ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s not often you can witness your dreams, aspirations and accomplishments unfold right in front of you. But that was the case for Jay Williams on Tuesday night, as his Rising Stars gala dinner and charity auction at the New York Athletic Club manifested his vision in living color.
For a guy who never deigned to spend a day in college, LeBron James has become quite the big man on campus.
The usual disclaimer: If youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve been here before, you know I went to Duke. And of course, IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m excited for another year of watching Kyle Singler play, and I certainly donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t mind that it makes the team a title contender again.
But truth be told, it seems like a very good move for him.
The simple thing would have been for the Final Four Most Outstanding Player to strike while the iron was hot and enter the NBA Draft. But just like his coach, Singler is going against the grain somewhat, and to me, heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s doing the right thing.
The biggest reason for that is that all this lockout talk is messing with everyoneÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s heads.
The Jordan Classic is everything I love and everything that prevents me from completely enjoying big-time high school basketball all at the same time.
Here are some quick thoughts on some of the players that stood out to me at the Jordan Classic this year.
Kyrie Irving, Duke: What can I say that I havenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t said this year? Jay Williams said Irving was a combination of himself and Chris Duhon and that sounds about right. So creative, so smooth in transition, with a feathery jumper. He completely took over the game and the crowd in the final three minutes, when nobody could stop him going coast to coast. HeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s the total package, and when Mike Kryzewski gets him playing that hard man-to-man defense, youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re looking at a future Chris Paul in the making.
Despite the fact that IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve been a Mets fan since I was nine, I waited 21 more years to attend my first Opening Day game of any sort, as an appetizer for DukeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s national title game that night. Being jaded, I never saw the need to get to an Opening Day game, but I have to admit it was pretty cool. And since Johan Santana pitched, the Mets actually won. After going through some pictures I took that day, I figured IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢d share some images from Citi Field.
Nine years and five days ago, I stood as a senior in front of the Chapel at Duke University and had a conversation with God, as I often did. Usually, we would talk about the health of my friends and family, or what my future would hold. But on this day, I was there to strike a deal.
The terms were that if He could somehow pitch in to help Duke win the National Title game against Arizona that night, IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢d never need one of my teams to win again for the rest of my life.
I know, really short-sighted of me. What can I say? I was 21.
I owe Mike Krzyzewski an apology, as I had months ago written DukeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s methods off as archaic, and not viable for building a championship contender.
It turns out that Coach K was playing chess while everyone else was playing checkers.