So You Met…

B: S. Davis

He made you smile
Swoon, I’m sure too
He showed you affection
Love
And protection
When into your ear he whispered…
“I love you.”
He tested your patience
Confused you in his peculiar ways
Took you for granted
Giving he was, as he passed on to you…
the glorious gift of AIDS
I stand here before you
As I can’t stand before her
A niece, a cousin…
I simply called her mother
You were tired and you needed rest
In a flash you were gone too soon
I was 12 when I said goodbye
And you, 36…priceless
The problem is good girls
Tend to favor the bad boys
He was a boxer, from Brooklyn
A street pharmacist, he sold drugs
You pointed out his flaws
Yet you were blinded by his love
He made your heart flutter
He’d also break it – and cause you to cry
He’d wrap you in a warm hug
And bloody both eyes
He is not a role model
Although he put me in your womb
My older siblings and my younger sister
Carry the burden too
I know I have his face
A fact I can’t deny
My father, my dad?
No sir, you’re just a guy.
You happened to perish first but left your presence felt
Over my younger sister’s casket, enraged as I knelt
A smile gifted from the heavens, you’re so divine
AIDS took you too, shipped you to God at tender age of nine
Mom, I finished college like I promised
It’s been a struggle without you around
I’m yearning for your cooking, laughter and guidance
I’m no longer in Brooklyn
Your young boy’s in California now
The weather’s a true pleasure
I imagine what it would be like to drive you around
I can’t seek your opinion on handling a first date
My soul isn’t complete, the battery’s lacking
Still a dreamer, my eyes fixed to the skies
I put my degree to the side
For the stability of acting
I don’t know why you chose him
He proved to be your demise
I will treat my wife in such a way
That would’ve produced joyful tears from
My mommies brown eyes.
If you’re estranged from your parents,
Especially your mother, mend it
So precious is time
I was 12 when I last spoke to mine.

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One-Night Stand? Well…

By: S. Davis

A few weeks back a fun conversation between friends shifted to dating and one-night stands. Specifically, the age at which the both men and women should stop chasing them. As a single guy, I’ve contemplated the subject but never affixed a due date to it. As I’m a few birthdays away from 40 – wait, I have to vomit – I was instantly intrigued. When is waking up next to a stranger after a cloudy night of drinking and dancing just too far a bridge to cross?

If you’re here for advice, I’m sorry, you’re in the wrong place. You have to view it through your personal world view and how it feels to YOU. As someone that’s on the dating scene I don’t enter any interaction with women armed with expectations. We meet spontaneously in-person – which I prefer – or through a great deal of online swiping. At that point, if a connection is sparked, anything is usually on the table.

One-night stands used to be all I wanted. Get dressed, take a train into Manhattan, check out some new places I haven’t seen and walk inside. I’ve never lacked for confidence so going to clubs and/or bars alone was something that never deterred me. In fact, I preferred going solo in those scenarios. You’ve got to be able to change on the fly throughout the night and it’s easier to adjust to change when you’re not surrounded by five of your lovely, but drunk, friends.

I’ve had my share of one-night stands but once you begin to feel they’re not going to get you in the cool kids club, then you should quit them. What age will that be for you?

Now that I live in Los Angeles, dating is vastly different. Why? Vanity. In this town where appearance seems to be THE only trait that matters between the sexes, more people are single later into their 30’s and 40’s. Mostly everyone is conscious of their physique through exercise and/or plastic surgery – and the majority try to eat clean. At the very least they pretend they do. People pretend to be and/or do a lot of things out here. It comes with the nice weather, unfortunately. It’s a character-tax if you will.

In the City of Angels you are going to see people dating much later. Dating swiftly after a divorce or a breakup isn’t strange. I met a group of single women out looking for guys twenty years their junior. These were stunning, accomplished ladies in their 50’s. Most of them looked to be 10-15 years younger but a few were, let’s say, generously enhanced. I’ve also watched old guys at the bar buying swarms of drinks for college aged women. I would never want to be that guy. But when you’re single and you want to date, you date.

It’s been years since I went out with the specific goal to get naked with a sexy lady on the first night. I’m no angel so I’m not against it but the recent encounters I’ve had were just plain dates. Hiking, ice-cream, shooting pool, going dancing, etc. Now some of them have ended in bed but that’s just because the guys they’ve dated prior to me have been, in their words, “lame.” Thank you to my fellow brethren.

To delve deeper to unearth a true answer one must look in the mirror and ask truthfully, “What am I searching for?” If commitment doesn’t appeal to you, then get after it. Please practice safe sex; my God it sucks that I have to mention this but I’ve been recently shocked by the amount of people who don’t use condoms. It’s frightening!

What do you want? How do you feel after the sex is over?

If there’s a lingering level of shame then the answer should be obvious. Do you still want to search for your boxers in a dark room that you’ve never visited? Do you want to fight with his dog for your panties that you left in the bathroom? It sounds hilarious to me but is it funny to you? Put yourself in that situation. A myriad of questions will sprout depending where you are emotionally and mentally. After an instance where I couldn’t locate my underwear in a woman’s apartment I learned to keep my underwear on until I grab for the condom. Someone else may think to themselves that’s it’s just too much. It’s a personal choice after some time of reflection. You, alone, make that decision.

I could sit here and say you should stop at 30, 35 or 45. What if you’ve been married for 12 years and suddenly find yourself back in the dating pool? What if that happens when you’re 40 – or 50? Maybe you don’t want to take six tequila shots, grind on a stranger for a few songs and exchange bodily fluids after a sweaty night of sex. What about those who do?

Ask yourself some combination – or all – of these questions:

1: What’s the endgame? What’s the ultimate goal of your quest?

So ultimately we as humans do things for a purpose, usually. As a species we are purpose-driven by merely existing. Early humans hunted together for food and to build a community, parents are driven to provide for their children, people exercise to feel good, and let’s be honest, for the compliments, etc. (Stop lying you know who YOU are! I’m not judging here. I am…a little.)

2. Is this going to be a standard pattern of behavior? If so, why?

Life’s short and should be enjoyed as long as you’re being true to yourself – and in this case, practicing safe-sex. (Please use protection people; it’s scary if you don’t!)

3. Is this a phase you’re in because you just want meaningless sex and want to have a good time?

It’s your world, ultimately.

4. Is the act of chasing one night with a stranger a response to deeper pain in other parts of your life?

Only you can answer these.

Just don’t be the old creepy guy at the bar or the woman who can’t move her face with neck skin that resembles a crumpled paper bag. Use some etiquette. Focus on what feels right to you…for you.

UFC 226: Miocic or Cormier?

By: S. Davis

Since this is the second iteration of this piece I wanted to wait until the event actually began before I posted it. Get well soon, Max Holloway. There isn’t much time to waste here so let’s take a look at the main event.

The ideal of what a superfight truly is seems to be superfluous depending on the marketing demands. This is a contest between two of the elite martial artists of their time with no clear contenders, currently, in either of their divisions. They both traveled a treacherous path leading to one another for the biggest prize in mixed martial arts; this is the one.

Photo: UFC

I’m not diving into GOAT discussions as I find them abhorrent in a sport currently in its infancy but it’s clear the winner at the end of the night will have a substantial imprint on the sport – even as they both are cemented as greats before a single punch is thrown. It’s exciting and will be fascinating to see how it unfolds.

Stipe Miocic wins if he can stay on his feet. I’m not making it out to be as simple as that since he’s facing Daniel Cormier. Don’t you have the feeling that if it’s a five-round grinder, there’s a good chance that Cormier walks away with another championship? That’s the way it seems. Miocic is a balanced athlete no matter if he’s a heavyweight or a middleweight. He moves crisply, stepping off, resetting and firing from all angles. His boxing and footwork – which I find to be equally, if not more impressive than his hands – are masterful. His best advantage is to deploy those tools along with his accuracy, range and power.

He’s no slouch as a wrestler either but it’s something he uses more when a change of pace is needed – and it’s a main factor why he turned away the promotion’s new crush in Francis Ngannou; Miocic just has a deep variety of tools of which to mine. I like him to retain if he dictates the fight whether in close, or at distance. If he elects to fire from range and keep Cormier trying to fight inside his reach, I feel strongly that Cormier will fall due to the volume that Miocic can turn on.

He could also go the opposite route and try to overpower the smaller, in height, at least, challenger. That would be a twist though. Imagine Miocic going to the grappling and using his physical advantages to (probably) confuse the challenger by meeting him on his terms. If the reigning heavyweight champion can keep Cormier at the end of his attacks and stuff the takedown he should have a successful evening.

Cormier wins if he dictates the terms. While being a small heavyweight sounds oxymoronic, it’s apt when referencing the challenger. During his career at heavyweight he’s had to outlast Josh Barnett, Frank Mir, Roy Nelson and Antonio Silva based on speed, precision and skill. The size advantage can’t be as wide as it was when he shared the cage with the aforementioned staples of the division. Miocic is lean for such a big man. According to the scale, Cormier is 246 lbs to Miocic’s 242.5. They’re three-and-a-half pounds away from one another. It’s close to being equal.

Also it can’t be overlooked that the light heavyweight champion has been fighting Cain Velasquez for years, for training. Yeah. His heavyweight run is a clean 13-0. He’s a true heavyweight and just manages as a light heavyweight.

I see the people picking Cormier are leaning highly on his wrestling as the key to victory. It is. However there’s a path to DC earning a knockout. He’s a good striker, he isn’t out of his element on his feet. There’s an avenue for an overhand shot that can stagger the defending champion. Every competitor that opposes Cormier has to worry about the takedown so he can fake a shot, have Miocic drop his hands and…

I also noted the two, nearly identical, ways he turned back Anthony Johnson with the takedown as a precursor to the rear-naked choke. Small nugget: Cormier has a tendency to duck his head to the right without protecting himself which was all the opening Jon Jones needed to close their last bout. Miocic doesn’t use head kicks often so I wonder if it’s a surprise he’s holding in case of emergency.

Lastly, I can’t help but mention the Jones and Brock Lesnar carrots that are dangling for the UFC executives to salivate over. The winner will have a slew of options after the event closes.

The rest of the card…

I wonder if Anthony Pettis will truly be labeled as a gatekeeper with a loss. While it’s been affixed to him for a while now I think this challenge from Michael Chiesa could alter his present and future. His weaknesses are evident: A great striker with bad defensive wrestling. He’s not unlike a large portion of the roster but his flaws are so evident that his opponents know if they can avoid the knockout or submission early in the fight they have a way to win in the later rounds. Derrick Lewis and Ngannou square off in a battle that could obviously stamp the next challenger for the heavyweight title-holder at the conclusion of the event. Don’t step away from the television for that one.

Picks: Gokhan Saki, Chiesa, Paul Felder, Lewis and Cormier.

Travel Diary: Het Steen

By. S. Davis

April; Antwerp:

I’m in Antwerp as I take some time to journal today. Honestly, I’d rather drink but it’s chilly this afternoon. The wind is cutting and I’m sure as the hours progress it won’t improve. I could get a drink but that would mean that I have to sit indoors and that’s the opposite of where I want to be at the moment. My trips have taken me to some splendid places and I know this memory of the Het Steen Fortress will be a nice one to have stored in the memory bank. This fortress is the oldest in the city of Antwerp – dating back to 1200 – and has also served as a prison, residence and now a museum.

My eyes gaze across the Scheldt River as I find a bench in direct sunlight. I’m winning the day, I’d say! I sit and it’s serene. The greenery across the river, couples to my left and right, a dog playfully fetches a water bottle thrown by its master. A boxer, with a gorgeous cappuccino coat; elated with joy, waiting patiently for the game to continue.

Warmth starts with my face as the suns rays glide from my hands to my nose. I’m feeling okay, I’m much better than okay as I contemplate.

A couple completely in love – at least from my perch – can’t decide if they want to lock hands or hug while walking. They compromise and do both. He stumbles over his left foot and she tugs his arm to help him balance. Teamwork right there; cute.

To my left, another couple warms in the sun as I am. When I passed them to find this open bench, he was staring across the river while she rested her head on his right shoulder with a look on her face of comfort, relaxation and peace. She felt safe. For a moment I wanted to snap a picture of them; just to keep that moment fresh. It would be odd though as the way I would have to frame it would make it obvious as to what I was doing. In turn they would probably think I was a freak – and I wouldn’t blame them for it. I’m not an asshole so I didn’t. Also, I couldn’t ask to take the photo as that moment would be interrupted. Pointless.

Those moments don’t seem to fit into my immediate future. I can’t explain why. There is someone I think that I like. Those reading this might say, “If you think you like her then you don’t.” Logical. Yet the humans that have any true idea of Sean know that nothing about me or my life seems simple, normal or by the book.

I’m the type of person to deliberately process emotions when it comes to romantic entanglements. I don’t leave a single stone unturned.

There’s some random street fair happening so this is a good time to get some alcohol in my system. The wind is still present but the large buildings are helping although some of these walkways are like wind tunnels. Outside seating? Yes! I take a seat and drop my backpack on the empty chair across from me. As I begin to write in my pad, a waiter comes over. Before I can speak I’m greeted in English. Should I be offended by that? Most of my interactions in Belgium, where the conversation was initiated by the stranger, I’ve been greeted in French – and I immediately express that I only speak English, unfortunately. Of course I wasn’t offended I just wanted to know why he chose English, so I asked. I wasn’t dressed differently from the locals, no bold colors or large logos on my clothing. “Just a guess, you know?” was the response. I ordered and got back to writing, briefly.

The architecture in Antwerp was worth the ride from Brussels. This has been a long day but it feels invigorating to explore. In the back of my mind the dread is seeping in as this trip is coming to its conclusion in the next few days. A group of women sit at the table adjacent to mine. I nod, they return in kind. I exchange glances with them all as I sip on my beer and pretend to write. The pained expression on my face seems to draw their attention. I’m acting. Randomly I laugh to myself recognizing how much of a jerk I am. Weird. Ha! I say hello, they respond as well. As I drift off into my mind they order and talk amongst themselves.

Should I eat? I could always stuff my face but I’m not inspired to feast at the moment. Life seems so calm when I’m abroad as I only have to worry about how I’ll spend the day. It’s not even worrisome. It’s an unplanned, winding block of time that I have to fill by doing whatever comes to mind. It’s liberating. I just sit…and watch strangers stroll along.

The women leave. They wave to me and I wish them a good day – or night I should say. Since I’m not pressed for time I order another beer. There’s nothing but an open canvas for the rest of the evening. This is peace.

A random thought I scribbled as I walked to Five Guys and the skies began to cry; I wanted a burger: It’s important to know who you are and to be wholeheartedly honest with yourself. I’m not accepting aging well. It’s holding up a mirror to vulnerabilities I’ve never had at any other time in my life.

 

Travel Diaries
Part 1: France
Part 2: New York City (JFK)
Part 3: Berlin
Part 4: Salzburg Airport
Part 5: La Parrilla Steak Restaurant
Part 6: Salzburg Airport (Departure)
Part 7: Hostel
Part 8: Berlin Wall
Part 9: Somewhere in Kensington
Part 10: Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe
Part 11: Strausbourg
Part 12: Vienna
Part 13: On To Switzerland

Travel Diary: On To Switzerland

By: S. Davis

April; (hovering) the United States:

There are eight hours and 52 minutes remaining on this 10.5 hour direct flight to Zürich. The overwhelming joy that usually invigorates me hasn’t hit. Yet. It’s peculiar. I’m not dwelling on it but I feel that it’s worth pointing out. A great little nugget about the flight thus far is that I have three whole seats to myself. The entire row! It’s like I’m in first class, you know? Well, without the money and uh…yeah, the money. I have three pillows to myself though. YES! I’ve been fortunate that this has happened to me a few times and I love when it does. It never grows old. The plane begins to make its way towards the runway and it’s cemented that I’m going to have all the space I need. I’m sprawled across my row as I write this minor entry.

The evening envelops the last rays of sunlight.

It’s probably a fool’s errand to attempt to snatch a few hours of sleep considering I’ve only slept once – on a short 90 minute flight from Paris to Berlin back in September. The human body is weird and mine is a mystery as it pertains to my level of comfort each time I board one of these steel flying rods.

My mind is incredibly active. It’s almost as if I can feel someone sifting through my thoughts as if they were alphabetized and filed in an office cabinet. I’m just so worn – but not physically. There’s just a great deal dominating my thoughts. Specifically, I honestly feel emotionally and mentally exhausted. My battery, so to speak, is plugged into the wall – and yet I’m topping out at 85% on most days. Grabbing that elusive 15% is imperative.

What’s happening with my career? Not as much as I’d like. It’s definitely an issue of my work not yielding any tangible results – which is frustrating. The snail’s pace at which my web series is moving is testing my sanity.

I’ve been staring at this journal for ten minutes and there’s nothing that wants to come out of my brain to be transferred to my hands. I feel flat. I want what I want out of life now. However my immediate present seems to be rife with an abundance of problems. I’m now sleepy and I feel beat, drained. I’m going to stop now to relax although I know that doesn’t equate to sleep.

We’ll be in Zürich soon enough, Sean.

 

Travel Diaries
Part 1: France
Part 2: New York City (JFK)
Part 3: Berlin
Part 4: Salzburg Airport
Part 5: La Parrilla Steak Restaurant
Part 6: Salzburg Airport (Departure)
Part 7: Hostel
Part 8: Berlin Wall
Part 9: Somewhere in Kensington
Part 10: Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe
Part 11: Strausbourg
Part 12: Vienna

C’mon Guys, Don’t Send THAT Pic!

By: S. Davis

It’s been a long while – February, actually – since I published a dating entry. I really haven’t paid much attention to dating since life has other ideas but I’m back due to some recent inspiration. I’m an attractive man on the scene in the City of Angels so getting to know single women is a component of my life. In talking with women I’ve had the pleasure of dating – or not – and new acquaintances I’ve learned that the dick pic is still a thing.

Guys, are you really out there sending pictures of your  prized appendage to women? Mind you these aren’t your long-term girlfriends, women you’re engaged to, or your wives; these are strangers. I’m proud of what I’ve been blessed with but the thought has never crossed my mind to snap a digital photo – which never truly disappears with today’s technology – for the purpose of quickly sending it to a potential date. I guess it doesn’t dawn on my fellow brothers that a lot of the women don’t find it a positive, to put it mildly.

What could be the thought behind it?

That’s where my mind goes immediately. There isn’t one woman who I spoke with that found it appealing or a way to jump at the idea of a second date. Oddly, most of the women admitted they got hit with a penis head-shot – bad pun intended – before the first date was confirmed. As in mere minutes after matching on either Tinder or Bumble. (All of the women I spoke to for this used Bumble exclusively. I can’t confirm or deny that I’ve been dates with all of them. Cough, cough!)

Tina, 29, stated, “We exchanged, maybe, three messages over a two-hour span and then I finished my dinner. I was excited to get back to my phone to chat and then…yeah. Right there! My roommate had just grilled turkey sausages with peppers – and now his was on my phone. I blocked him and reported him to Bumble administration. Idiot. He was really cute.”

In an age of dating options, especially prevalent in the larger metropolitan cities, it’s a numbers game. We all know that. Let’s just get it out-of-the-way early and let the cat out of the bag to those who are uninformed here. Isn’t it also about decency and respect for one’s self and then the person on the other end of the communication line?

“I think some guys have success doing that but I really don’t see how. But I also watch a lot of reality tv and I don’t understand how those shows keep getting produced but they do. Maybe I should send some clit pics to even it out,” Erika, 32.

Getting an online match is a small accomplishment in itself so it’s obvious that these guys are searching for something. If it’s just a quick-bang there are easier avenues than online: I think they’re looking for bars and clubs. When I’m feeling primal and crave a beautiful woman I usually hit a lounge or a club to give myself the gift of options – and if there’s chemistry we can spend the night getting closer immediately instead of waiting for two or three dates to feel comfortable with each other. In my experience it’s always a better option to meet someone at a club/lounge if you’re just searching for sex.

In an attempt to try to understand how these guys operate, in this scenario, I would introduce myself to a woman, chat briefly, earn a positive response to a dance request, walk to the dance floor and then turn towards her with my penis in-hand while chuckling. It would never cross my mind to be that direct or disrespectful. I’d feel guilty based on being raised by a woman who wouldn’t approve of that behavior. Secondly, I just think it’s an odd move to make.

“There are some trashy girls that might like it. I don’t have a clue. I don’t. I’ve cancelled my dating apps a few times because of it. Eventually I download them again because I’m looking for a normal guy…if they still exist somewhere,” Becca, 35.

Desperation is what I see but wouldn’t that just make matters worse for someone actually trying to date? What happens to the guys that try to truly connect to the woman that’s inundated with porn quality closeups – and she ignores them all? What about the women actually searching for  meaningful connections that can lead somewhere?

“There’s no doubt in my mind that I’ve let matches expire on Bumble because I didn’t want to deal with the possibility of THAT again. I let two matches expire this morning because of this weird conversation I had with this really aggressive guy,” Brittney, 30.

Guys, we have to do better than this. If you need a photo that bad take one and save it but don’t send it to a new woman. If you two establish a sexting foundation then go for it but otherwise wait until she gives you the green light.  Several women have labeled me “normal” solely because I didn’t send them a few angles of my partner soon after swiping right on one another. That’s a low bar for me to clear, by the way. It actually helped me in a way because you guys were so awful. Maybe I should be thanking you all. I’m joking. Possibly. Your ineptitude has gotten me laid on dates completely out of the blue. At times when I wasn’t even trying to get them back to my place – or theirs.

We have it in us to ignore our carnal desires, guys. We don’t have to be jerks about this subject. Calm down, take a shower…no scratch that because getting naked is part of the issue here for you amateur porn photographers out there. Think of how cool it is to “match.” Ignore whatever contact happens or not from that point. I always get a rush of dopamine when my right-swiping pays off and I get that sweet notification from Bumble that there’s a match. It’s even better once that first message awaits my response.

I look at her page, read the profile again and think about the conversation we might have. With Bumble, I just make sure to be ready to respond because women aren’t used to reaching out first. It’s a confidence booster as well because we all would like to be chosen, right? We all feel special in some way and we usually feel better when others hold us in the same regard. Let that guide you and keep your hands away from your penis.

Talk to the woman, provided she doesn’t let the time expire. Ladies, you have to be better about that I must admit but that’s for another post. Guys just be kind, witty and your true self and maybe you’ll earn that date, a few more and she’ll want to undress you. Isn’t that better?

A Double Three-Peat

By: S. Davis

June 14, 1998. Summer in Brooklyn, New York City. It was on. There were some inconsistencies with my high school credits that would push my graduation date out later than it should’ve been. I wouldn’t be going to college just yet and I was bothered. Whatever. I had great friends and a summer ahead of me that would be full of parties, chilling with my friends, and of course…girls. I had a group of friends around me that are still in my life 20 years later.

Wait! Is that correct? Has it been twenty years? My God. It was June 14, 1998 and only that evening mattered to me. Game six of the NBA Finals had my Chicago Bulls – still my favorite basketball team – going into Salt Lake City to attempt to close out the Utah Jazz. I wasn’t nervous but the Jazz competed hard enough to let the world know they wouldn’t go quietly. John Stockton and Karl Malone ultimately didn’t lift the trophy but they pushed the Bulls to the brink. The Bulls survived the Eastern Conference Finals with the Indiana Pacers, barely, in seven games and were a wounded team. The Pacers joined the 1992 New York Knicks as the only two teams to push Michael Jordan’s Bulls to a seventh game. I had potato chips and Sprite – and a feeling that the Bulls would finish the series.

We all know the final sequence: Jordan steals the ball from Malone while lurking from behind along the baseline, eschews calling a timeout to isolate Bryon Russell one-on-one to set up the game-clinching jumper which was followed by a three-pointer from Stockton that looked good from my living room. It was fantastic!

I remember Bob Costas declaring, “That may have been, who knows what will unfold in the next several months, but that may have been the last shot that Michael Jordan will ever take in the NBA.” The Bulls clinched their sixth title in eight seasons and I didn’t care that my summer didn’t kick off the way I expected it to. The chips were half eaten but the Sprite never tasted as refreshing as it did that night. I didn’t scream or carry the blanket of relief I did after the Bulls outlasted the Pacers in the prior series; I just remember my house being silent. All my cousins were just as reserved as I was. We watched the man…do it again. The poise was remarkable. As someone who closely followed the Bulls’ front office, notably Jerry Krause and his management style, I knew the team would be stripped for parts. I knew it was over. But on that night I shared one of the best moments of my life caring about sports with millions of others.

The fact that it’s the 20-year anniversary makes me feel ancient. Honestly that play sticks out so vividly that I had to take a breath and realize that a significant chunk of time has passed since it happened.

I thought of this Jordan moment a few days ago when a piece published on ESPN had the 2017 Golden State Warriors favored over the 1996 Bulls according to Vegas bookmakers by anywhere between -8 and -2. OK. I get that it’s difficult to compare eras but it’s odd how so many people think the 72 win Bulls team – that finished their season with an NBA Championship by the way – couldn’t adapt to play in the open basketball the Warriors currently reign over.

Is it a faster pace of play now? Yes. Are the Warriors a spectacular shooting team? Even a true hater can’t deny that. They put runs together that are shocking…in a matter of possessions. The thing that’s often overlooked is who draws the defensive assignment on the greatest player ever in an era where you can’t play physical defense anymore? Nowadays people complain about how much James Harden gets to the foul line. Unleash Jordan on this NBA.

As for the three-point shooting, the Bulls are capable in their own right of adapting as any team would be forced to in going against the Warriors. The Warriors employ several players with the ability to make plays for their teammates, just as the Bulls do with Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Ron Harper and Toni Kukoc. I feel the length of the Bulls on the perimeter would hinder the Warriors on the offensive end. It wouldn’t take options away but it would make it difficult to get the clean looks they get at the basket. How would Steve Kerr coach against the younger version of himself? Would the Earth implode during this basketball game? Ha!

The equalizer would be how would the Warriors defend Jordan? Klay Thompson would obviously draw the assignment initially but once he picks up two quick fouls and hits the bench a little of the spacing the Warriors feed on goes with him. Andre Iguodala would then find himself under siege and plagued with fouls as well. I just love the idea of the Death Lineup facing off against Jordan, Pippen, Harper, Rodman and Kukoc. I played the game in NBA 2K18 and won with the Bulls 128-120. In a Finals series I would take the Bulls 4-2, but hey Jordan is my favorite player ever, the best ever, and led the best team of all time. It’s starting to seem like Jordan is becoming underrated.

At one point winning titles was important and now it seems like it isn’t because Jordan’s undefeated Finals record is now being picked apart by those who are clamoring to proclaim LeBron James as a better player. I like James and I think he’s on par with Jordan but I don’t feel any player is better than MJ. Everyone needs to calm down; recency bias is strong in terms of this debate.

Additionally, comparing James directly to Jordan and questioning if he’s knocked MJ off the top of the mountain directly implies that he’s already surpassed Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Bill Russell, Magic Johnson, Wilt Chamberlain, Kobe Bryant, Larry Bird and Tim Duncan. Personally I don’t think he has. As a Jordan supporter, I’m not sure he’s surpassed Abdul-Jabbar or Russell – and he’s my favorite athlete ever. Simply, if we’re just dumbing it down to rings – above all else – the entire list is Russell and no other basketball player is even worthy of mention.

How come it’s so easy for the talking heads and the columnists desperate for clicks? This is the hot -take era in the media but it’s tiresome. Jordan vs. LeBron. I think it’s unfair especially when people on both sides rip the accomplishment of the other to uphold their guy. If you want to argue for Jordan, PER is in his favor as the number one rated player, ever, in player efficiency rating. James is right behind him, all-time at the second spot. James has the edge as it pertains to win-shares at fourth with Jordan at number five. (Abdul-Jabbar, Chamberlain and Malone round out the top three.) Jordan is 6-0 in the Finals while James is 3-6. At the end of the day they’re all just numbers. Fight fair in the debate people – although there’s no reason for one. Jordan is the best ever, to me, while James is making a rightful claim to his seat at the table along with Abdul-Jabbar, Russell and Magic.

Twenty years ago I watched my favorite player secure a sixth title. I feel that – in my time – he’s the best the game will ever see. I remember wanting to eat a pile of wings and rejoice after it all sunk in. I remember my sadness knowing that the Bulls were headed for a monumental explosion due to ego. I remember thinking about all the girls I was going to meet on the beach. That was two decades ago.

The time does fly by.

 

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