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Rising from the Ashes

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So it’s been more than two years since I’ve updated this blog. I guess it’s about time to try and start the ball rolling again, to rise from the ashes. A lot has happened in the past two years that I’ve last posted here. A lot has changed but some things do remain the same. Lots of new experiences and lots of lessons as well. What’s important is that you learn and you get better and you move forward. As what Ragnar Lothbrok said to his sons in the History Channel series Vikings, “Don’t look back, you’re not headed that way!”. Easier said than done though but once you get past the part of getting stuck and you trudge forward, then there will be progress after progress, though sometimes they are baby steps and at times you take two steps backward before you can move one step forward.

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The Golden State Warriors will win the Championship for the second time in a row by next week. What a historic season indeed. I find it pointless to compare them to the 72-10 Chicago Bulls. Different eras, different styles. Debate as much as you want and imagine as much as you want but you won’t see how each would fare against the other. I am putting my money on the Bulls though. There is no doubt that Michael Jordan would average 40 or more in this era. Then again we can never tell how they would fare in trying to stop the ball movement of the Warriors and how they will slow down the Splash brothers. It would be fun though to see how Scottie Pippen would guard Steph Curry or Klay Thompson. Also, it would be fun to see the mentor vs the student when Steve Kerr goes against his mentor, Phil Jax. But yeah, all wishful thinking. Being down 1-3 against the Thunder, that made the defending Champs tougher and this series is nothing compared to going up against Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant. I thought that pair would go all the way. This season is indeed Magical for the Golden State Warriors. I wonder who would end up being the Finals MVP this time. We shall soon find out.

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On the UFC side of things, I can’t wait for the rematch between Jon Bones Jones and Daniel Cormier. One nice fight coming up though before UFC 200 would be the fight between Wonderboy and Rory McDonald. That’s what’s coming up next. I would like to see Wonderboy win as it I’m curious to see how he would fare against Robbie Lawler.Then again, I wouldn’t mind seeing Rory have a second crack at the champ. But yeah, I want Wonderboy to be Champion this year. We’ll see how that pans out as well real soon.

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Regarding games, Monster Hunter Generations is coming out next month. The Wolfpack, which is my hunting guild at work, is already excited and we’re counting down the days. Before that title drops though, Clash Royale has been keeping me busy. I started playing at the beginning of April, a couple of weeks before my birthday. Then I discovered that you can make multiple accounts. Since then, when I get bored and impatient waiting for the Chests to unlock, I made one account after another. Now I have seven. Crazy huh? I guess I discovered that I fare much, much better when I am challenged and maintaining 7 accounts is no joke. It would be curious to see how I can juggle this game when Monster Hunter Generations comes out next month. We shall soon find out in a little over a month.

It was my first time to get a Legendary card last week. I got a Miner for my main account, Ashen-X. It really is best when you get things unexpectedly. It seems that the desire sensor that plagued so many in the Monster Hunter franchise is prevalent in this game as well. It’s all good though, sometimes there’s quick progress, sometimes there’s little progress and sometimes there’s no progress at all. But you just have to endure and keep on charging ahead.

One thing I’ve learned this year is that you need to have something to look forward to. Be it an event, a new experience, new places to go or just simple things like trying to cook a new dish, doing something you’ve never done before or doing something that you used to love doing. In my case, that would be playing basketball and yeah, writing. I used to write and then seek comments, yearning for validation, for approval. But I’ve read something that lit a fire under me again. Do things not to impress, but to express. So yeah, we conquer by continuing. No matter how long you’ve stopped, all you need to do is to take steps again, although the first step is usually the hardest. But believe me, once you gain momentum, you’ll be so happy that you started going forward again. So yeah, don’t look back, you’re not headed that way! Kadima! Keep on moving forward!


Musings of a Converted Laker Fan

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I used to hate the Lakers. Hate is understating it. I do have much more disdain towards the Spurs, having rooted for the Suns since Steve Nash went back to the desert. I will never ever forget the heartache of seeing  Metta World Peace (then named Ron Artest) making the putback off a Kobe airball in game of 6 of their Western Conference Finals and propelling the Lakers to the Finals and Kobe got his fifth ring.

I used to hate Kobe Bryant.  I was rooting for Allen Iverson back when they faced each other in the 2001 NBA Finals. Though that’s a thing of the past since he visited an orphanage in Manila and I got to see a different side of Kobe, a side I have since liked.

I am sucker for rooting for the Underdog. But this time I have no choice but to root for a powerhouse. Call me a converted Laker fan. Where Steve Nash goes, I follow.

Now with Dwight Howard finally going to the Lakers, they are now the Top Dog in the Western Conference, at least on paper. But the big thing here is that anyone who has played with Steve Nash has always had a career year. Just ask Boris Diaw, Jared Dudley, to name a few. The most critical part of the trade is that of Pau Gasol no longer being included in the trade. I would rather have Pau Gasol over Al Harrington any day. Add to the mix Antawn Jamison coming off the bench. Somewhere I can see Grant Hill shaking his head. With this trade, he certainly wishes he chose the other team in LA.

Big key though is how much is Kobe willing to sacrifice. How much is he willing to shoot less and make more plays now that he has this lineup around him. Kobe Bryant would do everything just to get back on the mountaintop again. Another key is the Lakers changing to the Princeton offense. They hired former Sixers and Wizards coach Eddie Jordan to facilitate the Princeton offense. I think that Andrew Bynum would have fared better but I will give Dwight Howard some leeway here. There’s a big difference with playing with Steve Nash than playing with Jameer Nelson and a big difference with playing with a Kobe Bryant and playing with a Jason Richardson. Given Steve Nash’s history with making other players around him better, chances of Dwight Howard having a disappointing season are slim.

Right now Miami is at the top of the mountain. But with this trade, they surely would have the Lakers in their minds all season. Let’s get one for Steve and one more for Kobe! This is one of the happiest days of my life as a Steve Nash fan and as a basketball fan in general. Now all Laker fans say Amen.