Tuesday, July 7, 2009
Adios And Au Revoir
After ten days and seven flights covering 9,622 miles, I bid Rudy, Sergio, Victor, Nicolas and the rest of Europe a fond adieu. It's been everything I had hoped for and more.
I don't know what I'll remember the most. Shirtless Rudy? Stumbling through the cobblestone streets of Las Palmas looking for a dance club with Sergio? Listening to a thoroughly butchered street rendition of R.E.M.'s "Losing My Religion" with Victor? Almost getting run over numerous times while trying to find the Champs-Elysee with Nicolas? The Louvre with Lorenzo? It's impossible to say at this point, but I'll always have a special place in mi corazón for all the people and places I've been lucky enough to experience over the last week and a half.
I hope you've enjoyed the stories, pictures and video I've provided for you in this here blog. My goal was to give you a better understanding of what these players are like outside of basketball and how the places they're from shape who they are as people. I'm not sure if I've accomplished that goal, but the I'm not yet finished telling the story. Over the next few weeks I'll be putting together a few in-depth pieces that will hopefully bring some of these issues into focus, so stay tuned for that.
There are tons of people who put in a lot of time and effort to make this trip possible. I had the fun and easy part. So many thanks to Bill, Cheri, Jim, Collin, Larry, Tom, Dan, Caitlin, Rhonda, Alisa, Lou, Gregg, Michelle, Bonnie, Jordi, Miquel, Fernando, Jorge, Anna, Bouna, Luca and Sebastian. Super huge thanks to Rudy, Sergio and his parents, Victor and Nic for making time for me and being such great hosts. And a special thumbs up to Kaleb Canales. Without him I'd probably still be at the airport in Palma, Mallorca.
So with that, I'm going to go down stairs, have my petit déjeuner and hop on the metro to Charles De Gaulle Airport to begin the trip back to Portland. Here's hoping my bags make the trip as well. Wish me luck.
By the way, practice for Summer League starts tomorrow! See you at the practice facility bright and early.