Sunday, May 22, 2016

Damnnnn Daniel..back at it again!

Well, well, well.

Where do I begin..How about with those who don't remember who Daniel is...How could you forget?

In other news, it feels like it was just 2014 and I was back in France eating a croissant (or two..maybe even three), Obama still had a few years left in his presidency and the 'Running Man' dance still had some dignity

Fast forward two years and a lot has changed - for example, I'm no longer playing in Europe, Donald Trump is running for President, hover boards came and went & lastly, if you've watched 'American Crime Story; The People vs OJ Simpson', you can't help but wonder how he got off.

But that's neither here nor there.

As for the 2+ year hiatus? All I can really say is, my baaaaad y'all.

No, really, there isn't a reasonable answer as to why.  Perhaps I got caught up with Hello Kitty and anime over here in Japan and I lost my way. Or maybe it was the struggle to use chopsticks that left my hands in no shape to type. Or quite frankly, it may have been the back-to-back games every weekend over a 52 game schedule that left me utterly fatigued.  Whatever excuse you chose to accept, I humbly accept and am indebted to my readers who questioned the disappearance of the entries. Don't get me wrong; ideas and blog posts filled my brain but I just lacked the thrill to translate those thoughts from my head to the keyboard. It was more a case of 'I didn't want to force the issue.'

I didn't want to force the content.

If I was and am going to deliver an entry, I want it to be original and authentic. Genuine. At the time, I simply didn't feel it, was so I decided to spare you my prattle and wait until the time was right - and as the saying goes, "The time is now."

It's a rainy Wednesday afternoon here in Osaka, Japan. This is where I have called home for the past 8 months and counting. As I sit on my 2 seater couch of my 1 bedroom apartment, I relish in the sound of the rain on my window pane. The bedroom and living are separated by a typical Japanese sliding-door mechanism that I find to be absolutely genius. You can close off and separate each or combine both and have large open space in seconds - flexibility at its best!

As I peak out the window to nothing but grey skies, gloom and the sounds of trickling rain, I think about the past season. The ups, the downs, the highs, and the lows. We finished 6th in the tough Western conference of the Turkish Airlines-sponsored 'Basketball Japan' League. A difference from my 3rd place finish on my former team the previous season, Hamamatsu Phoenix.
That Hamamatsu team featured a great group of both local Japanese talent and imported American (and Canadian, hehe) muscle. That team went on to defeat the #2 ranked team in a best-of-three series on the road to punch our ticket to the final 4 in Ariake. The final 4 was then switched from a series set-up to a 1 game elimination set-up à la the NCAA March Madness tournament. We defeated the #4 ranked team in the west and then went ahead and beat a very good Akita team who were ranked #1 in the East.

And just like that, I became a champion on the big stage. Prior to last season, my previous two seasons as a pro in France and Spain both ended in a semi-final loss. But this time, things would be different. It would be me running through the confetti shower; it would be my teammates and I rejoicing and celebrating unbridledly...and we did just that!

Unfortunately we were unable to duplicate that feeling this time around. We came up a week short of the opportunity to play for the title. 7 days. 168 hours. 10,080 extra minutes in our season and we could have been playing for all the marbles. It hurts when you put it into those kind of terms. Although, there's gratitude in knowing we left it on all on the floor. Listening to motivational speaker and workout junky CT Fletcher speak, he says "there's victory & satisfaction(13:07) in knowing that you gave your absolutely best and falling short." We left nothing in the tank, the opposition was simply better on that day - and I can live with that.

As the summer approaches, the usual schedule entails: rest, rehab, recovery, train, continue to develop and progress, kick back and enjoy the weather, eat as much comfort food as possible and get ready for the grind yet again. The summer is short so I've got to pack in as many moments and memories as possible in a 80-90 period. I've done the math and from my calculations, 3 days overseas is equivalent to 1 day back home. So if you look at it in that light, you've got to make everyday worthwhile and productive. You can always get material possessions back but time, time is of the essence. Spend it wisely.

I hope that you all forgive me for Houdini disappearing act. I will definitely be more consistent in the following season wherever it is I end up.

I may even surprise you with a pop-up summer entry or two! Stay tuned..


Kobe we will miss you.
RIP Prince.
Thanks Drake for Views.
Twitter/Instagram contacts are posted in the banner but I've recently joined the Snapchat gang: O_Ash

Thank you all for reading and supporting the journey thus far...I'm merely a kid playing the game he loves who just happens to be 'Overseas With A Carry-On.'


Update: I began this entry about 10 days ago. It has sat here on my laptop waiting to be editted and published. Big shout out to the home team Raptors for beating the Cavs last night. Everyone thought we'd simply cave and be swept but that's not in the cities' DNA. You all need to put some respect on our name!

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