Monday, April 4, 2011

Sabonis named to Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame ~ Sveikiname!

Guy wearing a Sabas jersey,
NBA Summer League
Vegas 2010
Many years ago when I was in Cleveland, the Portland Trail Blazers came to town.  This event is not that exciting for most, but for one guy it was like Christmas.  For many Lithuanian basketball players, Arvydas Sabonis is/was a childhood idol.  For many Lithuanians period, Sabonis is/was a hero. 

I was told, "If Sabonis calls, come and get me.  I don't care where I am or what I'm doing."  I'll give you one guess as to where he was and what he was doing, when Sabas called.  Yep.  You're right.

Sabas called and I picked up the phone.  This is special, because we NEVER picked up the phone when we didn't recognize the number.  Caller ID was our friend.  When I heard the accent on the other end of the phone, I knew who was on the phone.  It was Sabas on the line, and even I was a little excited because I knew my "housemate" would be thrilled.

The two of them went out that night.  A man and his childhood hero.  The following day, both would have very different plans.  The Trail Blazers played the Cavaliers the following day, and my "housemate" left for a doctor's appointment in California to have his foot examined.  They were out ALL NIGHT.  I'm not talking about coming in at 2, 3, or 4.  I'm not even talking about 5, 6, or 7 AM.  I passed my housemate on the stairs as I left to go to work.

"I don't want to talk about it," was all he said. 
"I didn't say anthing, but you know you have a flight to catch in 2 hours", I replied.
He just smiled and said, "I know, but that idiot has shoot around in 40 minutes."

You could tell that he was exhausted but had one of the best nights of his life.  How could I be mad?  How often does anyone get to go out with his/her childhood hero?

How did the story end?  It was January 22, 2001.  My housemate made his flight.  Sabonis shot 1-10 and ended the game with 3 points.  The Cleveland Cavaliers defeated the Portland Trail Blazers 84-58.

Congratulations Arvydas Sabonis on the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.  Sveikiname, Sabas!


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