It’s the hypotheticals of that moment that haunt me. What if he’d tripped over his legs and blown out his knee, or gone tumbling into the wall and hit his head in a way that triggered bleeding in his brain? At the time, I thought of myself as an activist. Some of my teammates even came to my support—I’d stood up to the coaches. But the self-aggrandizement quickly dissolved into guilt, and six years later it’s more or less remained with me.
The NBA’s Summer League concludes next Monday with the mini-tournament’s championship game, held at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. So last weekend, as the Summer League was about to kick off, I did what I like to do and embarked on another road trip into the desert to watch some more meaningless exhibition games.
In the past eight days he has already won two Olympic golds, achieving the elusive distance-running double of winning both the 5,000 and the 10,000m. And now he is minutes away from completing a treble which everyone watching must realize will almost certainly never be achieved again. This is, by the way, the first time he has ever run a marathon.