It has been a few days since the best basketball night ever and I wanted to share my story. Even Kawhi is no match for a wicked Ontario thunderstorm.
The following story is as true as it is hard to believe.
It’s always easy to look back once history has been made and say, I called that, but sometimes, it’s just how it goes. As we head to the 2018 Final Four in San Antonio, something I thought would never be mentioned again, came up today while I walked the kids to school.
The something that came up? Well it’s a tale that Harry may hold over me for the history of time. He made a choice and then changed it thanks to something I said.
- A true, Dad, I can’t believe you stopped me from predicting history.
- Dad, remember the time I made that pick and it came true and you used your bias to sway me?
- Dad you owe me money.
What the hell am I talking about? Well as they say on the National, first a little back story.
From a GQ interview. Had to highlight Kevin Garnett’s remarks about Toronto, Canada and the Raptors.
What about Toronto makes it distracting?
What I love about Toronto is that there’s always something new and vibrant going on. A place might close at 2, and tomorrow it will close at 4. It’s a city of a bunch of hole-in-the-walls. There are a bunch of spots that you don’t really know of that’s here and there. I love cities like that, like Madrid is similar, where you can just find spots to eat and lounge. My first time in Toronto was my draft and it was a great experience. I’ve always considered it like home. I spent my own money to come up there to relax. I love Caribana. I always enjoyed that weekend. It’s always been fun. I’ve enjoyed Whistler. I’ve been to Calgary a couple of times. I enjoy Canada. Canada is super chill and I’m a chill guy. I like to chill.
The Raptors have the best record in the Eastern Conference right now. Do you believe in them this year?
I don’t know, man. I gotta see, man. DeMar [DeRozan] is having a hell of a year. I saw Kyle [Lowry] recently and pulled him aside to give him some words of advice. I know Dwane [Casey]. It’s all about believing, man. They have to believe in their own work. They’ve put a lot of work into this year, and they have to continue to believe in that work. They’re a different team, they’re playing at a different level and they just have to continue to believe in that. It’s got to start with Kyle and DeMar. Everyone else will follow.
Dad did the Jays win last night?
Did Joshie hit a home run?
Did Pillar make a crazy catch??
Can we go to another game?
These are all daily questions in our house. From April until October, the Toronto Blue Jays take over the chatter in our family and it was a perfect storm of events that got us to that point.
First, our boys are of the age where baseball becomes fun and interesting. Harry (6) went to his first game two years ago and has been hooked ever since.
Charlie (3) just wants to do and like what his big brother likes, so it was easy for him to become a Junior Jay.
They play in the backyard. Harry has entered the world of organized teeball and baseball. Their Nana has been doing her best to promote her Jays fandom for years. It was bound to stick at some point.
Second, we moved back to Toronto in 2014. That meant hearing about the Jays in the news more. That meant actually being able to go to the games. That meant getting caught up in the hype very easily.
Third, that hype. The Jays are good. They are really good. That makes everyone excited to the point where we watch almost every game on TV now. I certainly did not do that a few years ago. Forget House of Cards, my wife and I end up watching Buck and Pat.
So you combine seeing the game through the eyes of your kids, being close to the action and the team challenging for a World Series and that is how it all went down.
March! I love it. The weather changes, the days get longer and there is this little basketball tournament that takes over my life. We all know it as March Madness, and I hope it never stops.
I tested my brain the other day and tried to remember as far back as I could on what year I started watching. This is going to really age me, but I got back as far as 1986. Louisville won it all and I was hooked for the next 30 years and counting. Yes, when the tourney fires up this week, it will be my 30th watching on TV.
So many highs and lows. I have seen my team, Michigan, win once and lose a handful of times in dramatic fashion. The players come and go, but the name on the front of the jersey stays true.
There is no other sporting event like it. Anyone, and I mean anyone, can get wrapped up into buzzer beaters and upsets. You don’t have to know anything about the sport or the players, all you need is a heart.