Friday, July 2, 2010

Courting Royalty

I am a creature of habit. I get up at the same time every day. I tend to eat the same thing for breakfast and for lunch every day. Are you detecting a theme here? Guilty as charged.

Yesterday I departed from my norm. The Missus had a bit of medical business to tend to so I took the day off to ensure she had a reliable ride to and from her appointment and to also ensure that the trained medical professionals with whom she was dealing had a full appreciation for the fine thread of life. Alas, I did not even get to meet any of them before she got the call that it was her turn. Thankfully, the purpose of the visit went well so there was no reason to hang out in the parking lot afterwards and try to reconfigure anyone's stethoscope.

While I was waiting for Margaret yesterday morning in (where else?) the waiting room, I sat and did some work as I watched a bit of television. As someone whose work day starts hours prior to Good Morning America's air time I am appreciative of the fact that it is not a program I usually watch. Seeing it yesterday enabled me to find out what happened to George Stephanopoulos. For years he had a 'talking head' show on Sunday morning. Now apparently he is one of the hosts of Good Morning America. Who knew?

On his television program yesterday morning there was a story on a subject that I must confess do not interest me very much. Yet I found myself intrigued by the story: the rabid pursuit of LeBron James by a half-dozen NBA teams. I am not a fan of professional basketball and have never seen James play an NBA game. I have seen highlights of him on television and I accept as true that he is a once-in-a-lifetime talent. Since I have no rooting interest in the sport, I really do not care where he plays next season. As a sports fan, I hope he stays right where he is. I think it is good for all professional leagues to have their signature players competing on different teams and that it is even better for the league when a player for a small market team resists the offers to ply his trade elsewhere. I love the Yankees but I think that it is good for baseball that Joe Mauer signed a long-term contract with the Minnesota Twins this past winter that could keep him playing for his hometown team for the rest of his career. I think it would serve the NBA well if James followed Mauer's lead and played next season in the same city where he has played his entire career to date.

My favorite aspect of the James' drama is the nonsensical lengths to which his suitors have gone to try to win his heart. Mayor Bloomberg has nothing more pressing sitting in his inbox than trying to recruit James to play for the Knicks? Good for James that he has set the terms for this little set piece and is making everyone who wants to kiss his ring to come to Ohio to meet with him. He is only 25 years old. His formal education stopped with his high school diploma. Yet he certainly knows how to handle a negotiation. You want him? You come to him. On his turf and on his terms.

The ball is in play and everyone knows whose court it is in. Is Akron Ohio the promised land? Doubtful. But the jets will keep landing for the next day or two. All hoping for the chance to ride with the King.

-AK

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