G.O.A.T. Talking to Ease My Mind

by on June 15, 2023 · 1 comment

in From the Soul, Sports

by Ernie McCray

some of what’s going on
in the nation
and the world,
I was in a low-grade funk
and then
I turned my TV on
to two talking heads
who were going on and on
about who was
the G.O.A.T.,
the greatest to ever play
in the NBA,
just a huffing
and a puffing away
like the wolf
who threatened to blow
the Three Little Pig’s house down,
talking to each other
as though they were hard of hearing
hoping their words
would be heard
before complete deafness set in
and, although I was enjoying
their animated spins on things,
I kept wondering
why, out of all the greats
who have played,
one has to be singled
out as the greatest of all of them.
What difference does it make?
Pick one.

And although one flew through
the air with the greatest of ease
and the other
has scored more points
than anyone
in the game’s history, there’s
who dazzled on the court
with an assassin’sattitude;
Russell who
made blocking shots
an art form,
and winning championships
a team’s norm,
with a smile on his face;
with a sky hook
that was a vision of athletic grace;
looking this way
and that way,
finding an open man,|
in some way,
on fastbreaks,
with a no-look pass
that has the arena
rumbling in astonishment,
from the very sight of
such a display of pizzaz,
basketball played
like an upbeat riff in jazz;
as legendary
as anybody,
in any sport,
could be.

Of course, none of this means a thing
in the overall scheme of things,
but the G.O.A.T. conversation
and my questioning
was just the kind of distraction
I needed from the state my mind was in,
a fleeting pause
that set my blues free
like a balloon drifting away
in a gentle breeze –
a pleasant recess
from the world’s miseries.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

David Gangsei June 15, 2023 at 10:13 pm

I love this piece, Ernie, on every level. thanks


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