On The Left Side


1 March 2014


Kevin Johnson had a great NBA career with the Phoenix Suns, and some great hops – google his Cleveland dunk if you’ve never seen him – but his greatest performance in an NBA city will probably be as Mayor of Sacramento, CA. The former superstar has the support of much of his city, especially sports fans who are grateful for him investing his personal NBA capital in saving the Sacramento Kings from being moved. Meanwhile, on the court…

2. Jimmer

The still-struggling Kings and guard Jimmer Fredette have parted ways, as the Kings have bought out his contract. Another example of how NCAA and NCAA tournament heroics do not necessarily translate into NBA stardom.

3. Darnell Kendricks

Unfortunately it was where and when it was, but with that said, I had the honor of accompanying superb vocalist and Sacramento native Darnell Kendricks at his grandmother’s funeral. Music heads, if you’re not up on him, check him out.

4. Turn The Beat Around

Not exactly a bucket list item, but it’s pretty cool to watch the world famous San Francisco cable car come to its final stop near the intersection of 5th and Market…because the operators have to get off and manually turn the car around in order to place it in position for the trip in the opposite direction.

On another San Francisco note, I wonder if old New York Giant fans would take kindly to the fact that one of the businesses that has emerged across the street from AT&T Park is called Polo Grounds.

5. Chavez Ravine

Maybe not a bucket list item either for most people…but last fall I saw a game at Dodger Stadium, made all the better by virtue of its being at the end of the summer, enabling me to see the mercurial Yasiel Puig. If only I could have been there that night in ’85 when the Dodgers had the bases loaded with no outs, and Dwight Gooden ended the threat without yielding any runs by striking out the next three batters on three pitches apiece….

6. LA Sunshine

The rain was just beginning to hit Southern California as I was leaving, but the previous day it was interesting to see LA folks walking around with coats zipped to the top and scarves wrapped tightly around their necks. Guys, this weather was not cold…See East Coast for further information!

7. Twice A Day or Dick Gregory

I received an email…don’t know how I got on this mailing list…telling me that the Official Countdown to CPAC (Conservative Political Action Conference) has already begun. This came at about the same time Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer vetoed the Republican-passed “no gays served” bill. As for Gov. Brewer and her history, the saying that even a broken clock tells the right time twice a day is most apropos – and as for the Republicans, the best advertisement for the Democratic Party is the Republican Party.

The Arizona no-gays “religious freedom” bill led me to think of a book written by activist/comedian Dick Gregory which was entitled “N-Word.” (Well, not exactly that…but you can get yourself a copy of the book to find out the correct title and get his perspective on the era of the civil rights movement.) In the book he mentions an incident in which he went into a southern restaurant and sat down, only to be told by the waitress that they didn’t serve “N-Words.” Gregory responded that he didn’t eat them, and that he wanted fried chicken. The owner or manager came out with the chicken, saying “N-Word, whatever you do to that chicken we will do to you.” Gregory proceeded to kiss it.

Hopefully this type of incident will not have to be re-enacted in the near future.

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