Though time has passed, I possess no heartiness to revisit the ends of my first season in Portland. Interested party-goers can find ample writings of the Trail Blazers’ playoff loss to the Houston Rockets elsewhere. I can only say that I am not surprised at the current stalwart opposition the Rockets have given to the Lakers. ¡Buena suerte, Pau! (Though I am also rooting for a certain hirsute Argentine.)
My current vacationing has given me an amplitude of time to watch my countryman Rafael Nadal play at tennis. And the metronomic plopping of his ground strokes leads me to wax and wane philosophical. (I find this a welcome antidote to post-season mopery.)
And today, I am thinking of love!
Americans and Spaniards have different notions of love. For a Spaniard, love is no cuddly thing, cooing infantile words. In Spain, love runs alongside one person, walks gravely with another; turns a third into ice, and sets the fourth aflame. Love can simultaneously wound one man, kill another, and smash an esmaixada (slam dunk) in the face of the third, all in a flash of lightning that begins and ends in the same moment. (Much like an alley-oop thrown by Sergio!)
And these are the loves I hold for basketball.
Beside this towering love, all others are lesser and more fleeting. (This is with the exclusion of my love for my family, Cristina, Sergio, my dog Max, and for both my Mallorcan and Portland homes. I am also partial to bumper-pool.)
My fiery love explains why I will play on the Spanish national team this summer. I fear no injury, and will brook no dissuasion. Trail Blazers brassy-management types, please take notice.
In other newsiness, I was surprised to learn that Spanish racing-car star Fernando Alonso shares my enthusiasms for bumper pool. (We met up at Barcelona’s Formula One Grand Prix.) Our matches have proven a welcome diversion from considerations of all matters Sergio.
Can it be that El Chacho may have really played his last game as a Trail Blazer? Is it possible that the two of us shall never be mates again? Perhaps I can persuade Sergio that love makes a fortress yield at night, though it began its siege only that very morning. But whether I might sway him to believe that Coach McMillan will ever provide him with meaningful minutes on the court is another matter.
My eyes are clouded— I can write no more of this now. Cue up the ball, Fernando; let the bumper-pooling begin!