Sunday, March 24, 2013

the last book I ever read (The Big O by Oscar Robertson, excerpt fourteen)

from The Big O: My Life, My Times, My Game by Oscar Robertson:

On a typical trip, I’d lose all concept of what day it was. Say the team started off with a road game in Milwaukee. The plane left early in the morning on the day of the game, maybe 9:00 A.M. We’d check in to a hotel, then play the game, then head back to the hotel at around 11:00 P.M. The next morning, we’d take a bus and ride for hours, arriving directly at a Chicago hotel. The team checked in and rested before going to play the game and then headed back to a hotel. Afterwards, I’d hit a music club before the team’s midnight curfew. The next morning, we have to get up early again, because we’re flying to Portland, where we’ll have a day off. Not a full day off, because we’d still work out that afternoon, shoot some, and talk about Portland’s defense. That night I might grab a paper and go check out a band or one of the entertainers I’d met over the years, like Dizzy Gillespie, Sam Cooke, James Brown, the Temptations, Smokey Robinson. I’d go to see them perform, and maybe head backstage afterwards to say hello. And then back to the hotel before curfew.

Most nights in the hotel room, I’d flip the television on and watch until I fell asleep. Wayne used to wonder how I could watch so much crap on TV. I used to ask him how he could sleep as much as he did. Then Bob Boozer might come by for some soul talk.

The next night, we’d play in Portland. After just a few trips up and down the floor, I knew who’d been out past curfew or whatever. I know whenever I let myself get hooked by a late-night movie on television, I sure felt it the next day.

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