U were a force unmatched over the course of my life. We were so similar, but not the same. We both loved ball, romanticized it as kids & even wrote about it. I grew to be 6′ 6″ too, but too late, even if I had my body would’ve broken down like urs in the last years. We both loved China, and spoke different languages (we’re all linguists before we’re ball players). We both had the same diseases.
Our belief in self, and unwillingness to admit defeat. U would fight back and I wouldn’t acknowledge its existence. We have the same throats and jaws, which indicatesthat we had the same posture growing-up. It’s a posture of ‘peering’, not saluting, but peering-into whatever it is we’re learning.
For me, growing up in a college town must’ve been a far-cry from Italy & Spain, but it was still comparatively cultivating. I was interested in the world b/c I was exposed to the world in a caring way. There are obviously benefits to that, but I believe that it results in the unconscious atrophication of muscle groups that help share and disperse the force of gravity on the body. And now, I’ll never get to relate that to U. I’ll never get the chance to give U a business pitch, and tell U about how much I learned from U…
On the court, as a statesman, as an artist, U were the culture made to be seen & heard, foibles and all. It was all a lesson. Thanks