Lost Among Europeans

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A diet of noise

The first few months of 2019 I was watching lots of news material. The general craziness of Trump America, and shaky times in Spanish politics, had me looking for commentary and tea leaves to read. I was watching Steven Colbert and other political comedy shows of the kind. I also started watching Joe Rogan’s channel.

In May I started to get into basketball again. I hadn’t been up to date with NBA basketball in many years, but little by little some of the names of the current stars became familiar, and I wanted to see them play.

The NBA finals came, between the Toronto Raptors and the Golden State Warriors. I began watching clips and reading up on the teams, then went on to watching full games.

I noticed that my desire to watch Colbert, Joe Rogan, and political comment youtube channels, went down.
I envy the NBA players. Theirs is a skill worth honing over years. Watching a game is genuinely absorbing, in a way that political shows are just not. I think I had been missing this.


I’ve become a fan of the Toronto Raptors’s star, Kawhi Leonard (pronounce Kawai). Part of it is watching him play with what look to be slow lazy motions, but are precise, economic ones.

He does make good decisions, over and over, the kind of small computations that let him make a solid play and prevent the need for a spectacular one. [1]

He watches his defenders, and decides how to get past them with a couple of short motions to shoot, drive to the basket, or pass. In a sense, basketball is just that easy. The trick is that in order for it to be that easy, you need to be very skilled. Leonard is, and is also tall and strong. His drives to the basket and his dunks are satisfyingly solid.
His defense is fantastic.

There’s another side to him that is equally appealing. He’s not a talker, not an ego, and not a preachy “humble” person. Time and again he is asked for commentary or hypothesis, and he responds with something short and concrete. After the Raptors took a 3-1 game advantage in the finals against the Golden State Warriors, Leonard was asked what made them better than the Warriors.
His response: “It’s not over yet so I can’t say that we’re better.” [2]

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