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|主题: 除非你知道所有的事情 周三 二月 20, 2008 10:01 am|| |
If only you knew everything.
By Stephen Rodrick
Tamia had heard it before. "You are the perfect couple with the perfect child and the perfect life," a friend said. But this time the words stung, a well-meaning compliment that sounded cruel. On the su***ce, the friend was right. Tamia was a beautiful R & B singer married to a basketball hero and Renaissance man. They had a gorgeous baby and millions of dollars. But there were other parts of their life that were secret. So Tamia bit her lip and thought, if only you knew everything.
Tamia总是听到这样的话。“你们是最完美的夫妇，拥有最完美的孩子和最完美的生活。”一位朋友说。但是这些话却有些让人痛苦，好意的称赞却听起来那么残酷。从表面上来说，那位朋友是对的。Tamia是个漂亮的R & B 歌手，嫁给了一位已经获得新生的篮球明星。他们有一个非常美丽可爱的宝宝还有千万美元的家产。但是他们生活的另一面却是不为人知的，Tamia只能咬咬嘴唇，默默的想，“你当然会这么想，除非你知道所有的事情。”
It took awhile, but Grant Hill is on the move again.
THE NIGHT he almost died, Grant Hill couldn't get warm, which was strange considering sweat was pouring off his face. It was a few days after the fourth surgery on his left ankle in the spring of 2003. He knew the pain of recovery; this wasn't it. The first three operations merely reset the bone – "changed the flat," as Hill liked to say. The fourth operation had finally got it right, a full realignment that involved breaking and restructuring his ankle and heel. But now Hill's body was rebelling.
"I don't feel right," he told Tamia. His wife just rolled her eyes and said, "Don't be so dramatic." Through all of his surgeries, humor was their saving grace. They laughed when Myla, the couple's only child, uttered "ankle" as one of her first words. Tamia knew Hill could be a drama queen. Still, she went rummaging through their Orlando home in search of a thermometer. When she found one she popped it into her husband's mouth and waited. It read 103 degrees. "Wha-a-a-t does it s-s-sa-y-y," Hill stuttered through chattering teeth. Tamia didn't answer. It couldn't be right, she thought. God knows they'd been through a lot, but 103 degrees wasn't possible. She called the hospital, and the doctor told her to bring him in and not to wait for an ambulance.
As she negotiated the streets of Orlando, Hill sat in the back seat, alternately giving directions and mumbling gibberish. When they arrived at Winter Park Memorial Hospital, Tamia saw shock in the eyes of the staff. Now she was scared.
"Could he be overdosing?" a doctor asked.
"My husband doesn't even like aspirin," Tamia answered.
Just then the body that threw The Pass in '92, won Olympic gold in '96 and cut effortlessly through NBA defenses for six seasons went into spasm, flopping uncontrollably as the fever spiked to 104.5 degrees. Tamia's last sight before the ER doors closed on her was that of five men struggling to hold down her husband.
Hill's body was being ravaged by a staph infection that had secured entry through an unhealed incision. "It was like an earthquake had occurred in his ankle," says Grant's father, Calvin. "It was absolutely gruesome."
The doctors put Hill, 32, on vancomycin, one of the strongest antibiotics available, and the fever subsided. But Hill needed a skin graft from his left arm to help the wound heal properly. Even after the procedure, Hill still saw fear on his wife's face. "I need a husband and Myla needs a father," she told him. "You're a good man with basketball and a good man if you never play again."
This was it, Hill thought. No more surgeries. This time he'd come back on his schedule. If that meant taking a year off, so be it. And if it didn't work out, he had a whole life to live. Screw it if people forgot who he was, forgot what he'd been. There were things more important than basketball.
The game was about to become even less important. As his wife rested with him in his bed at Duke Medical Center she made an idle observation. "My legs are numb," she said. "Probably from lying around with you too much." But the numbness didn't go away. Soon simple tasks like writing with a pen became difficult. Tamia saw a doctor but the first tests were inconclusive, and the couple headed to Turks and Caicos for a wedding anniversary, their fourth. But by they time they landed back in Florida, Grant had to fill out his wife's immigration forms for her. Her hands wouldn't listen to her brain. She couldn't hold Myla.
接下来发生的事情，让比赛变得更加不重要了。当Tamia在Duke医疗中心，他的病床旁边休息的时候，她忽然有种不一般的感觉。“我的腿麻木了”她说，“是不是因为我陪你坐着的时间太长了？”但是那种麻木的感觉始终没有消失，不久之后，一些简单的，比如握钢笔之类的动作，变得困难了。Tamia去看了医生，一开始的检查没有确诊。然后在这对夫妻一起去Turks and Caicos群岛庆祝他们的结婚4周年纪念之后，当他们回到佛罗里达的时候，Tamia已经需要Grant来帮她填写入境表格了。她的手根本不听大脑的使唤，这些她并没有告诉Myla。
Back at Duke Medical Center they got confirmation of their fears: multiple sclerosis. As the news settled, it only made the words of Tamia's friend seem hollow: "You are the perfect couple with the perfect child and the perfect life."
If only you knew everything.
THERE ARE big moments in Grant Hill's comeback. The Player of the Week honor three weeks into the season that had teammates beaming from ear to ear. The 32 points against Utah that basically sealed the honor. The 15-footer officially becoming automatic again. The startling fact, four surgeries later, that he is already Orlando's best perimeter defender. This isn't a diminished Chris Webber coming back to score 25 while giving up 24. This is Hill more than holding his own against Kobe.
But if only you knew everything.
Then you'd know it's the small moments that tell the story. Like Hill's smile, arched eyebrows and polite "nice move" offered to Paul Pierce after the Celtic faked him and hit a step-back jumper. Or teammate Steve Francis holding his breath when Hill tumbled after a loose ball into photographer's row. "I'm fine, get back," Hill shouted. Or the grin on Jalen Rose's face after Hill soared – okay, he's not quite soaring yet – to dunk with one hand behind his head. "I never thought I'd see you doing a Karl Malone," said the Raptors guard with a laugh. "I'm old school now," Hill shot back. And a moment in the locker room, when Hill put his hand on Dwight Howard's shoulder after the rookie snagged 20 rebounds and told him he was going to be a special player in the league. Yes, the angels are in the details.
你还应该知道一些微小的瞬间。比如Hill的笑容，弯弯的眉毛和给对手有礼貌的赞美，当Paul Pierce做了个假动作骗过他，投中了一个后撤步的跳投之后，Hill对他说，“好球”。当队友Steve Francis看到他为了救一个界外球跌出场外，摔到了摄影师旁边，为他捏了一把冷汗的时候，Hill喊道，“我没事，回来比赛”。或者当Hill飞起来，压过Jalen Rose，单手把球灌进篮筐之后（好吧，他已经不是经常飞起来），Hill咧着嘴冲着Rose笑。“我从没想过你会用Karl Malone式的打法。”猛龙的后卫Rose笑着说。“我现在也是保守派了。”Hill用投篮来回应。一次在更衣室里，当菜鸟Dwight Howard一场比赛抢下20个篮板的时候，Hill把手放在DH的肩膀上，对他说，你会成为联盟里面的一个很特别的球员。是啊，他是个天使，在每个微小的瞬间。
Let's get one thing out of the way: in this story, like all good stories, there are lessons to be learned. The lessons aren't complicated: each day is a gift. Appreciate every moment because it is gone in an instant. Cherish the people you love. Hallmark clichés? Only if you haven't learned them the hard way.
This story begins six years ago. Hill and his fiancée are at Duke. He is at the height of his athletic prowess; a fifth straight All-Star appearance won't happen because of a lockout, but his crossover appeal is still intact. On this day, Hill is suffering some serious jet lag after touring Mexico for Fila, Sprite and McDonald's, three of the 10 or 11 corporations he represents.
He doesn't seem at peace. He is struggling with burnout from humping it for a thoroughly mediocre Pistons team that hasn't made it out of the first round of the playoffs in any of his four seasons. "I lost my love for the game," he says. "This summer is about getting that back." But whatever tortured relationship he is having with basketball is tempered by true love in the rest of his life. After a long shooting session, Grant and Tamia head off to a Durham sports bar. Hill plays some shuffleboard, but he can't take his eyes off his bride. At evening's end, Hill slips a crumpled bill in the jukebox and they slow-dance to Al Green's "Love and Happiness."
他看起来不是那么平静。在4个赛季里面，他为活塞队耗尽了心力，可是这支中庸的活塞队还是没有办法通过季后赛第一轮。“我对比赛失去了热爱了。”他说，“这个夏天我要把它找回来”。不过尽管他对篮球的爱一直让他受尽折磨，他生活中的真爱还是让他心情愉快起来。在很长时间的摄影会结束之后，Grant和Tamia一起去Durham运动酒吧里面玩。Hill虽然一直在玩沙弧球，可是他的眼睛却始终不能从他的新娘身上移开。在这个夜晚的最后，Hill用一张褶皱的1美元在自动点唱机点了一首Al Green的“love and Happiness”，他们两人就在歌声中翩翩起舞。
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|主题: 回复： 除非你知道所有的事情 周三 二月 20, 2008 10:02 am|| |
When he is reminded recently of the moment, Hill smiles. But it is a sad smile. "I thought I had problems then," he says. "What did I know? My game was coming together, I could get to the basket, I could dunk on you, my post game was solid and the mid-jumper was falling into place. The game was becoming easy." He pauses and chuckles. "That seems a long time ago."
The perfect athlete's life came crashing down in January 2000. Hill collided with Ron Artest, then with the Bulls, severely bruising his right hip. For the rest of the season Hill overcompensated for the pain, which put added stress on his left ankle. Although it didn't stop him from averaging 25.8 per game, the ankle was killing him. Hill finished the season, thinking it was only a bone bruise. The playoffs beckoned, so he agreed to be treated with pain-masking medication. "They gave me a strong Medrol Dose Pack, which is like a steroid," says Hill matter-of-factly.
For a while, he felt better. "At practice it was the best I'd felt in two months," he says. "I was dunking alley-oops. The next day, in the game, I hit three or four shots, and then I felt something pop. But I kept playing. I knew that if I pulled myself, I was done." Back in Detroit, he got an X-ray. A small bone had totally dislodged from the rest of his ankle. "It was almost a relief," he says. "At least I knew I wasn't crazy."
The subsequent surgery didn't stop him from becoming Orlando's prized pickup in an August 2000 sign-and-trade deal with Detroit. But the ankle never fully healed. In his first two seasons with the Magic, Hill played in only 18 games. Each season brought another surgery. Feeling the heat of the organization and the wrath of the fans, Hill returned for the 2002-03 season intent on playing through the pain. But the ankle swelled so badly on flights, he was limited to 29 games. Another flirtation with the Medrol Dose Pack helped, but then the pain came back worse than ever. It was a nationally televised game on Jan. 16, 2003, against Michael Jordan's Wizards that put everything in perspective for Hill. After Jordan torched a gimpy Hill for 28 points in the first half, Hill didn't return for the second half, the rest of the season or the one after that.
ON THE last day of hurricane season, Orlando has a festive, if exhausted, feel. Grant Hill's hurricane season seems to be passing too. Just off a bad shooting night against the Celtics, he has spent the past 90 minutes honing his touch. "I haven't been able to practice for four years," he says. "Just feeling well enough to work on my shot is a great feeling."
His eyes sparkle again. He doesn't hide the web of scars that entangle his ankle or the thick gouge on his arm. "It really freaked me out," he says, when he finally talks about the night he almost died. "I thought I was going to check out." It has taken about six months to come to grips with his close call. "I thought I understood that when you have surgery, you're risking complications, but I didn't. Before, I was like, 'If it breaks, man, we'll just fix it again,' but this time I said, 'No, I will not have another surgery. I'm a father and a husband now.' "
The extra time he needed to heal allowed Hill to be home when his wife began treatment for her illness. He is careful not to lump his injury with Tamia's MS. "I have my ankle, but I can come back and live a pretty normal life," he says with a sigh. "But MS is scary. Thankfully, medicine has come a long way." Tamia has benefited from the new treatments. Last year, she was well enough to tour with Beyoncé. Hill joined her and Myla on the road for long weekends.
The near-death experience gave Hill perspective. It also gave him thicker skin, which he needed at home games last season when frustrated fans treated his $93 million deal as an anchor dragging the franchise into the abyss. It didn't help public perception that he kept a low profile during his rehab; few knew of his daily workouts in the pool. "When I was on the radio, I never got angry when fans called in to complain about the team," says Doc Rivers, the former Magic coach now with the Celtics. "It was only when they started saying Grant wasn't trying to come back that I got angry. No one worked harder."
There were rumors the Magic were going to make him available in the expansion draft, the thought being Charlotte would jump at the box-office appeal of a local legend. None of it made Hill rush back to show Orlando what it might be giving up. "I was ready to play wherever someone wanted me," he says. Hill had a supporter in new Magic GM John Weisbrod, whose pro hockey career was cut short due to a shoulder injury. "I try not to get emotionally involved when *** personnel decisions," says Weisbrod. "But I saw how hard he was working, and already knew what his character could do for a team. I wanted to make sure that happened in Orlando."
For fans around the league this season, it's like Hill never left. In the first official vote count for the All-Stars Game, Hill was second to Vince Carter among East forwards. The Orlando faithful have been slower to catch the wave: the Magic are near the bottom in attendance. That's a shame, because their team is as fun to watch as any in the league. Add Hill to Francis' explosiveness, Howard's promise and Cuttino Mobley's dead-eye, and how far they go this season is anyone's guess. Hill, however, is looking a little further ahead.
"I feel my game is coming back slowly," he says. "Next year, when I have a full off-season to work on my game, is when I'll know what I can do." He smiles and looks down at the court. "It feels good to talk about my game and the future. I appreciate everything now. The little things, even feeling bad after a loss, are something I appreciate."
THE LITTLE things, like Tamia again having the strength to hold her child as she watches her husband play the game he loves in a Dec. 1 win against Toronto. To be fair, Myla, wearing Baby Phat and red ribbons in her hair, seems more enamored with Stuff, the Magic's mascot, than with her daddy. But each time Tamia sees Hill tumble out of bounds, she winces. "I'm still getting used to watching him play without thinking about the ankle," she says. She hands her daughter a purple crayon and some drawing paper. "There were moments I didn't think this would happen," she continues. "We had long talks where I'd tell him he didn't need to be the world's Superman, just my Superman."
On the court the Magic are blowing out the Raptors. Hill has a decent game, 17 points, but to look at the joy in his face you'd think he dropped 50. As the game winds down, Tamia points Myla's eyes toward the court and her daddy. It's hard to tell if they actually make eye contact, but all three of them are smiling as if they know each day is a gift.
Six years ago in a Duke sports bar a kid with no troubles slipped a dollar into a jukebox. That kid is gone forever. In his place is a man who now knows with certainty that bad things happen to good people. But Al Green's words still ring true, maybe even a little richer and sweeter.
Just like the man sings: love and happiness.
就像Al Green的歌里面唱的一样：love and happiness。
This article appears in the Jan. 3 issue of ESPN The Magazine.
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|主题: 回复： 除非你知道所有的事情 周三 二月 20, 2008 10:06 am|| |
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