The teary goodbyes that we saw from Pittsburgh Steelers players over Jerome Bettis' retirement or Terrell Owen's rare moment of teamwork crying about his former QB Tony Romo are not emotions that basketball players seem to evoke publicly.
"It's a business" tends to be the comment by players who one day may be a fan favorite in one area code, jettisoned the next day to another one.
As much as I enjoyed laughing at Anthony Randolph's miscues, funny facial expressions, and immaturity on and off the court, I forget sometimes that he still can't buy alcohol (legally at least). His funny facial expressions of him almost on the verge of crying would crack me and my friends up.
But were we laughing at a young player showing honest feelings on the court? Ask Kwame Brown who was rumored to be on the injured list after suffering stress-related acne. Basketball players do have feelings and emotions.
After hearing of the trade by which he was centerpiece, Anthony Randolph admits that he was a little shocked and saddened by it. You can't help but feel for him.
"I don't know what to say," he said quietly. "It's so crazy. I can't gather my thoughts right now. My job is just to play basketball. I've always taken the position of whatever happens happens."
And while Randolph may have seemed hardheaded and, at times, uncoachable, the following quote is endearing:
"I've learned that it's not enough to just be a guy who is athletic. I had a tendency to try to force plays all the time and move too fast. I think I'm taking steps toward becoming a better decision-maker."
As the article mentions, Randolph will soon turn twenty-one years old. At twenty-one, I was a third-year in college and I was slowly developing life skills of how to take care of myself. This includes such things as learning how to prepare dinner beyond instant ramen noodles without killing myself with food poisoning. Twenty-one can still seem and be pretty young! Randolph's quotes are interesting for the sense of perspective, a side of him that we rarely get to see or perhaps only finds way to manifest in the crying faces he makes when he gets benched or commits a foul.
There's a tinge of melancholy to the article as it ends with Randolph describing the craziness of no longer being a Warrior. I wonder if we can interpret that as him wanting to be a Warrior. Or maybe him wanting to talk of the new basketball IQ would be his way to prove to the Warriors that he's legit. In typical Warriors fashion, "on-on to the next one."
Best of luck to you Anthony Randolph, hope you find more success (or playing time at least) in your new home.