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The In-Between Times

A wise guy once told me, everyone gets 24 hours, it just depends on how you use them.

It wasn't this wise guy, but Paulie had a great run, didn't he?

If you google what the most important pieces are in regards to writing, you’re likely to read about an attention grabbing intro, and an all-encompassing conclusion that the reader can’t get out of their head.

but what about the middle?

For a polished writer, mastering all three phases is light work, but it takes time, much more then 24 hours to perfect your craft.

Here’s a picture of Joe Johnson as a rookie for the Celtics in 2001.

Here’s a picture of Joe Johnson as a savvy vet for the Celtics in 2021.

Amongst those 19 years were 7 All-Star appearances and a third team All-NBA selection.

There’s a gap too. A three year non-self imposed hiatus where the guy they call Iso Joe was out of the league.

I don’t remember Joe Cool rising up for a jumper in a Rockets uniform, oddly enough though, I do recollect him hooping in the BIG3.

No offense to Ice Cube’s league, but once a player in their late 30’s or early 40’s winds up in a three-on-three half court game with 4-pointers, it’s safe to say their career's on the decline.

When you look at Joe Johnson’s basketball reference, there’s a lot going on.

The age column is quite impressive. Longevity is to be admired in any walk of life. What’s more eye-catching then those aforementioned All-Star appearances, and being a top 15 player in the league for a period of time, is the bottom row pictured above.

Because if you flip it…

His last contribution in the NBA is probably his proudest.

I’m not a Reds fan, but this is now the third time The Encyclopedia’s covered a Red….here was the first, and here was the second.

This is a picture of the World Series MVP; Jose Rijo in 1990.

This is a picture of seasoned relief pitcher, Jose Rijo in 2002.

Posting two wins in Game’s 1 and 4 of the ‘90 World Series, Rijo and the Reds swept the A’s, the team that traded him to Cincinnati.

Injuries derailed his time in the big leagues, forcing Rijo to miss five straight years of baseball.

He came back for Cinci in 2001 at the age of 36, pitching in 13 games, and was eventually inducted into the Reds Hall of Fame in 2005.

Other then featuring in The Encyclopedia, this picture of Rijo being enshrined into Cincinnati's Hall is likely his last highlight.

Unfortunately for Rijo, elbow ailments were the least of his problems, as his personal life took some morbid turns after baseball.

There’s no secret sauce, or half-frozen ketchup packet you can take to get you where you’re trying to go.

So, what did Joe Johnson and Jose Rijo have in common?

They were both willing to work, and not give up. You don’t have to be a 6′7″ silky-smooth swingman, or been born with a wicked slider, you have to have something in you that keeps you going.

If we know time stops for no one, then it’s really the in-between times that will make you or break you. Like Phonte Coleman said, “just work, ‘cause well-oiled machines don’t grind.”

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