Last Wednesday I received an email from Ginny, an original Tulsan now living in Canada. She was bothered that my column decrying the initial reaction to Kevin Durant’s Achilles injury did not include good-faith gestures on behalf of Toronto Raptors players and fans. She pointed out one fan even sent the fallen Warriors star flowers to apologize.
Included in my reply: “Here’s my hope, honestly: The Raptors play as impressively tomorrow night as they have most of this series, become champions and we start to remember the excellence of Kawhi Leonard, Pascal Siakam and Fred VanVleet more than the shame of Durant going down like he did.”
Well, the Raptors were impressive in Game 6. Now Leonard is being discussed with the same reverence as Durant and LeBron James. Siakam is being acknowledged as one of the game’s rising stars as sure as VanVleet is being recognized for his unsung heroism.
Durant getting hurt like he did stinks still, but at least it is being put in a healthier context. The Raptors’ emerging strength is as big a story as Durant’s/the Warriors’ rotten luck. We have time and perspective to thank for that.
Speaking of which, and with a nod to Ginny: Did you see where a Raptors fan opened a GoFundMe account to benefit Durant’s charity foundation? The apologetic gesture had raised more than $36,000 as of Sunday afternoon.
Encountering that was one of the highlights of my week. Among the others...
This made me laugh
Last Thursday I spent a fascinating hour with David Webb, a Tulsan who was in on the infamous Disco Demolition Night at Comiskey Park 40 years ago. Webb was one of those rare fans who liked the White Sox and Cubs equally when he lived in Chicago. He adored Harry Caray, the famed broadcaster for both teams.
“When he was with the Cubbies I sat in his radio booth a couple times,” Webb said. “It was the most nothing booth ever. Just some two-by-four planks up there. And a case of cold Budweiser.”
Hahahaha. I loved that.
So Harry shilling for Bud on WGN all those years was no gimmick?
“No,” Webb laughed, “that was real.”
This made me think
Kansas picked up a Twitter commitment from Union receiver Kyler Pearson last Monday, and another from Booker T. Washington linebacker Krishawn Brown on Saturday. This after the Jayhawks secured a commitment from Owasso cornerback Duece Mayberry on June 4, and a signature from Broken Arrow linebacker Gavin Potter last February.
It’s almost like KU’s new head football coach is kinda familiar with the excellence of high school football in our pocket of the state.
Les Miles, you old dog you.
This made me cry
Last week in Things That Have No Shot at Ending Well: O.J. Simpson launched a Twitter account, telling the Associated Press: “I’ve got some things to straighten out.”
It’s bad enough that 24,000 people follow a fake Simpson account. It’s completely awful that 535,000 follow the real thing as of this typing, that the count will be over a million by Simpson’s next tweet, and that there is no filter on the responses to whatever the guy feels compelled to “straighten out.”
This made me ancient
Isaac Stoops, who just the other day crashed his dad’s Oklahoma football practice and bounced on one of the blocking pads like it was a trampoline, announced over the weekend that he had taken his first coaching job — receivers at Moore High School.
Get your All-World Awards tickets for the June 22 event celebrating high school athletics at allworldawards.com.