Buried deep in the Pacific Northwest, under flung fish and gum, Ballerball was able to uncover a vast number of writings from Shawn Kemp’s old diary. These are his words.*
November 19, 1994
I spoke to a bird yesterday. He was crying and I asked him why and he told me he’d lost his love. I told him I knew how he felt. We drank together for hours after that, Diary. My head hurts. I wish him well. He flew off at the end of our conversation. We’d spoken of friends and family and Hootie and really good lickerish and Rosie Perez. So on the conversation goes. You listen and respond and the tides come and go and after awhile the ocean of noise must rest. When it did he just said, “Well, friend, it’s time.”
He vacated his perch on my balcony and soared off into the night slowly, like a poorly made paper airplane. I think I cried, but I can’t remember now. If not, I wish I had. “‘Tis good to feel” the bird told me. It’s true, it is a happy day to have your emotions roused. I never got his name. I fear I won’t see him ever again.
I’m in Milwaukee. It’s late. I just got back to the hotel. We won. It was an easy enough game. Tried to stick Vin Baker on your boy and I gave him that business and that pleasure. I saw him before the game and I told him I had 20 and 10 waiting on him. I had 17 and 11. Close enough. Only had to play a little over 30 minutes, too.
We wound up dubbing them. Gary carried us. Had himself a 25, 7, 6, and 6 line. Just absolutely filthy. Of course, in the locker room after the game, Kendall and I didn’t focus on that. Lee Mayberry somehow managed to score 22 on him. Mayberry. Oh, how we razzed him. Kendall would whistle the theme song to The Andy Griffith Show as Gary would walk through the locker room. It was hysterical, Diary. Great fun. Kendall is a fantastic whistler.
Detlef still seems sad. I tried inviting him out for a drink — he loves craft beers and I wanted him to try some New Glarus — but he declined. I don’t know what to do but be there for him when he’s ready to talk. We should’ve never went to see Angels in the Outfield. I think Danza’s performance really got him thinking about his mortality. Detlef’s mind sprints away from him sometimes.
Oh, well, the wheels go up, up, up on the plane tomorrow and it’s back to Seattle. The Nets arrive in a few days. DC’s about to enter all 36 of my chambers.
Thanks for listening, Diary. All my love.
*These aren’t his words.