No Gulliver in Brobdingnag
Isaiah Thomas, 5-foot-9, is the real story of the All-Star break and we can learn from him
Isaiah Thomas is the big story coming into this All-Star Game, if you’re willing to let the Russell Westbrook-Kevin Durant storyline go. The 5-foot-9 point guard is averaging 29.9 points per game this season, and is chasing Westbrook’s 31.1 points per game. He’s also on a 41-game streak of at least 20 points a game.
Cavaliers’ Kyrie Irving was asked at the All-Star availability the day before the game about the threat Thomas’ Celtics pose to the defending champions in the Eastern Conference. He spoke about how Thomas was making those around him better — and that has been the difference — and the plan, when the teams meet, would be to get to his game, but conceded that eventually he would “find a way to get his shot off”.
Now if ever young Indian fans needed a role model — as we, including journalists, are constantly asking foreign talent about our lack of physical competence — Thomas would be it. He did have it difficult early in the career, but surely the 28-year-old is on the way to consistent brilliance.
While talking to reporters from all over the world, and more than one nation put forward the question of size vs skill (or athletic ability), what came through was attitude. He did not sound like Gulliver trapped in Brobdingnag. “Last year (I wanted) to be the greatest little guy to ever play the game,” Thomas was quoted as saying. “Now, things like they are, I want to be the greatest player to ever play. I know I’ve got a long way to go. I’m not even close, but you’ve got to shoot high.”
If that wasn’t enough, Muggsy Bogues — 5-foot-3 and 14 seasons in the NBA — had kind words for anyone worried size and height. “(Focus on) the game itself. You know you always got to start with the fundamentals of the game and then let your natural ability take over... Again, we continue to let kids know that the game is (about) athletic ability, so don’t get caught up on size. Remember, I’m living testimony of that.” Answer sounds old? Maybe we should stop asking.
(Sidenote: It never gets old to see legends of the game mingling over the weekend festivities).
ADAM BELIEVES THE EARTH IS ROUND
NBA commissioner Adam Silver is gung-ho about basketball’s improving global stature, and that also means keeping an eye out for travel bans. Here’s what he said: “For the first time this year, we made somewhat of a significant leap in the number of international players in this league. We climbed from roughly 20 percent of the league, players that were born outside the United States, to 25 percent, and those numbers are only going to continue to grow.”
So will a travel ban concern him? “We are a business based on global mobility... We do a tremendous amount of business on a global basis. So government restric
tions on travel, I am concerned Thomas, about. It goes against the fundathe 5-foot-9 mental values and the fundamen
tal ingredients of what make for point guard ,
a great NBA... My personal view is averaging is from a league standpoint, we 29.9 points have to look out for our league per game this members. We have two NBA playseason, and is ers born in the Sudan.” chasing WestThe commissioner also had
to provide an explanation as to brook’s 31.1
why Irving thinks the world is flat. “Kyrie and I went to the same college,” he said to polite laughter. “He may have taken some different courses than I did.
“But in all seriousness, as he made clear, he was trying to be provocative, and I think it was effective. I think it was a larger comment on the sort of so-called fake news debate that’s going on in our society right now in terms of what’s reported, and it led to an interesting discussion. But personally, I believe the world is round.” More laughter.
The many variations of mobile tech has to be the future of cost-effective ‘journalism’. The humble ‘selfie-stick’ was converted to sophisticated recording instruments with the additions of microphone attachments and custom rigs to reduce movement of handheld devices (mostly smartphones). One-man crews getting the latest out with a phone and a data plan.
The ‘media access’ sessions over the weekend seemed a loose term to use. Though a majority of Isaiah Thomas (R), who is just 5-foot-9, is the perfect role model for Indian fans — AP
those present were from traditional media, there were also quite the number of those of social media fame - walking around talking into their phones, trying to get the All Stars in the frame. And they were from all around the world too.
PS: The West beat the East in the All-Star Game, 192182. That’s a combined 374 points in 48 minutes, or almost 7.8 points every minute. D for Defence?