Make it count

I stumbled across this video tonight ...

So cool. And if only ...

I thought it was a worthy follow-up to my post yesterday about our spring graduates.


Daddy vs. Ursula

So we're watching "The Little Mermaid" and the film reaches its the climax when Ursula causes the storm and traps Ariel in a whirlpool. Phoebe snuggles up to Kates for some protection and this conversation unfolds ...
Kates: She's not very nice, is she?
Phoebe: No ... She's bigger than my dad!
Me: It's ok, Pheebs. I can take her.
Phoebe: Well, you'll have to fight really, really hard.
Kates: Daddy's a boy scout.
Me: That's right. I'll tie her up in knots.
Phoebe: Well, Dora has the rope.
Me: Oh yeah? I'll have to remember that if I ever come up against Ursula.
Phoebe: Well, it's a long way to Dora's house.
Kates: Yeah, and Dora has the map, too.

Beginnings and endings

We had our spring commencement ceremonies at the university yesterday. Another school year is complete. Another set of students is moving on to the next chapter of their lives.

My thoughts on the day haven’t changed since I wrote a post about it last spring. If anything, my admiration and attachment to the day and to the graduating students only grows deeper with each passing year.

No doubt, yesterday’s ceremonies will live in the memories of those who were there for quite a while. The keynote speaker in the first ceremony, the owner of an area advertising firm, gave arguably the most memorable commencement address ever and coined the term “crap-your-pants, or CYP, moments.” Not surprisingly #CYP has shown up in many commencement-related tweets since the address. You can listen to it here. … For our second ceremony, the governor attended and gave the address, which was predictably more polished and safe.

This spring’s graduation day was particularly special to me because it was full of students I have had the pleasure of watching grow and mature more than those students I’ve watched graduate before them. This year’s graduates were in their sophomore years when I arrived on campus. When I arrived almost three years ago, I renewed my connections with the journalism school, but I also quickly built some new connections with the public relations students. I still remember one of those first PR courses I visited to share my experiences, and I can picture Dillon, Angela and Ashley -- three of the students I’m most proud of this weekend -- sitting at their tables, taking it in. I would hire Dillon as my first summer intern a few weeks later, and Ashley and Angela spent time working in our office, too. All three have done and will continue to do some amazing things.

It’s having the opportunity to mentor students like them and see them succeed that makes my work so worthwhile.     

* * *

During my senior year of college, my roommate, John, and I lived on the second floor of a run-down apartment house. …

We ran into a situation in which we needed to find a place fast. We found three options, and the place we took was the best, by far. I’ll never forget at one of the other options how we walked up a staircase to an open front door and stepped into an apartment with a floor that was covered in trash and a cat was running out.

Nevertheless, John and I settled into the new place and created a lot of memories there. We thought we could be dog owners, which lasted seven months until we gave the dog away. We watched the horrors of Sept. 11 unfold on our TV set in the kitchen. We experienced a fair share of freezing winter nights and boiling summer days in the place, and also repaired a number of blown fuses. We hosted parties with our journalism cohorts. Even our wives can tell stories about the place as both spent a few nights there.

And no reflection about The Old Apartment would be complete without the mice. The last few weeks we spent there, with our college graduation nearing, it became very apparent that we had a family of mice living among us. So we set traps and did our best to corral them. …

I’ll never forget the morning after our graduation. As Kates and I awoke we could hear this strange clinking noise coming from John’s bedroom next door. And when I peeked inside his door, there was mouse, one foot pinned in a trap, trying to cross the floor, dragging the trap behind him. By the time I spotted him, he was just a couple feet in front of John’s bed. I was going to try to sneak in and take care of the mouse before John woke, but John opened his eyes, saw the mouse and nearly hit the ceiling as he screamed in fear. I can still picture it like it happened yesterday, and it still makes me laugh out loud.

I also remember that night. John had moved out and left town. My boxes were packed and I was ready to head back to Wisconsin with my family the next morning. I was spending one last night in The Old Apartment, and as I sat watching TV in the kitchen I watched a mouse crawl up through the floor vent just a few feet away from me. It came up, sniffed around a little bit and then went back down through the vent. I didn’t event flinch, and at that point it was just amusing more than anything. I didn’t care, knowing I’d be gone the next day. Never knowing when, or even if, I’d ever return.

The point of sharing these memories is because I did return to The ’Ville, and -- to my amazement -- the apartment still stood all these years later. Although I’m fairly certain John and I were the last people to live there 11 years ago.

For 2 ½ years, I’ve driven past the place about once a week, sometimes chuckling at the eyesore and sometimes cringing at the fact that the city let it stand so long.

Then, last week, an article appeared in the local newspaper that a property owner who owned more than a half-dozen condemned properties in town was finally tearing them down. The article didn’t specifically mention The Old Apartment, but I had a feeling it’s time had come. I had hoped to witness it in person.

On Friday night, The Old Apartment was gone. I learned of it when a friend posted a photo of the demolition on Facebook, tagging John and I with, “Didn’t you used to live here?”

We did. And it was full of good times.

Today, our memories are buried in a pile of rubble.


Fair or not, UW’s image takes hit over Uthoff ‘scandal’

I've only followed this whole University-of-Wisconsin-Jarrod-Uthoff thing from afar this week. And 99 percent of what I know about it comes from the seemingly unfair rants and opinions I've seen in the Twitterverse. Mostly from the likes of national media types who cover college basketball.

Bo Ryan was playing by the rules, and the whole thing seemed to have been blown totally out of proportion. ...

I thought this Tom Oates column was right on.

Charming covers

I wouldn't call myself a huge fan of The Civil Wars. ...

But I'm a big fan of Joy Williams. I think "Charmed Life" is a great, great song. Plus she's adorable.

I just stumbled onto Williams and John Paul White performing these Michael Jackson covers. And I'm mesmerized.


The dentist

So I went to the dentist today.

And it only gets worse from there.

My visit today was actually a follow-up to a visit I made a couple weeks ago. See, in all of our transitioning and settling, I hadn't seen a dentist in more than two years. I was overdue for a checkup, and -- though I try to take good care of my teeth -- I feared the worst as I settled into the chair that day.

I left with the news that I had two cavities -- my first since I was in grade school -- and a follow-up scheduled for this afternoon to get them filled.

I think I winced every time I glanced at the clock today, knowing my return to the dental chair was nearing. Shortly after 2:30 I was back in the same chair I'd occupied a couple weeks ago.

The dentist -- a young, energetic guy -- greeted me and tried chatting me up about the start to the baseball season; he'd remembered that I liked baseball from our conversation a couple weeks ago. ... Then he numbed up my mouth, and several minutes later he and a hygienist were poking all sorts of tools in my mouth and doing their thing.

Honestly, the whole thing went fast and was relatively painless. The worst part is what I'm dealing with at this moment ...

I have almost no feeling on the right side of my face.

After my appointment, I couldn't talk straight. I canceled my meetings for the rest of the afternoon and came home to finish my work.

When Kates arrived home with Phoebe, she took one look at me and gasped, "Oh my God!" Apparently my face was a little mishapen, too.

For supper, I needed to eat something soft. So Kates made me grilled cheese and some tomato soup. I could barely chew my sandwich and part of every spoonful of soup slipped out of a corner of my mouth like drool.

Worse still, I can't bring my lips to purse the straw of my favorite glass for some water.


About a boy

So I was at work this evening, wrapping up things in my office when Kates sent me a text.

Oh boy … Phoebe went to play at Gavin’s house for an hour.

Gavin is a boy Phoebe’s age who lives down the street and is in her preschool class. And he’s had a little crush on Phoebe for almost the entire school year. He brought Phoebe a small gift at Christmas time, but for the most part Phoebe’s shown little interest in him until recently.

I replied to Kates’ text.

Oh boy … Oh boy …

The realization of Phoebe going to play at a boy’s house had hit me so hard I could no longer concentrate on my work. Within seconds of the initial text, I called Kates to get more details. … Gavin and his mother had come to our house to ask if Phoebe could play. Kates agreed and let her go for an hour.

“It sounds like you’re more freaked out about this than I am,” Kates said.

And so it begins.


Gotye live

We've played the snot out of " Somebody That I Used to Know" this spring in our house. And car.

Now, in the midst of our stormy Saturday night, Gotye played "Saturday Night Live."

I'd waited all week for his performance. And it was so worth it.

The only lingering question in my mind was: Will Kimbra perform with him?

I had been watching the show downstairs, but when the performance began I sprinted upstairs to enjoy it with Kates who was watching another show in our bedroom. ... As the performance progressed with no sign of Kimbra, I was resigned to enjoying it as it was, with Gotye singing solo and his band playing the quirky, cool instrumental.

And then, on cue, as if they were acting out their epic video right there on stage, Kimba appeared, sauntering toward Gotye from stage right and singing her part. I flopped backward onto the bed in giddy laughter.

Great performance. And like I said, so worth it.

I was pleased to watch Gotye perform "Eyes Wide Open" -- another standout on his album -- as his second performance. But the real bonus was the Digital Short, which featured Gotye being harassed and haunted by Adam Samburg and Taran Killam.


Phoebe didn’t have school Friday, but Kates did. Which meant I got to take a day off with Phoebe.

For me, priority No. 1 was getting rid of the trash bags of yard waste cluttering up our yard.

You see, in K-Town the city had this wonderful facility where residents could take their yard waste between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday. It was great, and you could even fill a bucket, or the bed of your pickup truck, with a batch of compost or mulch, for free.

Not the case in The ‘Ville. The yard waste facility is open from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. … Not the greatest hours for common folk who do their yard work on Saturdays.

So, over the last few weeks, I’ve filled 16 bags of leaves and twigs and grass clippings. Which have sat stacked along our fence and garage, catching rain every few days.

I was determined to get rid of them. The challenge was convincing Phoebe to go with me.

After some prodding and the added incentive that she could take Yellow -- her best friend, also known as her blanket -- and her newly beloved Ariel doll with her, I convinced her. As a bonus, I told her I’d play her favorite songs on the iPod.

I loaded the bags -- Phoebe was quick to point out their smelly stench -- in the Forrester, and we were on our way.

We made four trips. About halfway to our second drop-off, “Pumped Up Kicks” started playing, to Phoebe’s delight. And when it was over, Phoebe shouted, “Play it again, Daddy!”

She delighted in singing her own unique chorus to the song as we listened to it again and again. And again. … As I dropped off the very last bag and drove home for good.

As long as it keeps her happy, she keeps singing the wrong lyrics and doesn’t have a clue about what the song is about, we’re golden.   

* * *

I attended my last graduate course of the spring semester this weekend.

Friday we heard a couple presentations from classmates who missed the last class period (A missed class nets the absentee a 30-minute Power Point presentation about a short book during the next class period. Which is why I will do my darnedest to never miss a class), gave presentations about practicum experiences each of us have undertaken, and did a role playing activity based on our recent textbook reading.

It was relatively painless.

Yesterday we spent the morning observing the research and portfolio presentations of the cohort before us, which is graduating in a couple weeks. And which is what I will be doing around this time next year, if all goes as planned.

I’m halfway done, baby! But the summer session -- and the start of my research project -- is around the corner.

* * *

No matter where we went yesterday, it seemed all of the conversation revolved around the impending storms. The forecasts of severe storms already had stirred Facebook chatter Friday and they made the newscasts Friday night.

During my graduate class, a couple graduate assistants who work in the residence halls were talking about the precautions they were taking for the storms, and I received a message from the university president instructing me to be ready to draft some communication to send out before the storm hit.

After class, I ran some errands around town. The skies were darkening and the wind was picking up. At the checkout counters of the hardware stores, people were talking about the coming storm, too. … One thing is certain, our August storm is still fresh on people’s minds in this town. As of this moment, we have friends who are still making repairs to their homes that stem from that storm.

At home, Phoebe and her BFF Lola -- whom we had over for the morning in lieu of a birthday party --  were at the coffee table coloring T-shirts as Kates supervised. … In the meantime, I headed outside to do as much work as I could in the yard before the sky let loose. I’ve been working on moving and reconstructing a section of our fence.

Aside from the dark clouds swirling in the sky, the afternoon passed quietly. I reconstructed a 10-foot section of the fence and got the gate back up.

As we sat down for supper around 5:30, we got a major downpour. But it lasted all of five minutes. The tornado watch was on, however.

I kept an eye on the Weather Channel and reports started coming in of tornadoes in Oklahoma. Still not much action for us though. … We continued with our Saturday night. Kates worked on the laundry, and I was inspired to finally put together Baby 2’s crib, as Pheebs pretended to take measurements and help me. … As the evening continued, I turned off the TV and tuned into the local NPR station for weather updates. So we were treated to a little "A Prairie Home Companion" for our Saturday night entertainment.

We got Phoebe in bed with little trouble and Kates followed soon after while I agreed to stay up to monitor the weather. … By 12:30 a.m. the local news channels were reporting that the storm was weakening as it approached our region. That was enough for me to call it a night.

A good storm did roll in, though. … Sometime around 2:15 a.m. there was a loud crash of thunder that woke me up and caused me to think, Well that’ll get Phoebe in here. Two seconds later, she could be heard scampering across the hall to our room and she was at Kates’ bedside, saying, “Mommy, I’m scared.”

Phoebe crawled up the bed to her customary spot between us and latched on to me with her arm wrapped tightly around my neck. After a few minutes she loosened her grip, only to tighten up again when another bolt of thunder crashed. 

Phoebe, of course, feeling safe and secure fell fast asleep and didn’t wake the rest of the night. As the storm thundered on, Kates and I hardly slept, and we awoke this morning feeling exhausted.

Update 4.16.2011: The NBC Nightly News tonight had a story about the weekend weather outbreak that included fascinating map of all the tornadoes ... which skirted just around The 'Ville. I'd say we dodged a bullet.


3 years, 364 days

This one’s for Phoebe.

It’s been a long time since I’ve written a post about her. So much has happened in our world during the last year. But it seemed fitting on this night, the eve of her fourth birthday -- seriously, where has the time gone? -- that I dedicate a post to her.

And still I’m not sure where to start.

As we suspected in the beginning, when she arrived wide-eyed and very obviously soaking in her surroundings like a sponge, she’s a smart girl. When she starts to see or hear something she’s not yet familiar with, she gets that very same curious look on her face that she had when she was just a few days old.

* * *

She’s settled into the preschool routine, and she’s excelling. A few weeks ago we met with one of her teachers for a parent-teacher conference, and there was a part of me that went in fearing what the teacher might have to say. I had visions of her telling us, She needs to work on her listening. ... She talks too much. ... She needs to do a better job of sharing. … Then again, what 3-year-old doesn’t have trouble with those skills at times?

Seriously, though. Phoebe is a chatterbox. And Kates and I, being relatively quiet and reserved people, have no idea where she got her love for talking and telling random stories. … We sometimes put her on the phone with her grandparents just for fun and then sit back and laugh at the random things she says. Sometimes her mannerisms, including eye rolls and hand gestures, are that of your stereotypical 14-year-old.

Back to that parent-teacher conference. The report from her teacher couldn’t have made us prouder. Phoebe is a sweet, intelligent child, and rarely has the teacher seen a child who seems to be so happy and in love with life the way Phoebe seems to be. … I like to think she gets that from me. But then again, like Phoebe, I have pretty bad days, too.

* * *

She loves counting and she can do it up to 100 now. Whenever she feels like it, she’ll just break into counting, especially if there’s objects in front of her to count; it’s pretty cute to watch. And if you ask her to count, she’ll do it -- and then she won't stop. She’s a show-off, too.

* * *

She’s fascinated by patterns. Arranging her toys in patterns. Coloring patterns. Eating her food according to patterns.

And she's fascinated by rhymes. Many of our mornings recently have begun with Phoebe making up rhyming words as we eat our breakfasts. “ … Boot … Toot … That rhymes! … Grass … Bass … That rhymes! … Stool … Bool … That rhymes! … Backpack … Tackpack.” In Phoebe’s world, it doesn’t have to be an actual word. She just likes the sound of a rhyme.

* * *

She’s learned the days of the week through the instruction of her preschool teachers, and by picking up on our routines. At her preschool, there’s circle day and square day, and other days named by shapes, in part as a way of identifying each students “sharing day.”

But Phoebe also knows Wednesday is trash day -- which she happily reminds me of every week -- and church day -- which means she goes to our church’s Wednesday night children’s programming, while Kates attends choir rehearsals. Thursday is dance practice. Friday, of course, means its the last day of the week, and it’s movie day at preschool. Which brings us to Saturday, a day of sleeping in, playing and watching “movies,” which is Phoebe’s word for anything that’s on the TV.

Perhaps one of Phoebe’s greatest lines of the year occurred one Saturday morning over the winter when she was watching one of her Dora the Explorer cartoons, and Dora pointed out a shape, which she referred to as a diamond. In an instant, Phoebe was correcting Dora with the proper name of the shape her teachers had taught her: “No, Dora, it’s a rhombus!” (Phoebe was right; look up the definitions of both words).

* * *

Yes, the TV. Phoebe looooves her TV. She still loves to watch Dora, Little Einsteins and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. …

But more recently she’s obsessed with the Food Network. The shows, the stable of chefs -- she knows them all. I even catch her doing mannerisms I swear she picked up from Giada. There was another morning when I fulfilled her request to turn on the Food Network, and when the screen illuminated, Phoebe gasped, “It’s Rachael!” Yes, Rachael Ray’s show was on. It seems every time I turn around lately the Food Network is on in our house.

Phoebe’s interest in the Food Network carries right into her playtime, which she often spends playing with her bucket of plastic play foods. She’ll pretend to cut pieces of food and then arrange the foods very carefully on plates that she’ll present to Kates and I. Sometimes she’ll stick the plates in the microwave of her Little Tikes kitchen; other times she’ll place the plate under one of our living room lamps and refer to the lamp as her microwave. Best of all, she describes her every move just like her Food Network idols.

She makes “delicious happy cakes,” which are usually a concoction of the dried beans Kates bought Phoebe was couple years ago, sprinkled with the plastic French fries and potato chips from the aforementioned bucket of play foods. One night I called her to do something, and she responded, “Hold on, I need to put the icing on my cake!”

Playing outside adds a whole new dimension to Phoebe’s pretend bakery. Because there she can pick grass and leaves and sticks to mix in with her sand creations. Lately, her favorite outdoor pretend ingredients seem to be parsley and vanilla extract.

Her favorite shows on The Food Network? “Cupcake Wars” and “Chopped.” Kates and Phoebe now have a Sunday night routine of watching the new episode of “Cupcake Wars” together. Then Phoebe proceeds to watch the re-airings of the shows during the week and tells me who’s going to win.

* * *

Phoebe is sort of a daredevil, which scares the bejesus out of me.

She’s constantly climbing on things. And tumbling. And fearless in her exploration.

And when she falls, she’s rarely afraid of getting up to try it again and again.

But it also makes it fun to gently wrestle and rough-house with her … Which makes me think of a time over the winter when she was trying to tackle me. I moved. She missed me. And did a face plant into the base of a chair. She cried for awhile, but once she composed herself she wanted to go at it again.

* * *

She continues to love music and it’s always fun when we catch her singing songs that she learned at school -- like B-I-N-G-O. Or “John Jacob Dingle Hemer Smit.”

Her top 40 playlist is growing, too.

Over the winter, of course, Owl City’s “Deer in the Headlights” was her favorite, along with “Fireflies.” And we soon added “Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye” and two Mates of State songs, “Now” and “Sway.”

It never ceases to amaze me how she picks up on the words and begins singing with me.

More recently, though, her favorite is Foster the People’s “Pumped Up Kicks,” which she calls “The Kids Song” and begs me to play every morning as we drive to school. … I continue to play it for her because it’s a fun song and she doesn’t have a clue of what it’s about. In fact, she thinks the chorus goes …

All the other kids with the pumped up kicks,
You better run, better run, faster than my puppet.

Gotye’s “Somebody That I Used to Know” is becoming a close second. Phoebe refers to it as “The Colors Song” because she knows it best from seeing the still exploding video.

* * *

She loves playing in the yard and helping me when I’m working outside. Her favorite things are to sweep and to water the plants.

As I was busy working in the yard and digging holes for our fence posts a couple weekends ago, there was this gem:
Me: Phoebe could you get me more water please?
Phoebe: No.
Me: I’m really thirsty
Phoebe: Well, I’m really tired.

* * *

She loves her hair. As much Kates and I have tried to convince her, she wants nothing to do with cutting it. I think she has a Rapunzel complex from watching "Tangled" so often.

Rarely does her outfit for the day not include a matching headband. She has all colors but her favorite is a sparkling red one. If only she had matching ruby red slippers.

She can tie her hair up in a pony-tail faster and better than any 3-year-old I’ve ever seen.

* * *

She calls sneezes: bless yous.

Her giggles and laughter are contagious.

She loves to give hugs. Squeeze hugs. Soft hugs. Family hugs. And nose kisses, too.
And then there's bedtime. Kates usually gets the honor of reading her favorite stories -- which usually consist of any one of her dozens of Berenstain Bears books or Golden Books. When they're finished, every night that I'm home, they have a ritual of calling out to me -- Daaaaaaaddyyyyyyyy! -- which is my cue to come upstairs, tuck Phoebe into bed and say good night. Always with her beloved blanket, Yellow, and her stuffed lamb, Lamby, close beside her.

There's also the nights that I get to carry her up to bed after she’s fallen asleep next to Kates or I on our couch. Because I know I’m not going to get that opportunity much longer.

* * *

Finally, there are the hilarious things she says, which, these days, come so fast that I can’t collect them all -- as much as I wish I could. If I was motivated enough, I could probably post a couple Phoebe-isms a day …

But for now, here some classics I wrote down during the last couple months. …

(Phoebe to Kates after we’d said a prayer and began eating our dinner)
Phoebe: Is your food good, Mom?
Kates: Yes, God is good.
Phoebe: No, God is not good. Is your food is good?

Me: Are you being a good girl and listening?
Phoebe: A little bit

(While on our way to school and I was singing to a song on the radio)
Phoebe: Dad, you gotta sing quieter so I can hear!

When she has something that she wants to say and she thinks its really important, she’ll begin with repeated ums and long pauses between them: “Um... Um ... Um ... When I wake up tomorrow can you help me draw a house?”

Some milk dripped down Phoebe’s chin as she was drinking. She laughed and said, “Oh, me.” Kates and I burst out laughing, because I say that when I do klutzy things.

Phoebe: Daddy, why did you give me a big plate!?
Me: Because you’re a big girl now.
Phoebe: Well, I’m not that huge!


Not this year, Baby

Oh, Kansas.

What can I say?

I’m not the least bit a Kentucky fan. Nor am I a John Calipari fan. And I’m so sick of hearing about Anthony Davis.

Kentucky was the better team tonight.

But Kansas also missed some opportunities.

Kentucky put Kansas in a hole in the first half.

Then, the Jayhawks, like they’ve done throughout the season, turned it up a notch in the second half and clamped down on defense. They cut the lead and made it a competitive game.

But a couple missed dunks and bad passes were killers. The death knell was the travel call on Elijah Johnson as he was setting up for a three-pointer from the corner with just over three minutes left. Kansas was on an 8-0 run at that point and Johnson's three-pointer would have cut Kentucky's lead to four points. 

Those Kansas miscues go the other way and the game might have had a different ending.

We all knew Kansas had to play a near-perfect game to beat Kentucky. Being down 18 points in the first half doesn’t cut it.

It was a fun game to watch. A heck of a run for Kansas. Unlike so many frustrating Kansas teams over the years, this one overachieved and put together a season of which us Jayhawks fans can be really proud. … I’m watching the Kansas City news as I write this and seeing the hordes of fans smiling and high-fiving as they crowd Mass Street says it all.

Beyond the Kansas run, when you think of all the close games, comebacks and upsets -- Lehigh over Duke, Norfolk State over Missouri -- this year’s NCAA tournament was one for the ages.

In the end, I correctly picked Kentucky as the winner in my bracket.

Although, what I really wanted was for Baby 2’s bracket to have the luck of Phoebe’s bracket in 2008. Baby 2 had Kentucky and Kansas in the national championship game with Kansas winning it all.

We came close, Baby. Maybe next year.

Good pre-game reads ...
a In title game, ground rules established
a Jayhawks refuse to lose faith while facing a deficit
a No Easy Path to the Rim for Either Tourney Finalist
a Kansas is running on Releford time
a Legacies at stake in Bill Self-John Calipari national title matchup

(Updated 04.04.2012) Good post-game reads ...
a KU can’t dig out of hole in 67-59 NCAA title game loss
a Coronation for Kentucky, and for Its Coach
a Valiant effort falls short as Kansas runs out of magic in title game
a NCAA Championship photo gallery
a Kentucky: Thanks for a memory ... Fifteen years or so down the road, after they’ve experienced the emotional bumps and bruises of both NBA and everyday life, they may come to the realization they never had more fun playing this game than they did with each other. They could have gotten more out of it.