by Kevin Owens / @Waiting4Godunk
While settling in to my life back home, I took in a mini marathon of the hit HBO show Entourage. I was amazed at the similarities between my life and Vince’s life. In fact I am also amazed at the similarities between my life and Eastbound and Down’s Kenny Power’s as well. Dear HBO, please stop using my life as a plot for your shows, or at least send me a royalty check. Anyway, back to Vince. Obviously first thing’s first…The striking good looks and bone structure that…OK, so he has me on that one, but seriously Vince is a fictional Hollywood movie star. I can’t compete with that. But our journeys to international stardom are definitely alike.
Like Vince, I was moving up the ladder of our respected fields. He was doing Mentos commercials while I was starting my professional career in Roanoke, VA. Like me, he has a close group of friends who keep him in and out of trouble. I too have my own Turtle, Eric and a few Johnny Dramas. He made Head On, I went to Australia. He made Aqua Man, I went to Korea. And that is when we both took a nose dive towards obscurity.
It started the same way. I was making good money in Korea before injuring my knee, (details to follow…) and decided to pursue a passion project. (I am unsure if I have made clear how much I loved playing in Australia. I enjoyed it thoroughly. When I was offered to rejoin the league just a few weeks after my knee injury, it pained me to turn it down.) In order to try and get back in to the Australian NBL, I decided to head over to New Zealand upon completion of my rehab. That was my Medillan. I took a pay cut and headed to Wellington.
Now to be clear, Wellington, NZ is one of the greatest places on earth. If you’re ever able to make the trip there please do. I highly recommend Alice, an Alice in Wonderland themed bar. Nothing freaks a 7-footer out more than tiny doors, tiny chairs and teapots filled with alcohol. (The teapots didn’t really freak me out, but it did freak out my wife. The teacups were the size of a shot glass. My wife, thinking it was actually tea, was sipping quietly for a few minutes before whispering to me, “This tea is cold and tastes awful.” Um yeah, it’s because you are sipping on a shot of whiskey. The Waiting for Godunkette, Ladies and Gentleman!)
Unfortunately, my basketball skills diminished a tad since my 1/3 of a year layoff. I played decent during my time with the Wellington Saints, but not well enough to send me back “Down Under.” It was shortly after this period that the good offers ceased. The only offers I received were of the Benji variety. I eventually took one and you know the rest.
Throughout this time I had a Vincent Chase-like attitude. As I watched Vince struggle with his decisions and freak out on his friends, I was reminded of times when I felt the same way and had the same freak outs. I kept telling myself that something good would happen, and if it doesn’t, I can go back to living in “Queens,” a.k.a. getting a job outside of professional basketball. I know once I officially retire, I will be extremely successful in whatever path I choose. I wouldn’t call it arrogance, just confidence. I mean c’mon, I am charming as hell. I did just make all of you follow a blog about sitting on my ass for eight months. (Please don’t stop!)
So for the time being, I’ll keep on plugging away, hoping my Ari Gold calls and gives me some Scorcese’s Great Gatsby-type news. I feel like I am currently at the end of Season 5 in my life. Just waiting for that season finale when the planets realign and the world suddenly makes sense again. And if a team never calls with an offer, then I will gladly pack my things, grab my entourage and move back to Queens.