and I saw something or a view down a street that triggered my memory, i had been here before.  Through the years of drug addiction and oblivion I had forgot that I ever even visited Seattle, I forgot about the Frak Rodriguez ball, I forgot about the Kingdome and now there I was.  A 22 year old Heroin Addict running from every single problem and crisis I had created, lost and hating myself, wondering how I got to this point.  It was too much, I kept walking.

I ended up underneath the 5 Freeway right above the Mt. Rainier Beer Factory, and that’s where I slept.  I would wander into the city each morning hustle up some money and buy some dope, get high and roam around with people I met.  I smoked crack for the first time on a bridge above Broad Street looking up at the Space Needle and overlooking a harbor.  I made my way up through the U District and Capitol Hill, the days turned to weeks and I found myself back underneath 5 Freeway one night crying and wishing it would all just end.  I contemplated ending my life that night, but I didn’t have the balls to do it.

The next morning I was flooded with the harsh reality of what was going on, I want to say it was somewhere around August 29th.  I had been lost and loaded in Seattle for almost a month, it felt like a couple days.  I got a hold of my mom from a pay phone and she bought me a grey hound ticket back to LA that day.  I would continue living this way for 2 more years and it wouldn’t be until August 22, 2015 that I ingested my last dose of mind altering substances.  I have been sober since that day…

Fugazi and Sunshine

December 20, 2018. One of the most beautiful days of this year, 73 degrees and sunny. your life in california.

I snapped this picture again with my LG mobile phone, cracked screen and all. This is right above Butterfly Beach in Montecito, just off the end of a cool little bike trail covered with flowers and plants on both sides. This path is interesting for me, it reminds me so much of a trail up near Hoag Hospital in Newport Beach. A trail in which I stumbled upon after being hospitalized in Hoag for an infection in my arm from IV drug use.

I was listening to Waiting Room by Fugazi when I stopped to take the picture, seemingly the perfect song in that moment. The view took me back to that August day in 2014 when I left the hospital with nothing but the clothes I walked in with and a bottle of Tramadol.

They gave me Methadone for the two days I was there so upon release I felt like “everything was going to be okay”. Although the reality was I had been homeless for years, lost contact with my new born son and family, and when the Methadone wore off id be sick. I took 10 of the Tramadol hoping to slide deeper into euphoria as I drearily walked that orange county hill.

I ran into another homeless man along the way and he had a giant bag of low grade cannabis. I was feeling kind and a longing for social interaction so I gave him a couple Tramadol and we smoked some of that shwag weed. I soon realized he was lost in some sort of psychosis. as he began talking about currently being on tour with Led Zeppelin and how they were headed to Hollywood that night. I ditched him and continued on the road to nowhere.

There are so many stories like these I have from my endeavors through the streets of southern California on up to Seattle, Alaska, Atlanta and even Omaha and Lincoln Nebraska. People ive met, crises and situations ive gone through, hospitals, county jails, greyhounds, amtraks, LA metro lines, metro links, hotel rooms, parks, bus stops, cold sidewalks, alleys and dumpsters, and smoking crack under the space needle. my life in drug addiction.

Today is one of those days where I feel happy and hopeful, in contrast to the way I have felt in my last couple entries. I am assuming it is due to the exercise, butterfly beach waves, Fugazi and the sunshine. I like being here, I like feeling happy I wish I could always feel this way. Driving on the 101 in the station wagon listening to Ceremony, blue skies and 75 degrees.

can you please teach this son to shine?

prepare to be let down..

off the wall

I just got home from playing handball in a parking lot against a wall of a local church. Exercise or any kind of physical fitness is an amazing counteraction to depression, even a walk around the neighborhood helps.

There was a barbed wire fence along the backside of the parking lot that seperates the parking lot from some kind sewer or drain runoff. We had three balls and each time the third one bounced over the fence id get on my bike and ride down to the end of the parking lot, around the corner and all the way down the sewage drain. Throw the balls back over the fence and game on. These are the kind of things I did when I was kid.

As I was riding back up the sewer drain for a split second I felt like a kid again. I looked down at my old skool black and white Vans on the peddles, my cuffed charcoal grey dickies and there I was. 12 years old pushing a dustin dollin baker deck in Geoff Rowley XL Vans down a sewage drain in Tustin, CA that we called “The Never”.

There’s always that saying people use when referencing childhood days, “not a care in the world”. I cant say I agree, I cared about how I dressed, I cared about my friends, and I cared about the Furious 5 at 9 on KROQ enough to make sure I didn’t miss it every night. I cared about a lot of things, I cared about getting good grades in school and not making projects that the other kids would laugh at.

I’m glad I can still find that part of myself and connect with it. I thought maybe over the years of drinking and heavy drug use I may have lost it, but its there. Its amazing to me how a smell, a song, an activity or a movie can awaken memories that way.

“you find things about yourself that you will soon forget. counting old friends left behind a jaded mind. you can never be in love until you learn to be alone. you can never achieve true happiness until you hang your head..”

Ønwãrd and Ùpwárd…

felicem natalem christi

20181011_160118

for the ones who love the cold
for the ones who love the sun
for the ones who feel like rain
for the ones who’ve come undone
to the ones who are lost today
to the ones who’ve found their way
for the ones who’ve felt this way
to the ones who’ve never felt this way..
close your eyes, try to outrun the pain put on your mask and your disguise. let the world know that you’re okay and everything is fine. reminisce and second guess all the choices you’ve ever made, the shame and regret can kill you if you let it. you can’t drink you cant self medicate, because now you know truth, and you don’t want the aftermath. another day another fight inside the workings of my thoughts, surrounded by everyone who cares but still I feel so alone
so many years since you’ve been here. how could you let it happen again. old friends old streets haven’t changed for the better, but you thought you had. has it really been that long since you lived in the dark, now it feels so familiar like you never left for a second. give me the words or some kind of help, I don’t want to go back..i don’t want to go back…
“faith is humanities answer for a fear they cannot face. a fear that we are without purpose, that we… are truly alone…”
underneath it all do you really feel this way. this isn’t the new you, this isn’t that transformed perspective. this isn’t from Him, this isn’t the Power. Lord help me to find the sun again, Father help me please..I’m begging You…

gone till november

20181203_070051.jpg

“skies above, are close to me                                                                                                                  forgetting names when shaking hands                                                                                              friends and lovers, i’ve left behind                                                                                                    i’m as apathetic as the wind”

– Ross Farrar, Ceremony

This picture was taken by my LG mobile phone with a cracked screen and it turned out pretty nice.  It is from shoreline park above leadbetter beach in santa barbara, ca.  About 7 minutes from my house.

I told myself I was going to write at least one entry for each month and to be honest I was inspired many times through the month of November but i’m also very lazy.  A couple of night time bike rides taking in the smell of the ocean which was black, only shimmering by the reflection of the moon, and the palm trees swaying from the crisp fall air.  The lights of the town in the distance and music I listened to when I was 16.

I’m a sucker for a trip down memory lane, sometimes I get stuck there.  I guess the best way to describe it would be nostalgia.  Certain songs produce certain effects and a feeling of loss realizing I’ll never relive those years.  I’ve lost an interest really in writing about sports like I’m some aspiring sportswriter or journalist, I’m just a fan and think I will leave it at that.  I am taking this “your life in america” concept on to its own radio show in January, it will be interesting.  A place where I can share my thoughts and opinions on a variety of different subjects, kind of like Seinfeld on the radio with some punk rock and comedy.  Sounds kinda weird when I put it like that, we’ll see.

“very few can appreciate the silence, the cold calm when nothing is left standing in our way..  this is joy in its greatest moments, shared only by the truly selfish.  in a place where only the lonely ever choose to stand.  behind every inch of pain, eyes unfazed and devoid of feeling, love has no place here, our hearts beat alone….”

onward and upward..

 

 

 

 

october

Summer has came and gone, and it is currently raining outside of my dining room window. Shadows of a different time hang over my head as I try to connect with the present.

I spent Sunday night in close vicinity to Skid Row in Downtown LA for a Hardcore Punk show featuring LA’s own Terror and NYHC’S Backtrack. I took a friend of mine who had recently taken a liking to hardcore music, the culture the message and everything about it. That culture of unity and love for the music was very much present on Sunday night both on stage and on the floor. I suffered a heavy blow to the face from either a windmill kick or flying elbow off a nearby stage dive, cause is still unknown. I lost consciousness for a second or two only to be lifted up by a fellow enthusiast and helped to the bathroom. Under the light I found that my Blacklisted tee shirt was covered with blood and my lip was fat, thank God the blow missed my nose. The dude who lead me to the bathroom repeatedly asked if I was okay and said he wasn’t leaving until I told him i was “good”. I told him I wasn’t going to miss the rest of the Backtrack set and he said “cool, just don’t get hurt again.” I made my way back to the floor to hear the vocalist of Backtrack dedicating the next song to the Dodgers, rad. My friend who attended the show came up to me and said, “dude I stage dived and when I hit the ground everyone helped me up and made sure I was okay.” Hearing this excitement from my young friend was the highlight of my night. I really felt the love of the hardcore scene that night, the same way I did at my first show 13 years ago. Stick Tight.

Well, the Los Angeles Dodgers are NL West Division Champs for the 6th consecutive year. A big deal? Not really. An accomplishment? Yes, of course. The offense of this Dodger team is unreal, I mean on the bench alone they’ve got the 2011 World Series MVP and All Star 2nd Baseman Brian Dozier, the best thing Minnesota had since Johan Santana. There’s nothing like the MLB Playoffs, of all professional sporting events baseball in October has to be my favorite.

Last year I wrote about Luis Severino and Aaron Judge carrying the Yankees into the AL Wils Card game against the Twins at Yankee Stadium. Here we are again, Severino goes up against the lowest payroll in baseball, the Oakland A’s. Yankee Stadium is going to be LOUD and I will be in my living room watching for a Giancarlo Stanton longball while I listen to the rain outside my window. And good for the Rockies, three different time zones in three days and they pulled off the win in the confines of Wrigley last night.

What is it about the rain that changes people’s moods? I wonder if people in the pacific northwest have a shift in perspective each time it rains, or is that only a California thing? Watch out for the Cleveland Indians hovering under the radar. Dodgers vs. Indians is my world series prediction. Until next time, be easy..

september air, the days you’ve to come to fear..

20180912_113640_2

September air is not the same as August air.  Although summertime in Southern California is practically a yearlong thing, the air changes in September.  It feels a couple degrees cooler, and it smells different.  I can’t really put words to it, but it’s just a hint of  burning wood or leaves.  Combine that with a salty ocean breeze and it makes for a comforting feel to the air, at least in my opinion.

I always associate this change in the breeze with my younger days back home in Riverside county.  I’d say it takes me back to 14 or 15 years old, when life was “simpler” or so it seemed.  When I first began smoking marijuana regularly and drinking 32 oz. Miller High Life’s with my friends, some of whom are no longer alive.  Those days are burned into my memory and hold a strong connection to the smell of the Fall air, but this year reminiscing on those days comes with a dark side.  As the leaves change, part of my heart stays stuck in the summertime.

My mom has been gone now for almost 4 months, a loss I suffered prior to what would be a very hot summer.  A summer spent  excelling in many aspects of my life.  Progressing and growing materially and spiritually, all amidst experiencing a powerful underlying sadness that I now feel has grow into mild depression.  These are the days I’ve come to fear.

A fatal illness knocks on the door of my mind on a daily basis and for a little over 3 years now I have not let that malevolent force consume my thought process.  Some ignorant folks would say it is not illness, maybe they have not experienced the pain of chemical dependency.

I thought I would be able to “work” my way through the grief of losing my mom, but I’ve come to realize that it doesn’t work like that.  I began to ask myself, How does it work then Dillon?  You teach and guide others through the journey of recovery every day, you should know how to “fix” yourself.  You are a guiding light in a world of darkness and you are praised daily for your contribution to the battle against addiction, you surely can’t let yourself fall victim to a mental exhaustion. I was blocked from seeing the truth by my own pride and fear of being vulnerable.

I sit down on this cool September morning to write about my thoughts and struggles because I find serenity to match calamity when writing.  I find that I cannot “work” myself through mental exhaustion and pain.  Early in my new life without Heroin I thought that I would never slip into a low spot because my spirit had been awoken in a way that I had never felt.  I no longer felt hopeless, but found hope that there was another way. A way to the truth, a way to be utterly present for myself and others.  The thinking of an almighty Creator had found it’s way into my delusional thought process and opened a portal to an entirely new perspective on the world around me, and life itself.

Merriam Webster defines life as the condition that distinguishes animals and plants from inorganic matter, including the capacity for GROWTH, functional activity and continual change preceding death.  What a beautiful description of this thing I often take for granted and find myself rushing and racing through.  Racing to get where? Who knows, hopes for an eternal life of serenity with all of those I have lost is what I’d like to think.  I am learning that I will fall down and I will get back up, and that’s okay.  Pride keeps me from being vulnerable, and lack of vulnerability leads to exhaustion and a crumbling spirit.

Today marks 27 years I have trudged along in this world. September also brings about the beginning of the NFL season and the race for an MLB playoff spot.  It looks like the boys of the Chavez Ravine may never win a world series in my lifetimes, now THOSE are the days I’ve come to fear.

Until next time, with love…

dog days

bellinger

It’s almost the end of August and the future for the boys of Chavez Ravine does not look bright.  The Dodgers have more than enough talent to win baseball games, despite a struggling bullpen and banged up starting rotation.  With the addition of Manny Machado and Brian Dozier I am still scratching my head wondering why Zaidi didn’t think it would be smart to go after more arms than John Axford.  Axford is now on the DL as well.  It’s been a tough season, especially after still feeling looming defeat of last year’s fall classic.  I could sit here and pick a apart Dave Roberts and the decisions he makes all day, but i do that enough with my fellow Dodger fans.  I don’t care for Roberts, especially after I heard him mic’d up one night.  “Dude, he’s a savage bro, straight savage”, said Roberts to the infield in regards to Tony Cingrani after he took him out of the game.  Dave, you don’t sound cool.  Pick a lineup, stick with it, and let your team gel and get some momentum.  Trust your pitchers, trust the guys you have that are performing and maybe you wont run out of pinch hitters and relievers by the 9th inning!! My hope for a world series title may have been lost the night he decided to put utility player Enrique Hernandez in to pitch in late extra innings instead of Rich Hill.  He had given up and accepted defeat, my opinion is that Dave Roberts does not truly care about winning.  More will be revealed.

“The Dog Days of Summer” refer to the dog star Sirius, and it’s positions in the heavens.  Many people will use the term in reference to July and August being the hottest months of the year contributing to tiredness and lethargy.  I am in the midst of these dog days in my own spirit and soul.  The seat that holds my emotions and character is thin and I am struggling to make it through each day.  My mother and grandfather both died in alcohol-related deaths this year and I am running from the grief.  I’m tired, but I’m pushing forward.

Lebron James is a Laker.  This is exciting.  The Oakland A’s have tied the Astros for first place in the AL West.

I am co-hosting a sports talk radio show with a friend of mine on a local radio station.  Who would’ve thought a junkie like my self would be given an hour on live radio to talk about a subject I love so much.  Last night I experienced one of the coolest things of my entire life.  An interview with Santa Barbara Foresters manager Bill Pintard left me awestruck and in tremendous gratitude for my life in that moment.  Here was a guy who has been around and contributed to the game of baseball for a long time.  From stories about Bobby and Barry Bonds to text messages from James Shields and signed jerseys from my all-time favorite The Captain himself, Derek Jeter.  I could’ve listen to coach Pintard talk about america’s pastime for hours.  I felt like a kid again mesmerized by the beauty of Ken Griffey Jr’s swing for the first time.  Thank you God for that opportunity.

So amidst the humidity, box fans and battle with depression I am trudging through the dog days of summer.  Will I be okay? I will… Will the Dodgers be okay?  I don’t have an answer for that, but my gut instinct says no..Until next time, be easy..

June Gloom & The Debate.

mjlebron

Grey clouds cover the sky on another overcast Santa Barbara morning. Three years into my residency of this central coast town, I am realizing that this is the norm for this time of year. June Gloom, in full effect. I am still processing the recent, sudden death of my mother at the young age of forty-five , she left too soon. I am still unsure how to feel about the whole thing, but my instinct is to tell everyone i’m doing okay and keep moving forward. Life goes on, and so it goes. Love you Mom.

The weather is nice, I don’t mind it. Coupled with some apple cinnamon oatmeal and sparkling water, the ocean breeze is comforting and crisp drifting in through my living room windows. After a recent escapade through Ross and Kmart, my aunt and I added some nice curtains to the common area of our home. A stress filled dash through rod sizes, window measurements and a whole lot of “that’s what she said” jokes. Compression rods, a valance in the kitchen and I now know the difference between a sheer curtain and a “blackout” curtain. I feel a little more grown up now.

Since I was a kid, the television always seemed to be a source of background noise at mom’s house. Whether it was the KTLA 5 news with Jillian Barberie or Stuart Scott and Dan Patrick on a Sportscenter rerun, it was there. A habit I’ve carried into my adulthood, as I have MLB Network on low volume in the distance. Something about live television, whether I’m watching it or not, it comforts me. Weird.

I had a good conversation with my Dad last night about the LeBron vs. Jordan debate, an argument that will probably continue as long as the world is turning. Jordan never lost in the finals, and LeBron is 3-5. MJ played 15 total seasons in the NBA with a brief stint in Minor League Baseball, LeBron is currently in his 15th season and probably has a few more left. The finals record argument is indisputable, and is usually the first stance for the Pro Jordan side. In LeBron’s nine total finals appearances he has had talent around him with Dwayne Wade, Ray Allen, Chris Bosh, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love, but for the most part he has been limited. We can also compare the ’91 Lakers, ’92 Blazers, ’93 Suns, ’96 Sonics and ’97-’98 Jazz to the current Warriors powerhouse that has troubled James over the last couple years. Looking back, I’m not sure what happened in the 2011 Finals when LeBron and the Heat fell to a so-so Mavericks team. MJ may gain a point for that.

Pro Jordan arguers will say that Michael was individually a better clutch player, valid. However, LeBron continues to add to his buzzer beater resume. Especially on his run to the finals this year. I can’t help but confidently say if JR Smith passed him the ball in Game 1, he would have sank the game winner. JR Smith is no Pippen, that’s for sure. Without question, James is a better passer and rebounder. But he doesn’t come close as a shooter, a point for Michael there. Jordan was a 9-time member of the NBA’s All-Defense First team, while LeBron has been selected 5 times. However, James can guard every position on the court effectively, something MJ was incapable of doing.

LeBron is bigger and stronger, averaging 260-270 lbs and standing in at 6’8. He is overpowering on the court. In his prime, Jordan was 6’6 215 lbs and soared through the court with the prettiest jump shot we’ve ever seen. Michael also hit .202 in Double-A baseball, a remarkable athlete.

As a fan, I am grateful that I have been able to see the greatness of both. So who is the GOAT? I have to go with Jordan.

can you measure the loss?

lebron

It’s been almost six months since my last entry.  A lot has happened in that time, in both my personal life, and the world of sports and news.

I sit down to write a week after the sudden, unexpected death of my mother.  Still searching for answers why it happened, and why she felt the need to keep her pain so internalized and protected from vulnerability.  I don’t think I need to search too deep to find somewhat of an answer, looking back at the sudden unexpected death of my grandmother.  Both losses alcohol related, and not much was spoken to the family about the pain leading up to my mother and grandmother’s passing.  As I was on the floor of my mom’s bedroom cleaning her blood off the carpet the sound of Ceremony’s “The Separation” was running through my head.  Hearing Ross Farrar singing out the question, “Can you measure the loss?”.  I ask myself today the same question, and the answer I guess is no I can’t measure the loss.  All I know is that my heart hurts. My faith in an Almighty Creator has been tested this week, and today I feel confident that my mother’s spirit is alive and well.  Life goes on, and so it goes.  Love you mom.

On April 15th, LeBron “The King” James began yet another journey toward a championship.  I remember when he came into the league in 2003, headband and all.  I loved him then, and I still do now.  Through the first three rounds of the 2018 playoffs, James has put the entire Cavalier’s organization on his back and carried them to the NBA Finals.  The King is averaging 34.0 PPG and 41.3 minutes per game, having played all 48 minutes in Game 7 against Boston.  Cleveland faced elimination in a Game 7 versus Indiana where LeBron scored 45 points in 43 minutes, sending the Cavs on to face Demar DeRozan and the number one seeded Toronto Raptors.  Not to mention a buzzer beater to beat Indiana in Game 5.  James would add another game winning buzzer beater in Game 3 against Toronto, giving him five total game winning shots in his playoff career.  The King and his not so strong Cavaliers went down 2-0 to a tough Celtics squad, but battled back to tie the series.  After losing Game 5, LeBron faced yet another elimination game.  Game 6, James dropped 46 points and quieted the haters.  Game 7, LeBron goes for 35 points in the TD Garden and is on his way to the Finals for the eighth straight year.

The King may have a losing record in the Finals, fine.  He may have tainted his legacy when he was aired on National Television, making “the decision” to take his talents to South Beach.  The fact can’t be denied that Lebron James is one of the greatest athletes of this generation, and of all time.  In a time where the NBA has fallen below the standards of the “old-timers”, James is the shining light of a hardworking athlete who truly loves the game he plays.  He dominates on the court and takes control of the game.  When people talked about the Bulls they talked about Jordan, when people talk about basketball they talk about LeBron James.  Will LeBron lead the Cavs passed a ridiculously talented, star studded Golden State Warriors team?  Probably not. The odds are stacked against Cleveland as the Warriors are favored 1/10.  One thing about The King is that he is always there, he’s never missed a playoff game.  Throughout his career his most severe injuries have been a sore knee and back, and some cramps.  He’s indestructible.

James won’t give up, and will make history if he can carry his team of misfits past the greatness of the Warriors.  San Antonio, New Orleans and Houston all showed us that Golden State is mortal by handing them some losses.  A true athlete and a true champion, would a 3-6 overall record in the Finals be the end of the The Chosen One’s Legacy?  If so, I’d like to ask him, could he measure the loss?