I was once a Canadian child, at the height of Vinsanity, when you would do a few spin-arounds in the air on your way to the modern peach basket overhead. I would gaze intently at a television while you flipped and flapped around a wooden floor, keeping a ball away from other large men who wore different colours than you.
I once snuck into an arena which an airline paid to name and became one of thousands who helped to claim that name for you instead. You share a birthday with the most famous athlete from my country, but what you represented meant more to me, growing up on the rugged streets of St. John’s, in the concrete jungle of Mundy Pond. I once played a game of two-on-two where I pretended to be you, and we won because of it. Or maybe it was because one of the guys on the other team kept smoking instead of dribbling, coughing instead of passing, and laughing instead of shooting.