Monday, September 16, 2013

Splash Talk

This is Antawn Jamison, a 6'9" Power Forward who, at one time, was one of the NBA's top prospects.

He no longer plays for the Los Angeles Lakers. He now dons a Clippers uniform. But who knows how long that will last as he now played for 5 separate teams in the 9 years since entering the NBA.

Nevertheless, there's no arguing with the fact he is an elite professional athlete.

Last week I had the pleasure of meeting Antawn. Actually, we never talked with each other. We only swam next to each other.

I, in the fast lane, and he, in the not-so-fast lane.

I swim at my brother's condo complex in Playa Vista. The newly built Clippers training camp is also in Playa Vista. In fact, as you can tell from the map, they are only a mile and a half apart. I'm sure Antawn, and the two scrubs he came with, could have walked from the gym, but I'm pretty sure they came in the pimped-out Escalade parked in front of the pool.

It's not all that unusual to find some Clippers at the pool.

Two years ago, I swam next to, and talked with Blake Griffin, who was rehabbing from a knee injury. His coach had him swimming when he couldn't do any other cardio exercise.

Blake took to the water like a duck and has a long, graceful stroke. He covers the 25 meters of the pool in 6 easy, strides.

I tried counting the number of strokes Antawn and his buddies were swimming but lost count. I'm not even sure you'd call it swimming. It was more like flailing. And slapping the water. And gasping for oxygen as if they were summiting K2.

Look, I don't have a stellar athletic track record.

In high school, I would have liked to play football. I had the weight for the position, but I didn't have the height. In college, the only running I did was for beer. It wasn't until I moved to California that I discovered running 10K races, marathons and triathlons. Mostly as an avenue to getting laid.

So you'll have to pardon me for gloating. Because it wasn't even official. There were no starting guns. Or finish lines. I'm not even sure Antawn knew he was racing me. But I was definitely racing him. And in a simple 50 meter swim there and back, I kicked his $1.9 million professional basketball-playing ass.

And in a few weeks, for $29.95 plus shipping and handling, I'll have the hardware to prove it.

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