Jermaine Taylor Makes Good

Posted by Timothy Varner of 48 Minutes of Hell.

Woody Allen likes to tell a joke. A mother and the local priest go to see her son's boxing match. Through the opening rounds the mother is horrified to see her son get clobbered by his opponent, a much more aggressive, skilled fighter. Unable to watch the beating, she turns to her priest with a desperate plea, "Father, Father, please won't you pray for him?" "I'd be happy to pray for him," the priest responds, "but it would help if he landed some punches."

I often think of that joke in relation to college stars trying to find their way into the NBA. As someone who chronicles the Spurs, my appreciation runs deep for players who take an early beating but eventually land enough punches to make a fight of it. It's a lesson in the psychology of a Spurs fan. Call it Bruce Bowen sentimentalism.

Central Florida's Jermaine Taylor signed with the Rockets yesterday. He's landing punches.

Taylor's professional career is in its infancy, but he already knows the hard truth about life as a professional athlete. It's a struggle.

This spring Taylor was on the draft bubble. But he converted a strong showing at Portsmouth into an early second round selection. That early second round selection became an opportunity to register a solid week of play at summer league. After summer league, Jermaine Taylor made good for himself at the annual oasis in the desert that is Tim Grgurich's carefully guarded camp.

Players like Taylor give me reason to cheer.