- Bill Simmons, The Book of Basketball (via slackmo)
Lots of things might happen. That’s the thing about writers. They’re unpredictable. They might bring you eggs in bed for breakfast, or they might all but ignore you for days. They might bring you eggs in bed at three in the morning. Or they might wake you up for sex…
this was lovely.
This is both warming my girl-center and too on the artificially buttoned nose.
Cheryl Strayed talks about being photoshopped.
beauty ideals can mess with even the most confident, talented, lovely and spirited women.
they continue to do their best to teach us that we’re not enough.
appreciate Strayed talking us through the experience of looking at yourself in a magazine and having a stranger staring back.
What I am telling you is that you do not need to know to love, and it is right that you feel it all in any moment. And it is right that you see it through—that you are amazed, then curious, then belligerent, then heartbroken, then numb. You have the right to all of it. You must want to own all of it. We will try to ward you away. We will try to explain to you that we have already walked that path. We will try to tell you that we have made your mistakes. We will claim that we are trying to spare you. But you will see our greed and self-service hiding behind our words. You will see us ward you away with one hand, while the other still shakes at the memories. Here is the thing—you have the right to every end of your exploration and no motherfucker anywhere can tell you otherwise.
this piece is so lovely it hurts.
“you have to be a beast; that’s the only way they respect you.”
If you had a credential around your neck and were standing in the visiting locker room at the Air Canada Centre on Sunday afternoon, you were a pylon.
You were a pylon because Dwyane Wade needed you to be.
Before the Miami Heat methodically took down the Toronto Raptors in the fourth quarter of a 100-85 victory and before they took over the arena’s adjoining Real Sports Bar and Grill for a Super Bowl viewing party, they prepared themselves for victory.
LeBron James stretched out on his stomach in front of his locker —one of two solo lockers generally reserved for the star of the team or a big man— as Wade, resistance bands around his ankles, weaved through reporters and around his teammate while dribbling the length of the cramped locker room.
The first thing to greet you upon stepping into the Heat locker room was James’ booming growl of a voice.
“Red hat, black chucks, black 501’s on, that’s your baby mama, but her number’s in my iPhone.”
Rapping along empathically to Wiz Khalifa’s “Cabin Fever” playing on his own personal Beats By Dre speaker system with an iPod Classic attached to it, James head bobbed and pounded on the floor with his fist in rhythm as a trainer worked on his legs and feet.
Unlike most superstars who are getting prepared and trying to get in their zone, James doesn’t shut you out.
He does the exact opposite.
Shouting out small talk to his teammates, making them crack up into laugher, clowning on everyone sitting in their lockers, he will look around the room, survey his surroundings, make eye contact with you, nodding to acknowledge your presence.
After watching his first hockey game in the same arena the night before, he joked to no one in particular that if he had suited up rather than watching, the Maple Leafs would have won 2-1 rather than losing to the Boston Bruins 1-0.
He commented on needing his music to get up for a 2 p.m. start and repeatedly scrolled back to the beginning of “Cabin Fever.”
Between James doing his best Khalifa impersonation, Wade lunging, stretching and dribbling his way around the room, Ray Allen and Bosh appearing from the shower area just long enough to drop books off to their respective lockers and Chris ‘Birdman’ Andersen on the floor by his corner locker doing ab work, there was both a lot and nothing happening at the same time.
The delightful juxtaposition between the extraordinary talent in the room and —outside of Wade— their overly ordinary pre-game habits made it damn near impossible to leave the Heat locker room during the pre-game media availability session.
With three All-Stars in James, Wade and Bosh, there isn’t much that is understated about the Heat. Even their accessories are over the top.
The small, zippered bag that each player has to keep jewellery and other valuables safe has their face screen-printed onto the front.
In lieu of the traditional table filled with fresh fruit, energy bars and mints —loaves of bread with peanut butter and jelly whenever the Celtics come through— in the middle of the locker room, the Heat instead have empty space for Wade and James to stretch out and then get stretched out by trainers before tip off.
Former Raptors All-Star and big man Chris Bosh was sandwiched between Shane Battier’s locker and the entrance to the shower area, the most spacious lockers in the room reserved for the Heat’s two biggest stars.
These are the sacrifices of playing with two Finals MVP’s.
Catch a glimpse of the championship rings earned last June or listen to Wade talking about the team’s recent visit to the White House and it feels like a relatively minuscule price to pay.
There was something satisfying about Wade’s pre-game preparation. A reminder that greatness is not something that happens by accident. After the game he would say that his normal routine is not as elaborate, that it was the 2 o’clock tip-off time that required the extra work to get ready. The important takeaway was that he recognized what he needed to do and he did it. Euro-stepping between a pair of black shoes impeding his path and refusing to allow reporters or space constraints to get in his way, he went about his business.
Shortly before media availability ended on Sunday afternoon, James stood in front of the mirror in the adjoining room connected to the locker room. Looking at himself squarely in the mirror, he adjusted his headband until it was perfectly in place, NBA logo lining up with the center of his forehead.
Bounding back to his locker, he scooped up his iPod from the floor and, once more, scrolled to his song of the day.
As the media began to silently file out of the locker room to give the team their opportunity to focus for tip off, now just 45 minutes away, his voice echoed down the hall.
"Red hat, black chucks, black 501’s on, that’s your baby mama, but her number’s in my iPhone."