Jeff Pearlman

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Jump in the pool

My daughter Casey is 9. Today I dropped her off with my parents for a couple of days in Florida. She was sad. “Daddy, please stay with us,” she cried.

Sadly, I couldn’t. Book due in a few days, need, need, need the time. She understands, but loves her parents. It’s a beautiful thing—this whole love gig. Anyhow, before I left I suggested we take a walk to the community pool, to gauge the temperature should she decide to later take a swim. We sauntered over, talking about turtles and green grass and her fourth grade classmates. When we reached the pool, Casey felt it with her foot. “Ooh, it’s really warm,” she said. Then, with a sly grin, “I really want to go in.”

“Casey,” I said—sternly, “you can’t with your clothes on. I mean, is it even that warm …”

I walked over, dipped my right foot into the water. It felt like a microwaved towel; just wonderful. “Casey,” I said, “with everything you have to weigh the pros and cons …” Then—fully dressed—I jumped in. Casey—fully dressed—followed. We swam for about 10 minutes, giggling, laughing, fluttering around. As we walked back, I said, “What’s the lesson here?”

Casey was freezing. The breeze was strong. “Not to jump in a pool if it’s cold outside?” she said.

“No, no, no,” I said. “Sometimes you have to jump into the pool. Even if you’re fully dressed.”

She agreed.

  • Mperrota

    well done. sometimes nothing is a really cool hand…

  • Great story. Things like that are just as important as the “big” life lessons. Doing the type of stuff like that will create lifelong cherished memories.

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Once again, Jeff Pearlman has produced an exhaustively researched, elegantly written book that re-creates one of the most colorful and memorable teams of the modern era. No basketball fan's bookshelf will be complete without it.

— Seth Davis, author of Wooden: A Coach's Life