Day 21: The Big Ticket or The Big Fundamental?

Today is Day 21 of the Omer. Malchut sheb’tiferet. Beauty/balance/truth that manifests as Kingship.

Jersey numbers are strange. 300 players have worn the #21 in NBA history. Only 26 have worn the #29. Why? I don’t think 29 is that bad of a number. But when it comes to choosing one player to represent a popular number, like 21, it’s hard. For what it’s worth: my all-time team of #21’s (in no particular order):

  • Jimmy Butler (CHI)
  • Dominique Wilkins (ATL+)
  • Tim Duncan (SAS)
  • Joel Embid (PHI)
  • Kevin Garnett (MIN)
  • Bill Sharman (BOS)
  • Michael Cooper (LAL)
  • Alvin Robertson (SAS/MIL)
  • Sidney Wicks (POR/LAC)
  • Vlade Divac (SAC)

This is the challenge on Day 21 of the Omer, malchut sheb’tif’eret. Who is the best embodiment of balance/beauty/truth manifest as nobility/kingship/shechinah?

I’m going to narrow it down to two 7 footers, born a month apart in 1976: Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett. Both are 15x All-Stars who will be enshrined in the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2020. According to Ben Taylor, they had the 7th and 8th greatest careers of all-time. How do you choose?

Day 21 is malchut sheb’tiferet. Each sefirah represents a constellation of meanings, Biblical figures, symbols, and colors, that are all contained within that sefirah

I think of Kevin Garnett when I imagine malchut sheb’tif’eret as a form of truth that manifests in kingship. Garnett was honest, raw, and direct, unafraid to share his truth with all around him. I imagine his embodiment of malchut as akin to a tribal warlord. The Big Ticket was always the strongest, fiercest, and most competitive player on the court. If I saw him with a sword and shield, at the head of an army, I would run the other way. 

However, when I elevate the aspect of tif’eret that embodies beauty and balance, I picture Duncan. His all-around game was a thing to behold. The Big Fundamental could score from 20ft in from anywhere, against anyone. His bank shot was a thing of beauty. Oh, and he made the All-defensive team 15x too. I picture Duncan as an enlightened ruler. He doesn’t need the attention or the headlines. He’s happy to be the 3x Finals MVP or a role player as long as his team is winning championships. And they won 5 of them.

In a time of war, I’d want Garnett. In a time of peace, Duncan. Let’s pick them both. On Day 21, it’s Duncan and Garnett. Or Garnett and Duncan.

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