You only live once

You only live once

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You only live once

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gabe_muoneke_bobcats.jpgSuhweet postings! And I’m on the books and sites that you all gave me to research. I find myself more excited about learning more than anything else I’ve ever done. So thank ya much. Um… Last blog. Kinda monotonous to dwell on it but I’ll try to be brief and move on. There was more to the last blog and kind of a more serious side to the whole thing. The point really wasn’t simply don’t eat meat. I personally look at the scientific part of it and believe humans are omnivores. We have canines, right? I was just pondering out loud my dietary journey and how it has led me on to something much more important to a race’s existence. I am considering eliminating meat from my diet. As I previously stated, I’m on the path of becoming an opportunistic raw-foods vegan. (Yes, I made that up).

Rant time! (Skip down to hoops for the less boring). Everybody kinda went apeshit with the whole diet thing. Don’t get me wrong, I still believe it is very, very important to take care of your body thoughu what you put into it, but the point was really more to recognize. Recognize what I like to call Shahi-tan. I just feel it is more productive to bring to light similarities rather than emphasize differences.

Recognize the tools used to exacerbate self-hatred among people of different ethnicities yet same race. Diet is just one of those tools. The despising of one another has not been very productive to date. Separation is and has been man’s avenue to hate yet there remain those that will take offense to one man’s opinion that promotes oneness. Just another example of how, in some, the desire to hate and distinguish will always take precedence over rational thought. I’m the nimrod for attempting a back and forth with the illogical. Another miscue… I wasn’t making an attempt to discredit any other race or only give props to Bantus. My apologies for any offense taken. Playing overseas has killed all prejudices I once had. I have learned to enamour the differences and even more so the fascinating similarities we all have.

However, in my travels I have seen one constant: the unproductive state (internal and external) of Bantus. And ethnicity has never been a shield for anyone of the Bantu tribes. I simply feel the hatred starts from within, therefore it makes it easier for outsiders to reinforce it. So don’t take personal my Black Panther moment, just wanted to offer a band-aid to a broken arm. And my response was, a fellow Nigerian no less, telling me I might lose my head saying Bantu-Americans were no different from Bantu Africans. Ha! (Please don’t pay any mind to that. I’ll go home and back. Live there and visit the States… Head intact). This from a place where after hating everyone else for being different outside will then find another reason to hate within the country for being of different tribes then within the tribes more hatred for different skin shades. See what I mean by illogical? Sorry I brought it up. (Oh and… Bros. Na you sabi. U tink se d agboro fo Lagos no get Internet? 2moro se na if u waka fo leki na mista mad man u go c selling agege fo road. Commot abeg).

Rant over…

Back to the hoopin’. I am really loving Spain, man! I mean, really loving it. It is not easy getting adjusted to not playing much. The last time I did it (the euro thing), I learned to be very very efficient. In other words, you’d better find a way to get your 20 points in eight shots or less. Crazy, right? But it makes you damn good once you play in other leagues. When I went from Europe to Korea, I just remember being so hard to guard because I didn’t need 20 shots to get 30 points. My first year in Korea I was the fourth leading scorer, but I had 200 less shots than anyone in the Top 10 in scoring! So I’m re-accommodating myself to the style. The life is what I’ve appreciated most. You know, the small cars, little furniture, expensive everything. And, oh yes, the tight jeans. (Take a moment to picture that). The most encouraging thing is on the basketball court. You know it can be discouraging to lose as well as fight for playing time. But what is more discouraging is when you don’t see a solution. On this team, there is reason to be very very excited. The problems when we have lost (not often) can be easily solved and when they are… My Lord, these guys are good. I’m excited as h-e-double hockey sticks because I see what can and will happen. We are going to win big-time. And I can’t wait to be a part of it.

I just can’t get over Tiago Splitter man! The kid is just very efficient. When you see him move, you think you can take him… And you just can’t. He is so damn confident and nothing deters him. And he does it all with the same face. No smiles, anger or elation… Just stone face. You just have no idea what he’s feeling. That, my friends, is a rare talent. I’m feelin’ great and playing well in the time I get. I got two more months on my contract and I might return to the D-League to finish the season and be with the fam after the contract is up. But while I’m here, I’m about to enjoy every bit of the ride. Hold up… Are you as bored with this spiel as I am? Don’t know how much longer I can do the blog thing, man… All the sweet stuff is like freaking people out. I call my boys in the league and they’re like, “Man don’t say this…” Which I would never do. C’mon, put someone on blast? But you’d be amazed at what guys would take offense to. So I’ll try to keep it as non-incriminating as possible… Batches!

Abra-cadabra…

It was so hard planning a wedding. And paying for it. Seeing as how I already was married. But wifey-poo wanted to have another wedding in the U.S. for her friends that didn’t make the one in Congo. (Yep, I got married in former Zaire… Ali bomaye and all that stuff). That to me wasn’t the most amazing thing. It was the fact I chose to spend 50 house payments on something I already did… Again! It’s all good. She loved it and it was the right thing to do. So anyway, I was a pain because I was in Puerto Rico playing and we were literally on our way to the championship.

Quick…

I know George W. Bush. Seriously. He was Governor of my state for crying out loud. And where do you think the Governor of Texas works out when he works two minutes from his favorite university football and basketball teams’ training facility? People never believe me when I tell them that.

Back…

I had to finish the playoffs by July 1st and get married by July 3rd. The schedule was incredibly hectic and I just wasn’t thinking about anything else but the wedding. Then my agent calls me and says “Washington is very interested in you coming to summer league with them. They think you can add something to their team and they have roster spots… blah blah cah cah hah hah magarena, pula pala blah blah que buena. Hey Macarena!” (Something to that effect.) I heard it before. Was I tempted? Yep. Was I too old for that? Double yep. I told him, sorry can’t go. Getting married. He says, OK, I’ll tell em. That simple, right? Wrong! (with Charlie Murphy emphasis).

Habitual line steppas. Anyway my agent calls back two more times after I said I couldn’t do it because I was getting married on the 3rd saying Washington asked if I could come for the first practice, fly back, get married, then fly back to Washington for the rest of summer camp. What? Are they serious? They would allow that? Damn, they must be really interested. I mean I used to always hear guys tell me stories about which team was interested in them and I always hit them with the “OK” face but the “Yeah, right” eyes. I never believed it because I felt if a team is interested in you, they’d sign you Frodo Baggins. So this was my first time seeing a team go out of its way to get me there. I mean, wow. For all they know this is my first wedding so surely they know how serious this is for me. Well if they are willing to let me do that then… Sure, what the hey! They must want me.

I got there and I was so excited to be on the same summer league team as Ime Udoka and Mo Evans (two good friends) and be one of the “ones” Washington wanted and to be getting married the next day. I was on cloud 9. As Mo and I talked about how fun it would be to play together, have the wedding, and that an NBA team felt me good enough to let do all this, I digressed. “Mo, how hilarious would it be if I went back after today’s practice and they cut me while in Houston?” (I have a morbid sense of humor that is shared by one human being I know. Ike Nwankwo. If you saw how we joked, doubtful, you’d laugh along.) “Naw G! C’mon they would never do that! Why would they call you all those times to come down here just to cut you on your wedding night?” Hahaha! Come on, you have to be laughing by now. Anyway during the first practice I was so hyped and excited I played, jumped and ran like a school kid. I was lucky enough to be in a 2-on-2 drill with Ime on my team. And we ran ’em off the court. “Computer Blue!” Next.  In short, I played well. Now off to my wedding.

I, with my everlasting pessimism, informed everyone I could that I was going to get married. “Please let me know if I should just check out and grab my bags. No biggie. I’d understand.” No prob, Gabe, just make sure you’re back the day after. Okay! So I left my bag in the hotel in DC and shot off to H-tahn! The wedding and reception were perfect. I couldn’t help joking with my wife about them cutting me. She didn’t know much about the league but she chided that no one could be that cruel. (Sorry, I still think the predictable ending was funny). After the ceremony, we came back to our suite to change and my cell rang. It was my agent… I swear I already knew. “Uh Gabe, I hate to call on your wedding night (no, you didn’t deep down you have the same morbid sense of humor as me) but…” I cracked up. Dude. My bag was still in DC! This has got to be a made-for-TV movie. My wife asked who it was. So I just told her it was my agent congratulating us. I just couldn’t tell her. She takes the basketball thing much harder than I do. So I just planned a longer and better honeymoon. Must have been good. It took her 3 days to even ask, “What happened with summer league with the Wizards?” I just told her I was a prop for a disappearing act.

I read the other day my story about Algeria and Ime Udoka might have been exaggerated. My friends, when you see anyone that was there that night, ask him. Our lives were on the line. This country is a country that, when we arrived was in civil war for over ten years. To this day a majority of the people there are armed to the tooth. They were killing each other for years and you think they gave a damn about some Nigerian hoopers? Check BBC’s archives. I don’t exaggerate nor do I entertain the idea of fibbing for the sake of a couple of “ooos”. Without Nigerian Embassy police escorts, someone would have been in trouble that night. Funny enough, all because of racism. While there I asked our bus driver if he was “Black” or “White” (he was neither. rather Arab). He retorted with shock, “Je suis blanc mais bien suer.” Then in an attempt to enter a bar in Algiers, we were turned away. I thought nothing of it but one of my teammates who had played in the Middle East was used to the “reason” we were denied entry. So he went into his “sharamuta” and insulting arabic act. “We are all Africans!” he screamed, pointing to his skin. The massive bear of a man tore his shirt off revealing hand-made tatoos from neck to stomach and said, “Jamais!” as half the street started at us at 10 pm armed with shanks and knives. Now tell me that is an exaggeration. (I don’t know about the rest of the guys, but I was freaked).

When I tell you I thought I would die twice in Algiers, think of this. I grew up in Houston. And been exposed to numerous situations where I faced guns and gangsters. And never once was I scared. So when I say, I was in that locker room texting my wife that I might not get out of that situation, it is true to the letter. Race. Race. Race. What a primitively arbitrary parameter.

I could give a damn what people decide to do because regardless I’ll be in a condo on an African beach when this rollercoaster I’m on called basketball is over. Just think and inform yourself. By separating myself, I might just lend myself to malleable (look it up) enslavement. You think I don’t know that when I’m talking to an opponent telling him his PG never passes him the ball? Divide and conquer. Rather than allow that, I maintain the idea of team no matter what. Because I know, whether right or wrong, if we are all in it together, we’ll win.

Sorry for the lacking blog… Little out of it. Nne’m ochie (grandma) died. Sucks. Hardest part is being here sans the familia and it ain’t like I’m one of those big (name) players that can just leave and retain my job. (If it came down to it, and I had to go, I would). I grew up with her and she was one of the main reasons I changed how I take care of my body. Everything, every single thing in her body just stopped working.

And the doctor said, if it wasn’t for her diet, weight and results of the two, she would not have died. Terrible. But she’s better off than us all and thank God for what she left me. I don’t deserve it. I’ll be back with a vengeance next blog. But I must say, I don’t know how many more I got in me. So I guess that means I’d better make the next few gang-star! I’d love to explore with anyone things I know and could learn about diet. You can e-mail at hoopshype@hoopshype.com and I’ll get the email. Then I’ll email back. Rather not give my e-mail on this. Until next time… Close the door on your way out. I have no idea what I meant by that.

Shalom.

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