How He Got Up There

His near perfection proves the value of apprenticeship for even the most talented

He was exhausted after game 7 against the Indiana Pacers, but his friends on the team noticed that when the final game was over, he seemed almost giddy as he raced back to the locker room, like a joyous schoolboy liberated from class after the last day of school. He was equally gleeful on the first flight out to Salt Lake City, Utah, an odd boyishness for a player who was supposed to be old and tired and about to face a team that was rested and that held the home-court advantage. Some thought it came from the fact that he...

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