Read Everything That Dunks Must Converge

Read Everything That Dunks Must Converge
by Bryan Harvey

Truth & lies in Pixar's 'The Good Dinosaur'

Truth & lies in Pixar's 'The Good Dinosaur'
by Bryan Harvey

Previewing the ACC-Big Ten Challenge

Previewing the ACC-Big Ten Challenge
by Brendan Brody

To their own devices: Pablo Larrain's 'The Club'

To their own devices: Pablo Larrain's 'The Club'
by Bryan Harvey

Atlantic Division Profiles: Amare, the Messiah

October 10, 2010

Russ previewed the Atlantic Division earlier this week, and I followed that up with Rondo, the Dreamer, and here's the fictional back story on Amare, inspired by his move this offseason to New York and his delving into his Jewish heritage: 

Amare stands on the Brooklyn Bridge, suspended over one of America's great rivers by the stone and concrete and steel cables that once helped one of America's greatest cities cross into modernity.  His yellow taxi is pulled up against the curb, smoking like a meteorite or a capsule from Krypton, the vapors rising from the yellow dented hood like steam off a desert lake.  Are such scenes possible?  They must be, for this is what the scene is.  Are such scenes laden with irony?  They must be, for here is a man, used to being hailed down by pedestrians with their hands raised like a holy man's trying to catch the spirit, now standing on the side of the road with his own arm extended, waiting to be rescued.  Life does this to us: bouncing us back and forth, like a ping pong ball, between the stations of being what is needed and what does the needing, maybe there isn't even a distinction, like how Superman needed a planet where capes weren't in fashion in order to make his special.


Amare doesn't wear a cape, and he never did.  No, he comes to work everyday in a green button up that makes him look like a war veteran, but Amare wasn't always a cab driver.  He was raised in the desert, thirsty, abused, and chosen, and the scriptural readings that now adorn his skin were taught to him by his mentor, Steve Nash.  He took the readings to heart.  He was Black Jesus.  He was a source of physical strength and spiritual knowledge.  He was a candidate.  He was a Tzaddik Ha-Dor.  He was also fractured, incomplete, and broken.

Moses never came out of the desert.  Elijah lit it on fire and then rode a chariot into the sky.  Jesus walked across the sand with the Devil as his guide.  Amare may have done all three.  His move to New York surely left his cult status on the desert floor like the rib cage of an overworked mule.  He did light the horizon on fire.  And he did dance with the Devil if one is to believe that Satan can take human form and walk the earth as a Robert Horry or Bruce Bowen.  The problem for Amare is that the Devil won, and his move to New York does not feel like an ascent of angels but a retreat into cozier confines.  He is no longer on the frontier, winning over the heathens with a flurry of fetishes.  No, he is retreating back into the East and the holy walls of basketball's Old Jerusalem.  He is no longer remaking the world in his image, but pleading with it to accept him as part of its traditional tapestry, which is why he now finds himself broken down on the Brooklyn Bridge, in the middle of the night, having answered a call to pick up other immigrants on the road of life, only to find no one in need of a ride, leaving this prophet with an incredibly empty back seat, like Clark Kent without a story.

A cab driver is not much different than a personal savior.  You wave him down, and he takes you from here to there.  The only difference is that a savior tends to take you somewhere that is not of your choosing, a place that by its very nature redefines you while a cab driver simply takes you where you tell him to go.  Amare is no longer a savior, but he is a cab driver.  He goes where he is told, except for a night like tonight where his tool of the trade is broken down and landlocked.  It's humbling to go from savior to taxi driver.  But it's humiliating to go from taxi driver to hitch hiker because no one will answer your company's phone, stranding you on a bridge with the helpless romantics and suicide walkers, who both count the city's lights like stars in the night sky, differing only on whether they see the light as a world being born or one that has already died.

Amare, welcome to New York City's skyline, don't wait up too long for your ride to come.

Photo Credits: The sketch of the Brooklyn Bridge's construction is courtesy of NewYorkHistory.info, and the images of Amare are the work of Mike Langston.  Give him his due.  I like the taxi one myself.  

0 comments:

Post a Comment

 

© 2008-2010 ·The Lawn Chair Boys by TNB