I’ve been bustin’ my butt for the majority of 2006 and have been in need of a well deserved break. Hell, I haven’t taken much time off to relax in the past 5 years. But it’s time to leave all the troubles at home, let the stress go, kick back and get my chill on. So as of right now, I’m officially on vacation. I’ve got my digital camcorder, my digital camera and two waterproof disposable cameras, so best believe I’ll be capturing various elements on this trip. Til next week folks… peace-n-love
Extroverted Intuitive Feeling Judger
Warm, empathetic, responsive, and responsible. Highly attuned to the emotions. needs, and motivations of others. Find potential in everyone, want to help others fulfill their potential. May act as catalysts for individual and group growth. Loyal, responsive to praise and criticism. Sociable, facilitate others in a group and provide inspiring leadership.
That’s how my report reads. The result of me taking the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator Assessment. The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator personality inventory is designed to describe how folks naturally process information. It looks at how we make decisions and also what we do in our external and internal worlds. I took this evaluation about 12 years ago and my results are still the same. Well, they not exactly the same but I’m still the same type. However I can look at both of them and see the differences that I’ve made over the years and how I’ve matured from certain levels of thought that I used to have. Anyway, if you ever get a chance to take the measurement, I say do it. It’ll make you look within yourself a lil’ bit more than you probably do now.
The day was June 19, 1986. I was fresh out of junior high school at the age of 13, looking forward to my high school years and home chillin’ watching TV on a warm day. Having been a true Celtics fan from my early elementary school years, I was still gloating over Boston’s selection of Len Bias. All of friends were mad. They hated the Celtics. They hated the fact that I liked the Celtics. All they wanted to do was criticize the city of Boston for being racist. But as a kid, I didn’t see much of that. I saw how good that team was on the court. I saw the ‘Tiny’ Archibald jersey in my closet that my Dad had bought for me when I went to the Boston Garden one winter to visit my grandparents, who lived in Roxbury. I had tons of Celtics memorabilia all over my bedroom and I was tremendously excited to know that Leapin’ Lenny Bias was gonna be on my squad.
So as I sat in the living room, Channel 7 interrupted the program I was watching with a breaking news story. The reporter on the scene announced that Len Bias has suffered cardiac arrest and been pronounced dead at Leland Memorial Hospital earlier that morning. Say what? Huh? Are you kidding? This has got to be some kind of joke. I sat there stunned. I couldn’t move. I was in utter disbelief. No way Jose. My first thought was to ride my bicycle down to Leland Hospital because we didn’t live too far away, maybe 2 miles or so. I didn’t know what to do. I picked up the phone and dialed my Dad who was living in Charlotte, NC at the time. I told him what the news had just reported and he was just as shocked as I was. We talked for a minute and then we got off the phone. I sat there and cried. Why had Lenny died? He was not only my favorite player in college basketball, but he was going to be playing for my favorite team. This wasn’t right. He couldn’t be dead could he. The news reporters must have had the wrong guy. Maybe they made a mistake.
Sadly, over the course of that day and the subsequent days following, I learned the truth about the death of Len Bias. I learned about cocaine and what it can do to your body. I couldn’t understand wht he would do such a thing. He was the greatest athletic phenomenon I had ever seen on a basketball court. Why the drugs Len? Why the drugs? I was left with nothing but memories of games I had attended at Cole Field House. Gone were my dreams of going to Capital Centre to see the Celtics play the Bullets and watching Lenny dunking on those bums. Gone were my dreams of a winter visit to see my grandparents and seeing the Lenny with the Celtics in the Garden. All I had left were the visions of him doing a tomahawk jam on the Tarheels or one of those classic baseline moves punctuated with a reverse slam.
20 years later I still shake my head when the topic of Len Bias comes up. What might’ve been is always the topic of conversation. I still say that he would’ve been better than Michael Jordan, but of course that’s something we’ll never know. I purchased the Sports Illustrated issue following his death and it remains in a sealed plastic bag. I pull it out every few years and flip through it. It just doesn’t seem real at times. I can’t stop shaking my head. Even more disturbing at times was the fact that I attended Northwestern High School with Len’s younger brother Jay Bias. I was a sophomore the year he was a senior, but I still remember Jay being a very talented ball player and I even went to a handful of Wildcat basketball games that season. On occasion, he even rode my bus because there were a couple of guys he was cool with that lived around my way. It wasn’t like we were boys or nothin’ but I’d always say wassup or give him a head nod when he passed by. Sadly, he died tragically as well after being shot twice in the back on December 5, 1990. Once again, Leland Hospital was the location where the pronouncement of death was made. This was a cruel joke or it sure as hell seemed like one. I remember getting the call about Jay’s death when I was stationed in Connecticut while in the Navy. I just dropped the phone in shock again.
I’ll never forget any of those moments that I saw Len Bias play, whether live at Cole or on TV. Those were some of the best basketball games that I’ve ever seen. Being a huge Lenny fan and a Celtics fan I went and had a jersey custom made sometime back in the late 90’s. This was well before the whole throwback craze began, but folks swear that it was done to follow a trend. I don’t care anyway, it was kind of my way of honoring one of the best ballers that I had ever seen on the hardwood. It was my tribute to a guy who made the lil’ kid jump up and down in the stands and holler and scream to no end. R.I.P. Len Bias. I never knew you, but I sure as hell feel like I did.
Len Bias basketball clips courtesy of TerrapinClips.com
articles on the death of Len Bias
Those were the words that I heard less than 15 minutes ago as I was sitting at a red traffic light about 3 miles from my house. Now, ordinarily I would’ve gave whoever the person was an ice grill or said something really smart, but for some reason I didn’t. I glanced over and saw a young Black girl in her mid 20’s trying to have a conversation on her cellular phone. As a looked over to her she screamed loudly, but politely “I can’t hear the person on the other end”. I reached down to the volume on my CD player and adjusted the volume downward as the thumping beat and lyrics from Nas began to fade. She smiled, said “Thank You”, I nodded my head. Moments later the light turned green and I again adjusted the volume upward to my desired listening level. Instantly it hit me, why had I been so nice? I should’ve said something like “if you can’t hear your call, roll up your windows” or something like that, but I didn’t. That was really weird. I’m known for being quite sarcastic at times and even being a real ‘evil’ person when it comes to telling people off. I still can’t explain it as I sit here writing this now. People who know me will do a double take when they read this and probably make me tell the story again verbally. I dunno folks, maybe I’m turning over a new leaf or something. It’s not as if I’ve had the best of days or anything. In fact, I had a very bad day. Oh well…
Aiight… gotta go, the basketball game is on.
Help!!!! My whole body is throbbing from head to toe. I got soreness in my thighs, pain in my back, aches in my arms, a mild headache and more things that I can’t even tell ya cuz I can’t think straight. Now, why am I suffering the way I am at this moment? One word… basketball. It’s that season for me to get out and start balling again and I’ve played summer league for 3 straight years now. I’ve been slacking a lil’ bit in my diligence to get on the court, okay a lil’ more than a lil’ bit. Anyway, last night I went over to a gym in Takoma Park to run some ball. I got home from work and changed up into my Celtics basketball gear. As I was driving to the gym I ate a banana, drank a protein shake and took some energy pills. Now that was my first mistake. The pills that I took has Ephedra in them. I don’t need a lecture right now on that okay, I know what those pills have done to some folks, I was being stubborn. I get to the gym around 7:30 and started ballin’ around 8 or so. My had a tight squad and we ran those cats up and down the court every single game. My shot was off terribly, but I made up for it with crisp passes on the break and tough defense. I even had a few blocked shots and fought for rebounds over guys almost a foot taller than me. I’m 5’9” aiiiight. So 10:30 rolls around, I’m sweating like R. Kelly in a kindergarten class. I had drenched 2 shirts and you’d a thought I had taken a dip in the pool.
As I headed home, I called my baby to see what she was up to as I was rolling down the avenue. When I got home, I took a looooong shower. It was definitely needed. I was still sweating as the water fell upon my skin. I had to switch from hot to cold just to cool off. After I got settled, I sat down and watched a lil’ bit of TV. But then I started to shake uncontrollably. My hands started to tremble and I felt like I was about to pass out. It was the same feeling that I had once before after taking a few more doses of energy based products than I knew I should’ve. At that moment, I knew I shouldn’t have taken those Ephedra capsules to increase my energy. I was a mess. I was talking fast on the phone and didn’t know what the hell I was saying. I felt out of control. I began to shake even more and more. My head, my hands, my feet, everything. I tried to lay down and ended up getting out of the bed and walking around the house. To make matters worse, my body was starting to ache. Awwww maaaan… this was terrible. At about 1am, I drank some Noni juice and got back in the bed. I set the timer on the TV and fell asleep while the reporters from ESPN talked about how idiotic Roethlisberger of the Steerlers was for the motorcycle accident. I awoke around 6:45 and could barely move. But thank God I was no longer trembling. Today has been a day from hell. I’m so sore. I don’t wanna be sitting here at this desk. I just wanna go home, get in the bed and watch the Mavericks cool off the Heat.