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"Culture is the heritage of us all. some may be more interested than others in the treasures of the past, but no one can fail to take a pride in his country's participation in the story of mankind, as represented in carvings, sculpture, music, paintings and the other arts. And there is a personal commitment to this, for no man can really say he is alone: we are all joined through our identity, with the cultures which are part of the mainstream of life"
- Simon Kapwepwe, Zambian Independence Freedom Fighter

"Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm" - Winston Churchill

"Try to be the rainbow in someone else's cloud" - Maya Angelou

"Your time is limited so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma - which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinion drown out your inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition" - Steve Jobs

Sunday, 30 May 2010

A Little Rain, Lots Of Fire

Serena started off well, then seemed to have a brain fart in the second set and then came back to fighting form to make it through to the fourth round and Nadal had to battle "Never Say Die" Hewitt, wind and a little rain to make it through in straight sets.  I think this match was a good one for Nadal, the elements, Hewitt included, seemed to awaken the sleeping bull.  Even though he conceded more games, he definitely improved on his previous performances, despite the conditions.

The Lakers are the Western Conference Champions, after coming close to being scorched by the Suns.  This game reminded me why football and tennis are top on my list and I can only watch basketball during the play-offs.  This was a particularly dirty game. The Lakers had the upper hand from the start scoring the first point and by the 3rd quarter had a 15 point lead.  And then the dirtiness came.  Playing on rivalries with the Slovenians caused a flagrant foul against the Lakers' Slovenian dude that was then the catalyst that turned the game into a lot of fumbling on the Lakers part and a lot of bravado on the Suns' part. The Suns' Slovenian went on a scoring frenzy (which eventually made him too big for his britches and he started going for really ridiculous shots) and Lopez, an awkwardly tall dude, was being all "in your face" from the bench every time more points were added to the Sun's tally, lessening their deficit.  Kobe did not appreciate this chain of events, as he expressed in his interview on-court post-game.  If you hear he has been arrested for murder, there is evidence to show it was premeditated.

Steven Nash however was all class, trying to rally his team and Frye was awesome with his 3-pointers throughout the game.   Kobe may be an awesome player but when he scored that ridiculous 3 while being double-teamed, smacked Gentry on the butt and then put out his hands and glided towards the Lakers huddle after the timeout was called was just so crass.  Really! Really! I don't find that sort of conduct sportmanly.  And it got worse, especially at the end when it really got down to poor Grant Hill having to do the whole "yes  I know I'm pulling on your arm but I have to foul you Kobe" dance,  Gentry calling a timeout  to gain ground, Steve Nash hauling to the other end to try score a 3 or Kobe going up to foul line.  Such play just chops up the game, although not as badly as in American football (and don't get me started on that).  That last minute was really stretched into what felt like forever - it was excruciatingly painful to watch, not nail-biting like in game 5. The whole" in your face" things is a huge part of strategy but I think it takes away from the talent and fun of the sport. And timeouts really just break up the flow of the game - let them hash it out!  Like when Stoudemire scrambled for the ball and ended up on the floor, Gentry called a time out to save him from a travelling call -that seems like messing with fate man. It just puts a bad taste in my mouth. But I'm sure all the Lakers' care about is they had enough water to put out the fire the Suns' tried to start towards the end.

I am curious to see what the next chapter of the Celtics and the Lakers rivalry holds.  I just hope there will be less of all the bravado and more of just playing the game.  To get ready for the first game on Thursday, keep up-to-date here.

Which reminds me, I didn't really appreciate Hewitt in the game today - throwing out expletives, throwing his racquet and basically throwing tantrums.  Nadal was having to deal with the same conditions - get it together, just play the game man, just play the game. To make it worse Hewitt didn't get a warning, but Nadal did for time violation. Not a happy puppy about that.

This is completely unrelated but it really bothered me that Nadal was wearing his watch today while playing.  He never does that.  What does it mean?  As an admirer of his little quirks on-court I was quite perturbed by the whole thing - silly I know :}.  He usually puts it on after the game just before he signs the camera when he wins. But he had it on, and he didn't sign the camera until he was almost off the court.  At least it didn't affect his play.

Sharapova and Henin finish up tomorrow, followed by Federer and Tsonga, all on Court Philip Chatrier! YAY!

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