Saturday, December 7, 2013: Alone With My Thoughts
A wise professor at Syracuse taught me that man truly learns about his inner-self when engulfed in quiet solitude. Only then can man realize his mind’s greatest capabilities, his heart’s strongest aspirations and his soul’s true egos. However, certain settings are better equipped for such self-reflections. A calm beach with a gentle breeze whistling through the salty air. Gazing out the window of a moving car, losing yourself with the purr of the engine deep in your belly.
Lying in a hospital bed is no such setting. The constant beeping of machines. The echoing jargon between nurses bouncing off the painstakingly white-walled halls. A hard mattress with a stubbornly stiff pillow and a 13-inch cubed television that barely gets basic cable. Not mention the morose feeling of an infection eating away at your skin.
But I have looked in the mirror. I have reflected. I need escape this hell. I need to get back on the court. I must continue to let the NBA know that MCW is here and I’m not going anywhere anytime soon.
Monday, December 9, 2013: Back To Practice
I firmly believe we don’t truly cherish the things we have in life until they are taken away from us. If there’s one positive takeaway from my tumultuous entrapment within the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, this time has further cemented my utmost commitment to putting that orange ball in that 10-feet-high hoop and leading my team to victory after victory.
Though I must admit, returning to practice today was definitely a struggle. Walking with a limp, I was unable to fully participate. Looking on from the outside was painful. Staring at your dream through an impenetrable-transparent wall is perhaps the greatest torture I’ve experienced in my fortunate young life.
The team is announcing that I’ll be a game-time decision for Wednesday’s game at Minnesota, but I know in my heart that me playing is as likely as Anchorman 2 being better than the original. But I’ll sure as hell be on that sideline cheering on my guys. Whether hurt or active, you never stop rooting for your teammates.
Wednesday, December 11, 2013: MCW Rises, The Eve Of A Possible Return?
Home is where the heart is. And right now, my heart is definitely in Philly with this Sixers team and our loyal fans as we travel to Toronto to take on the Raptors tomorrow night. Unfortunately, our loss to Minnesota was the fourth-straight game I’ve missed with this nagging knee injury and I haven’t been able to play like the leading candidate for the NBA’s Rookie of the Year that our fans have grown accustomed too.
While sitting on the bench does provide an alternative perspective, a new angle on a complex game, it's challenging to not scratch that itch to get out there and compete. Watching our guys struggle makes it that much more disheartening. I know I can help. I know I can lead us to a win.
Tomorrow night, however, won't be the time and place for my return to the court. But I know there's a bigger picture.Sports have taught me so much in life, and I'm proud to serve as the spokesperson for an organization like Special Olympics PA that makes it possible for everyone to play. At least I can do something positive with the sport of basketball instead of deceiving the world with this "injury" in order to get some extra ping-pong balls. But hey, at least we'll probably draft someone who can at least make a freaking basket.