The Dish

Courage

the ability to do something that frightens one.
“he called on all her courage to face the ordeal”
  • strength in the face of pain or grief.
    “he fought his illness with great courage”

Courage in the face of fear…..is fear itself; especially when one has to look in the mirror and stare his or her demons in the eyes.  As a young man trying to master my craft years ago I would read the likes of Dan Le Batard, Ethan Skolnick, Ira Winderman and Israel Gutierrez as I followed my favorite NBA franchise, the 3 time NBA Champion Miami Heat.  Those writers were my doorway into the soul of the Heat and I embraced them as family all the while reading their words like the gospel and craving more.  They were indeed member of my Mount Rushmore of Heat coverage and I strived to be them in every way.  My work at The Hardwood has been heavily influenced by many outsiders as many have come to see, influenced by each of those writers with a pinch of Jason Whitlock and you have C.L. Anthony.

With that said the revelation of Gutierrez’s coming out with the news of his marriage to the love of his life made me reflect.  Reading his words had me entrenched in his pain, his suffering and finally his acceptance of the truth and then finally his redemption, a redemption that was bred from love, a love that he never thought he’d feel, cherish…..marry.

I’m gay, which plenty of people, I’m sure, have either deduced or just guessed as much over the years.

But this isn’t me “coming out.” The truth is, I’ve been out to friends and family for more than six years.

The reason I’m tackling this now is, primarily, because I’m getting married on September 12. And besides the fact that it would be annoying to tell my story every time someone sees my wedding ring, it just seemed like a natural time to get this out in the open.

I don’t want to get into anything overly serious, because this doesn’t feel like the right time to preach. And normally, those conversations make me defensive, which could turn readers defensive, and it’s just not where I want to go with this.

More than anything, I just want to tell my story. It’s probably going to feel like too much information to some of you. But it’s the best way I know to explain what life can be like for conflicted, confused gay men and women everywhere, so I appreciate you putting up with me.

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Some may ask; why is C.L. speaking of this matter?  Other may deduce that this isn’t a “basketball story”, why use this forum? In a world where fake courage is awarded, untalented folks become famous for sex tapes, and monsters get away with murder daily, a true story of courage needed to be highlighted.  Love is love and it excites me that Israel found his and had the courage to share that love with world.  Potential professional ramifications aside, a true measure of courage is one sharing his or her truth despite the false outcry from others.  Just because man fears what he doesn’t understand, does not make his judgement right. May God bless you Israel Gutierrez for your courage in your truth will give others the courage and strength they need to go forward.

Gone but not forgotten 

The Minnesota Timberwolves have announced that Team President, and Head Coach Flip Saunders will step down.  In August it was revealed that Saunders has Hodgkins lymphoma and he’s been undergoing radiation and chemotherapy treatment since June.  During his time away from the court Saunders will be missed but not forgotten.  As good as a coach one will ever see on the basketball, Saunders is an even better man off of the court.

“Our first priority is making sure Flip regains his strength and is back to 100 percent before he is back to work,” Timberwolves chief executive Rob Moor said. “And while there is no timetable for Flip’s return, we believe it will be measured in months, and not weeks. To attempt to place a timeline on things at this time would be unfair to the due process of recovery.”

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Sam Mitchell will be named as the new head coach of the Timberwolves on an interim basis.  Mitchell played the majority of his NBA career with the Timberwolves and helped developed a young Kevin Garnett.  Despite his long ties with the Timberwolves, Mitchell has prior head coach experience with the Toronto Raptors (2004-08) and was named the NBA’s Head Coach of the Year during the 2007 season.

“We have complete confidence in the abilities of Milt and Sam. Flip hand-picked these two professional gentlemen exactly for this reason,” Moor said.

Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame

It’s one of my favorite times of year, a time when the history of the game is showcased and a time that future generations and learn from the hard work and sacrifices of those who came before them.  Friday evening the Hall will open its doors to the class of 2015 and Richard Anselmo, writer for The Hardwood Nation, wrote the following article for Hardwood:

Let’s Get Chris Webber into the Basketball Hall of Fame Now

Richard was kind enough to take some time and have a small Q&A session based on his idea that Webber should be allowed into the Basketball Hall of Fame.

1.  I’m curious to know what was your favorite NBA memory as a child?
Watching the Knicks win the 1970 NBA title with an injured Willis Reed and some incredible team play.
2.  Throughout his career Chris Webber received harsh criticism for not wanting to take the big shot when games were on the line, do you see this as being fair?
Not fair at all.  He played a lot of high post and mostly passed out of their base offensive sets.  This was his role in the offense, and he did it extremely well.  He could have shot more but stayed within the confines of the offense.
3.  In your post you mentioned the infamous game 7 of the 2002 Western Conference Finals, can you elaborate on this more for our young readers who may have missed that tragic 4th quarter?
It actually started in Game 6 when the calls were totally lopsided.  The Lakers seemed to get all of the 50/50 calls, and that continued into game 7.  People who didn’t see the game should check out some video on it.  Webber actually had an excellent Game 7, but others didn’t follow his lead.  The Kings were the better team in that series and didn’t get a fair shake.
4.  Webber’s past at Michigan has been well documented good and bad, do you think the bad (NCAA violations) is another knock against Webber for not making the Hall of Fame at this point in time?
No.  It won’t stop the haters, but put yourself in that position.  If I came from the environment Webber came from, I probably would have taken what was offered to me as well.  Anyone who takes the “Holier than thou” approach has either never been in that situation, or is lying.  Of course, that’s just my opinion!
5.  You’re fairly new to Hardwood, how has your experience been thus far?  
Everyone has been great even though I haven’t been able to do a lot.  I’m looking forward for the season to get started and get even more involved.  All I can say is Thank You!
 I just want to by close by giving a huge thank you to Richard.  I’d read his work for a while before I approached him about joining the Hardwood family and I really appreciate his accepting the offer.

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