amir johnson

Originally published in SLAM 166

Potential is a funny thing. Molecular biologists can’t find it, physicists can’t show its properties. Yet it exists, we know it does. It’s not measurable by any standard but it doesn’t have to be. Because it’s not as much about what it is, but what it becomes.

That’s the crux of the matter, and you don’t need to be Stephen Hawking to understand it either. And another thing: There is no such thing as “potential unrealized.” Potential is always realized, in much the same way a caterpillar always becomes a butterfly. Even Korleone Young and Schea Cotton saw their potential realized, maybe just not the way they expected. Or wanted.

Amir Johnson didn’t have that clean LeBron/Kobe arc, but he didn’t go the Korleone/Schea way either. A diamond in the rough in Detroit, it took a move to Toronto to shift things loose. This yam on Serge Ibaka may not seem like much, but even Hawking knows a big bang when he sees one.

Russ Bengtson