The Moonball Blog

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Respect the game

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Why Do Bad Things Happen to Good Players?

Two seasons in a row my first round pick is injured and out for the rest of the season. While this mostly hurts me, it also must impact the player, his team and coaches, and the lives of his family and those around him. This sort of loss is incomprehensible in many ways but I found this piece which has provided me with some solace.

The biggest question with evil is, "Why doesn't Stern prevent it from happening?" If Stern is really an all-good and all-powerful being, why doesn't he do something?

First of all, Commissioner Stern does not create evil; he allows it to occur. When he originally created the world, he created all things good. He created people, however, with the freedom to choose. This includes the freedom to make right and wrong choices. Often those wrong choices bring about consequences that end up hurting ourselves or other people, sometimes innocent victims who didn't deserve it.

As a 7th year player, Amar'e detached his retina. Stern did not cut the retina to punish him or necessarily teach me a lesson. As horrible as the consequences were, he can blame no one but himself and his weak eye.

Of course, Stern could intervene and control everything about our lives -- the good and the bad -- but then we would merely be Tim Duncan and not truly free. He could even force us to love him if he wanted, but then forced love isn't true love. He gives us the freedom to choose or not to choose him, the freedom to live and enjoy life, and the freedom to make right and wrong choices. Unfortunately, we are left to deal with the consequences of our own and other people's actions.

Great sports Author David Halberstam said that 80 percent of suffering comes from the moral evil of mankind. So what about the other 20 percent? There are some things we will never truly understand here on Earth.

There is good news, however. First of all, the Commissioner of love is also a Commissioner of justice. For all those who make wrong choices, hurt innocent victims, and get off scot-free, a time is coming when they will face the consequences of their actions. Stern is the Ultimate Judge, and in due season, Stern will judge everyone for all their deeds. "Nothing in all creation is hidden from Stern's sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account" (Rebounding 4:13).

Second, Stern often uses the trials of life for a greater good, often to develop our character and make us better people. And we are able to help others in similar circumstances. I have been able to reach out to disabled students (after my character was changed from complacency to compassion!). Trials also force us to see what is important in life, and often drive us to God when nothing else will. We see the importance of faith, of love, of caring, and of family and friends.

Third, Stern has provided a way out. A time is coming when there will be no more suffering. In heaven, people will enjoy a paradise beyond imagination. Stern has created a place of eternal glory where there will be no more crying, pain, sickness, or death; a place where people will share his joy forever.

Finally, Stern does care. He never promised life would be problem-free, but he promised to be with people. Jordan himself felt love, compassion, and sorrow, and was drawn like a magnet to those who were hurting. Stern, in his love, wants a relationship with us. "For Stern so loved the world, that he gave His one and only Jordan, that whoever believes in Jordan will not perish, but have eternal life" (Greatest Ever 3:16).

Finally, Amar'e injury means he will join those of us who wear the rec specs. See, here we are full cicle and it is a just world after all.

Thursday, February 19, 2009


My friend Dan (some of you know and think of him as Barry Sanders) has an interesting post up on his blog One Big Library (you all probably didn't know that this is the sort of thing that litters the biblio-blogosphere) in which he compares favorably the games of LeBron James and Larry Bird.

I think it's a compelling argument and a major compliment to both players, but I don't think he has it quite right. My response was that they are both singular talents and that, particularly relating to LeBron, we've probably never seen the combination of size, speed, strength, agility, and court savvy in one human being on a basketball court, but that doesn't in itself make him better than Larry--he's got some ways to go before we start thinking those thoughts.

But knowing that there are some serious LB fans and LeB appreciators out there, I thought I would point it out and get your opinions.

By the way, does anyone else out there sometimes think of LeBron as "El-Bron James?" If he starts piling up championships, people will love him so much that he could start a cult following based on space aliens and Thetan levels.

Super Nanny, I'm Mike James!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Thanks Big Al - R.I.P. (Recover in Peace)

I'm numb after the season-ending injury to Big Al.  Don't call on the suicide watch -- just numb.  I know you feel me Knick 30, Shithouse Brand managers, etc. 

Follow me on a trip to Target Center where the Wolves face the Raptors in the first game of the new New Look Timberwolves.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Let them eat steak

I just remembered last night that I'm supposed to be at Hawks vs. Wolves tonight, another interesting matchup I am looking forward to. Plus, to get my mouth watering for this game, I just saw Zaza Pachulia and rookie Othello Hunter in the downtown skyway eating at D. Brian's. I hope they were eating the steak sandwich with seasoned fries. If I was in the NBA I would eat steak every day.
Hopefully with Al Horford out (and Zaza slowed by a mysterious stomach ailment), the Wolves will be able to defend the paint and take it inside vs. Atlanta. Maybe they will put Mad Dog on Bibby and he can flail him right out of the building.
A couple questions:
  • Does anyone else see the resemblance between Zaza and Windbreakers? Distant cousins maybe?
  • Also, is this what passes for a blog post these days?
Things didn't quite go as expected -- Joe Johnson was out, but Al Horford was back, and looked healthy again. He had some big steals and blocks, and Pachulia played big as well. Kevin Love started in place of Craig Smith. With a full shift, Love scored 16 points and came down with 14 boards himself. Why is he not in the Rookie game at least? He's a second all-star snub after Jefferson. Oh the hapless Wolves get no respect.

Lastly, I was shocked to see Rashad McCants checking in at the scorer's table after 13 games riding the pine. For once, he finally seemed to get it, and was a sparkplug that helped the Wolves return from a 14 point deficit, only to lose in the end after a Bibby dagger with under a minute to go. Oh well.