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Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Lucky Number

It all started when I was five. Dad had season basketball tickets and I got to see my all-time favorite player, Number 23, of course, known to everyone as ‘Squeaky.’ He was only 5’8” but he moved through all those bigger bodies on the court like a mouse running through a tea party. “Squeaky”… get it?

Loved him to death but he broke my heart, that bastard! Shaved points… for fifty bucks! Of course, in those days, $50 was like, uh, $60… the schmuck!

So I lived through it… wasn’t easy, but I did. Despite knowing how I should feel about a fallen star, Squeaky stayed in my heart. Now this was before steroids and performance enhancing drugs. If Squeaky did that today on such a small scale, it might even get lost amidst all this other crap. In fact maybe he would be carried off the court on fans’ shoulders… “Hey, look at that… an 80-year-old that dribbles.”

Heros die hard to a kid.

“Say it ain’t so, Squeaky.”

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