Critical Section

my dinner with Mr. Intensity

Saturday,  01/09/10  10:09 AM

Jerry West - Mr. Clutch, the logo, and... Mr. Intensity!Last night we went out to dinner; Shirley, Jordan, Meg, and me, at a little place down the street called Leila's.  We like Leila's, it's cool; a hidden gem in a shopping mall, good food and great wine, plus they have a cheese plate to die for...  but I digress, because I was telling you about my dinner with Jerry West.  So we're seated at a table, and at the next table is another party of four which includes Mr. West. 

I'm going to call him Mister, because he's been my hero for forty years; when I was a young teen and a huge Lakers fan, he was their leader, the little white guy who took over games with his sharpshooting, laser passing, and defensive intensity.  He was the best; John Stockton before John Stockton, Steve Nash before Steve Nash.  Chick Hearn nicknamed him "Mr. Clutch".  Later on he became the Lakers' coach, leading them to championships with Kareen Abdul-Jabbar, and then general manager, making the deals which brought Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant to the Lakers.  And Phil Jackson!  But I digress, because I was telling you about our dinner.

So Mr. West is at the next table, and it so happens that he and I were facing each other.  He seemed to be having a great time, calm, smiling, drinking wine, engaged in conversation.  But every time we locked eyes I got this incredible sense of intensity.  It was amazing; he wasn't staring at me and probably wasn't thinking about me at all, and yet wham! this laser like intensity was beamed at me.  It was really quite cool.  I found myself staring without staring, if you know what I mean, just so I could pick up the signal.  I'd love it if I could transmit that kind of intensity.  I'll have to work on that :)

PS reading his NBA bio, I found this phrase: "Despite a level of intensity so high it could melt lead, West was one of the most admired and well-liked figures in professional basketball."  I'm staring at my computer screen right now, practicing.  Can you feel it?

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