Leave Me at the Bank


My eyebrows are in one time zone, my legs are in the last one, and my torso shut off. I also don't think I got much sleep. So apologies if I don't give these bullets points the lengthy treatment they deserve.

-Amar'e, Amar'e, and more Amar'e. At the Awl, I turn the looking glass back on myself. I somehow neglected to mention the issue of conversion, something Eric Freeman and my brother have raised previously. They point to the convert's over-enthusiasm for ritual and all else that belongs in Judaism for Dummies, much like what we see with Stoudemire (albeit less cryptically). As well they should; it's their job. Here's the thing: conversion is a process, a course by which one arrives at the right to call himself a Jew. Amar'e ignored that part—the whole humility, learning and growing part—and has gone right off the deep end. So no, not the same thing.

-Yesterday, Henry brought up his year abroad in Tibet, and suggested we view Amar'e's summer fun in the same developmental light. Since, after all, Amar'e never went to college and had a chance to grow. Now, I don't see any one-and-dones taking a semester abroad, or necessarily getting all they can from the college experience. But certainly, some guys—Kevin Durant, for instance—have shown enthusiasm for their courses, mixing with students, and just generally getting something out of a year on campus. Jay Caspian Kang would like to nominate John Henson for this honor.

-Speaking of Jay, rumor has it he will be in attendance at Rafe Bartholomew's reading in the Bay tonight:

Pacific Rims reading and book signing
Tuesday, August 3, 6:30 pm
Eastwind Books of Berkeley
2066 University Avenue, Berkeley, Calif.

Don't forget, Pacific Rims is the basketball book of the year, and Rafe seems like quite a hoot in his videos. I can also attest to his skills as an email correspondent. Show up or regret it forever!

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At 8/03/2010 10:31 PM, Blogger Aaron said...

I'm not sure what to make of Amare's trip. Was your Talmudic exegesis of his tattoos self-fulfilling prophecy?

Best I can tell, there's some sort of cosmic balancing act involving the need for there to be Jews in the NBA. When Dan Schayes retired, it was a cataclysmic void that me and my fellow minyan-goers felt deeply. I'd sit and listen to the alter-kockers talk about City College back in the day and wonder why I didn't have any Jewish ballers of my own to spin stories about.

The void was so deep Kobe even vowed to convert, at one point.

So now we have Farmar and Caspi (and maybe Scheyer next year?) and the pendulum is swinging back, so why wouldn't Amare jump on the swing? He's like a twig that blows in the wind, and right now, it's blowing Jewish.

But this is nonsense and I have to admit that at the moment I'm in the midst of a personal wrestle with Jewish exceptionalism that isn't coming out so well, so who knows what I should be thinking about Amare? All I know is that it was enough to bring me back to commenting here.


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