IN THE WAKE OF THE WEEK: A truly courageous moment
TRUE COURAGE: Jamie Baker is a National Hockey League veteran and color commentator for the San Jose Sharks. Last season he had to take two leaves of absence for personal reasons. There was speculation, but most hoped his situation would simply improve. On Tuesday night between the first and second period, Baker appeared with play-by-play man Randy Hahn. It was time for Baker to explain what happened. It was hard for him to maintain his composure. He offered, “Hanging on here.” He was a true professional at perhaps his weakest moment. He exclaimed, “I have been through a lot in the last year. I’ve worked really hard.” He went on to discuss his battle with depression. It took him to the brink of total despair. He is on a new course today. The NHL Players Association got him the help he needed. He used neurofeedback, brain mapping, and a daily routine called “Train the Brain.” He added, “Through all of it, no more mood swings. I sleep now. No impulsiveness. I battled depression for 15-20 years.” It was a humbling moment for a situation Baker felt he had to explain. For Baker, a tearful, difficult confession, but it opens the conversation to other struggling with the same ailment. Baker is a strong man. He is well-respected. He has battled his way to Tuesday night. It was a truly courageous moment.
SHARKS ON RISE: Yes, the six-game winning streak is over with the loss to Florida on Thursday night. However, it was the San Jose Sharks’ first defeat in March. They are 12-2-1 at home since December 27. Joe Thornton just keeps setting records as he passes Jarome Iginla for 13th on the NHL’s all-time games played list. They take a hit as defenseman Radim Simek tears his ACL and MCL on the same play. However, Evander Kane should be back tomorrow. Best team ever in San Jose.
ROSSI ON THE PROWL: The Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg turned out to be a tight and competitive race. Alexander Rossi started sixth and ended up fifth. It is a decent start to the IndyCar season…one in which he was not completely satisfied. He raced well and maintained a 8-plus second lead over sixth. Although leading for two laps, he stayed at fifth for the majority of the race. Better Sundays ahead for King Alexander! Next stop is Circuit of the Americas March 25 in Austin. Texas.
WARRIORS TRIUMPH IN HOUSTON: Yes, they were 4-6 in the last 10 games include a horrid loss to Phoenix. It was also the first game of a four-game road trip. Facing Golden State was the 42-25 Houston Rockets with a chance to sweep the season series. ESPN’s broadcast team wondered of the Warriors, “Which team will show up?” Without Kevin Durant, DeMarcus Cousins and Klay Thompson lead the way. It is a 106-104 Warriors win. It was safe to say that the right Golden State squad appeared.
WAIT UNTIL NEXT YEAR: The Sacramento Kings are at 33-35 on the season. With 15 games left, they are five games out of a playoff spot. It will not happen this campaign. “Wait until next year” never sounded so good. They go into Boston and give the Celtics everything they could handle in a 126-120 loss. They led by six at halftime, but Boston is just too much. Marvin Bagley is back and he looks like he never missed a beat. Buddy Hield with another good performance. So much promise. Next season could not come too soon.
KERR FED UP WITH GREEN?: It was another abysmal performance on Sunday night at Oracle. The lowly Phoenix Suns, complete with 16 wins, come in and fleece the Golden State Warriors. It is the Phoenix Suns television feeds that catches Steve Kerr apparently say, “I’m so (expletive) tired of Draymond.” It all happens with 1:35 left in the game as the Suns appear poised to take down Golden State. Green replies, “(Expletive) happens.” They have the last two months of the season to get this mess straightened out.
DISGRACE IN UTAH: It is simply a bad scene in Salt Lake City on Monday night. Russell Westbrook has not gotten along with Jazz fans. It all spilled over. Westbrook claims the fan told him to “get down on his knees like he used to.” The fan denies anything like that. However, Westbrook goes on a tirade saying, among other things, “I’ll (expletive) you up. You and your wife.” So, the fan is barred for life and threatens a lawsuit. Westbrook is fined $25,000. Just another night in the NBA.
49ERS LAND COLEMAN: Can he be a difference-maker? Former Atlanta running back Tevin Coleman gets a 2-year, $10 million dollar deal. Last season he had 167 carries for 800 yards and two touchdowns. He also notched four touchdowns via the air on 267 yards. He may be an improvement to help the Niners on their journey.
FORGET THE DROUGHT: Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows have both reported that they are staying open for skiing until July 7. If you have driven that way lately, you understand why. Mountains of snow give way to summer on the slopes. Nothing like honing your snowboard skills on Independence Day!
Jim Adams is a regular contributor to The Union. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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