Aiee, I have it.
Each basketball match is a tale composed of four chapters that invariably culminate in a tragedy for someone! And the interludes yield all the histrionics humans are capable of… namely, comedy, passion, and incessant complaining to the officials.
Along these lines, my mates and I recently played the Pistons and Hornets. Although we were victorious in the former, and vanquished in the latter, both matches had a similarity.
In Detroit, I was subjected to a strangely roundabout flagrant foul from Charlie Villanueva. It struck me as a little strange that the hairless Piston chose to crush the only other Spanish speaker on the court! But I took this in stride, as Villanueva has been known to attack a variety of individuals… including fans!
The following match against the Hornets saw me catching, in short order:
—A blow from David West’s elbow to my face as I rounded a corner...
—A crushing blast from Emeka Okafor’s thorax upon my visage...
—An elbow thrown in flagrante delicto from Marcus Thornton upon my countenance...now my face was as red as a pepper!
While the last stroke was deemed flagrant (the second such foul inflicted upon me in as many matches!), it was Okafor's blow that left me with the vision to the left. (I still hit my bonus shots, though!)
But for all this, I count my lucky stars… which is easy, as they are still floating about in my peripheral eyesightings. You see, we also had a recent match against the Celtics, and I counted myself fortunate that my reedy frame suffered no death-blows from the NBA’s true enforcer: Brian Scalabrine. (That would have been a true tragedy!)Rudy foto from AP,
A reader has contacted me to ask about my writing stylings. But a warning of fairness: Asking me to talk about words is like taking Nic Batum to a Mallorcan beach party. You will not be leaving anytime soon!
English is a most challenging tongue. And Bret, my kiwi doppelgänger, shares this sentiment! Take the English spellings. We have no spelling bees in Spain, for Spanish words are spelled sensibly. Thus, unlike last year’s most unfair dunking contest, no one would ever be eliminated!
Por ejemplo, to my orbs, the English word “fish” could be spelled “ghoti.” Simply take the “gh” from “enough,” the “o” from “women” and the “t” from “lotion.” And there it is! (As an aside, I have yet to make sense of the fearsome "Blouargh!" that Brandon Roy emitted after his match-winning shot last year. It is a celebratory call?)
As for Spanish, it truly is our nation’s treasure, though I think others judge my writings as a most heavy cartload of beautiful baggage. It is because of my Spanish background that I engage in long sentences and melodious long nouns that carry a richness in feeling and texture. Tell me, must these be cruelly chopped up into dwarf sentences composed of perverse spellings?
But enough; when you greet a swordsman, meet him with a sword. (Or long fingernails!) Do not offer a poem to anyone but a poet. And I will not use words to justify my own words. Instead, I will close by hoping that in our next match, the three-pointers will rain down like a hearty spring shower upon a pond full of ghoti!
In our loss today in the American capital, I went 1-7 from the parquets. But I gave it my all, which perhaps explains Nate McMillan’s statement to me as I returned to the bench 0 for 4 from behind the three-point arc.
“You’re playing hard,” he said, adding as I passed, “You’re killing us.”
But we have a saying in Mallorca: “A near miss rubs the bad fortune away.” And as my misses have been breeding like Iberian hares, my next match should be filled with the luck!
Rudy graphic by zaruga.
I have been asked how it feels to be back on the parquets again. I reply in this fashion:
Behold, the Spanish imperial eagle (Aquila adalberti)! These noble animals pass their days in a state of high excitement that humans cannot comprehend. To be sure, it is in some ways unenviable. If the bird does not succeed in catching prey, it dies. Further, the proud beasts must be infinitely perplexed by modern distractions like automobiles, airplanes, and the type of execrable Spanish hip-hop that El Chacho insists on blaring.
Yet even so, the imperial eagle is infinitely more ALIVE than we can imagine! That is, take your very finest feeling… perhaps you drank an espresso, purchased new zapatos, and then spent a sublime time with a loved one. Your every fiber is aware, each nerve tingles, the world is infinitely fascinating… and that is how the Spanish imperial eagle feels EVERY moment of its life.
This also describes my sensations when I slam-dunked on Dwight Howard. ¡Pum!
Spanish imperial eagle from here.
1.) Executing a missed lay-up on Dante Cunningham in practice.
2.) Stealing the ball from an inattentive Brandon Roy. (Admittedly, the ball was not in play at the time!)
3.) Keeping a wary eye on the Blazer Dancers during Rose Garden matches. (LaMarcus Aldridge has informed me that these lithe dryads may try to steal our plays —and hearts!— during team time-outs.)
But there is one good thing that has come from my free timings. I have been able to engage in innovations long on the backburner. Take my modular shoe! Designed for the Mallorcan hoopster, it allows engagement in pick-me-up games, followed by romantic strolls on sandy shores!
Post-Match Adición: Strike that.
I have it! As a child, I was always noted for my precocity. My curiousness, especially for literary matters, set me apart from my classmates. (The fact that I was using a razor by the age of seven contributed to this!) And it was during the blessed advent of my stubble that I read Albert Camus’s novel L’Etranger (The Stranger).
You are familiar with it? At a point in the novela, the anti-hero Meursault is on the beach. There he meets an Arab. And for seemingly no reason, Meursault shoots him!
Even stranger, although the act is most wanton, the reader somehow feels a sympathy for Meursault’s actions.
Thus it is with Andre Miller. He too is a strong, anti-heroic figure. And in the shooting off of his mouth, he descended into wrongfulness… yet one still feels a kindred response within oneself! Such are the paradoxes of existential basketball.
This brings to mind an unrelated question: Why is Gilbert Arenas writing self-help books? (And perhaps Meursault can be of assistance in the endeavor?)
Score Like Agent Zero will be available in May 2010.
As my return to the parquets grows closer, there is an excitement in my bones. But let us not overestimate things; I will not be able to leap tall windmills in a single bound! But I WILL try to right wrongs, vanquish evil, dispense truth, and remove Andre Miller’s callused digits from Nate McMillan’s throat. Such fire!
I watch myself, though. A periodista inquired as to whether I still feel fragile from the surgery. To this, I can only shrug and quote a wise man: “I don't really understand fragile. When I see that word it's on a shipping package, this side up.”
Today, I practiced with my antipodean mate Patty Mills on shooting drills. Some may question my need for this. To them, I say, I need shooting practice like Cervantes needed writing lessons. (Which is to say, I need it!)
See amimart1's translation of Rudy's blogging here.