Monday, March 16, 2009

Wade MVP (Or the End of the Argument)

So we've just gone through an amazing week of Dwyane Wade heroics. I'm listening to "Every Night" by Paul McCartney. This whole NBA season has been completely focused on Kobe Bryant and Lebron James and rightfully so. Their teams (along with the Celtics) have been dominating the standings. Lebron put up a not so triple double at MSG right after Kobe laid down 61 in typical Kobe fashion (0 assists). The Cavs and Lakers could very well meet in the finals. We all know Kobe is a killer and Lebron is a freak of nature. However, Dwyane Wade silently, consistently is the best player in the NBA.

The MVP debate has historically centered around this dilemma. Player A is putting up great numbers and his team has a great record and is in the thick of the playoff/Finals discussion. Meanwhile Player B is putting up astounding numbers and without him his team would win maximum 15-20 games. Usually Player A, if taken away, would see his team drop in his absence, but not in such a dramatic fashion. Usually, Player B is putting up the bigger scoring numbers. In the end, in the NBA, it's player A that gets the MVP.

This year is different. Not only is Wade the leading scorer in the league, averaging an even 30.0 points per game as of this evening, he is also in the top 5 in steals and assists. Now, Kobe certainly shoulder a huge load for the Lakers from 2004-2006. However, that was the era when we saw Kobe score 81 points. Dwyane Wade is never going to score 81 points, nor does he ever want to. Dwyane Wade is a killer just like Kobe. Kobe, Lebron and Dwyane are the only three killers in the game today. There is no one else, and if anyone argues then they are arguing to degrees, because those three are the only ones who will kill you to win the game (i.e. the M.J, Bird, Magic, Isiah gene). I may give you Chris Paul as a 4th member on some nights, but not full fledged yet - he's too much point guard.

Now, where the difference arises is that, Wade will not let his team lose, but he will not go about it by trying to score as much as possible. Sure he pours it in, but his assist lines are just as ridiculous. Look at his lines the past two weeks:


5 out of 6 games he broke 30 points. 3 out of 6 games he broke double digits in assists. 1 out of 6 games he broke double digit rebounds, which a combo 1/2 guard really isn't expected to do. 4 out of six games he had 4 steals - a great to extraordinary stat for those who don't know. The turnovers are still his one weak spot, but look at that - 3 blocks in one game for a 6'4" guard.

See, Dwyane Wade is putting his team on his back entirely, but still remaining an all around player who can fill in the stat sheet, he is explosive, he is physical and yet still graceful. I know the media and any true NBA fan will be in awe of Lebron. Lebron is a physical specimen, he can get it done in the clutch, and he has carried a team to the Finals. We can't go by history in an MVP race. I think we can safely say that Kobe should be ruled out of the race this year. This race is down to the two guys who will be dominating this award for the next 5 years. Lebron and Wade. You can't lose with either, but if you look at Wade's overall body of work, the caliber and amount of support he has compared to Lebron (Lebron can get plenty of assists with Mo Williams knocking down 3's, with Varajao flopping baskets in out of control, with Big Z lumbering in for a dunk) while Wade has to hope that his young shooters can make a three to get an assist.

The Heat will be better next year and the Cavs will be just as good and may be the reigning champs. So let Lebron get his MVP as he defends his title. This is Wade's year. No one has worked harder, taken on more, but still shared and been a model player. Sorry 04'-06' Kobe you were amazing, but not at the same balance as Wade, which is why it took the 2007-2008 Kobe to win it. The 2008-2009 Wade season is changing the mold, and that's why he is going to win it.

Now, the next installment of From Here to the Last Mound of Dirt:


I’m in my bathrobe and the shower is running. I’m wasting the water and I know that. But I’ve always loved the sound of the shower, the sound of repetitive falling water as natural in its way as rain. I remember when I used to take a shower in the morning and when I’d step out James would be curled up on the bathroom rug with a towel over him sleeping. I’d laugh every time. There’s something natural about it. The warmth, the moisture and the sound. It’s like the womb. That stuff was always surprising about being a father. How your kids could do strange little things like that. Be so attached to you. You never imagine that. Another person being so attached to you that they’d wake up to come and lay and listen to you shower. But that’s what it is to be a parent. You can never project that, you can’t project a child sleeping on the bathroom floor or waking you up before dawn on Christmas. Those are the images you have, but you can’t fully project that. You can’t fully project the feeling of being in that bed in the dark on Christmas Morning and you are still a college student in some way wanting to sleep as late as possible when you can, but here they come. Here are these little people that can’t wait to wake you up and be alive and can’t wait for you to be up and be alive so that you can watch them open presents. And you want sleep so bad, but there is a joy in you – an unknown glowing organ that flourishes at moments like that. When the little legs and arms jump on the comforter in the dark and these kids are you and they need and love you.

But those are all memories and old feelings. I’m still here in my bathrobe and drunk. The bathroom still looks the same with the jacuzzi empty and the baskets with the different colored soaps and gels that I never used. I should just dump them all in the jacuzzi and lie there instead of taking a shower. Maybe I will. On the sink a glass of water is resting on the flat part next to the faucet. It’s one of the glasses with the red flowers on it. In the sink is my second Cutty Sark bottle. I took a few sips before.

I open the stall. Water sprinkles my forearm. I turn off the knobs. Steam has started to fill the bathroom and everything feels damp and comfortable. I step to the jacuzzi and turn on the water. I stop the drain and watch it fill.

When we first moved in, Rose and I would use the jacuzzi all the time. It was a luxury to have. That was the beginning of the prosperous time. We had Maggie and James. So much room and so many bathrooms. We still had a healthy sex life then too. Three times a week it was I think. We’d put the kids to sleep and the house was so big that it didn’t matter. But she’s dead now. Thinking about the sex you had with your dead wife. And how can I possibly get all of that back? I can’t and I know that but it would be nice.

The water is filling and I pour in some soap. It’s a round smooth plastic bottle with blue liquid. Then there’s a red one, its raspberry scented. I pour that into the mix too. A green one is next: kiwi. A purple one: passion fruit and plum. These are all scents I’ve smelt before but never known. Although it looks like the bottles have hardly been used. The soap and bubbles are rising and frothing beneath the flow of the faucet. The water is just about higher than the jets. I turn the jets on; some of the water shoots out of the tub and hits my robe thigh. It’s warm and leaves a soapy mark. The water has risen above the jets and now everything is bubbly and the room is steamy and smells like a strange rotten and overripe fruit vendor. I remove my robe. My skin is wrinkled. There are some liver spots on my thigh. I could’ve had more if I drank all those years.

I step to the sink and take the bottle of Cutty Sark with me. I look at my naked self in the mirror. Just another day of vanity. Remember when I was 20? Looking in the mirror all the time then. I’m walking over to the tub and now I’m sinking into the bubbles and the steam and watching the suds wrap around the bottle.

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