Sizing things up: ‘Game of Thrones’ vs. Team of Destiny

team of destiny coverI’ve written seven books, none of which has gotten anywhere near the level that “Game of Thrones” reached in terms of its TV reach, obviously.

But, a story is a story, and, yeah, they’re hard to bring to a conclusion.

Harder still is trying to please everybody with how you end your story, as the “Game of Thrones” folks are realizing right now.

Or, another for-instance, Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship.

My co-author, Jerry Ratcliffe, and I had a built-in happy ending to that one, which we hope is the first in a series.

Real life: UVA won the 2019 national championship.

(It’s right there in the name of the book.)

The fact that it’s a true story doesn’t mean people still don’t have some problems with the story arc, presentation, that kind of stuff.

There are parallels between what the critics of “Game of Thrones” and Team of Destiny are saying, is what I’m saying.

(Give me some leeway. Having some fun here.)

Ahem, here goes.

Did they really have to lose to UMBC in 2018 to make 2019 possible?

The Night King had to knock down The Wall at the end of Season 7. Same thing, basically. You need conflict, adversity to be overcome.

Can we change Kihei Clark’s name to Tyrion for the TV adaptation?

Not bad. Kihei, at the end of our story, emerges as The Hand to Tony Bennett.

That Jay Huff kid, interesting kid. A Giant, basically. He’s 7’1”, he can shoot threes, he can dunk from the foul line. But the book has him only getting a few minutes a game. Can’t you do more with the Jay Huff character?

Maybe in Season 2.

Trying to find some parallels here. Frankie Badocchi as a “GoT” character is …

Podrick. (“Jenny’s Song” means a lot more today than it did three weeks ago, doesn’t it?)

Jack Salt.

Easy. The Mountain.

Braxton Key.

Hmmm. The Hound?

Austin Katstra.

Kastra, I’ve given this a lot of thought. From now on, your name is … Flounder. (Actually, back to “GoT,” I’m going with Bronn here.)

Obvious question: why did you have to kill off the Kyle Guy, Ty Jerome and De’Andre Hunter characters?

That was a bit too “Red Wedding,” I have to admit.

Nice cliffhanger, though, with the big kid with the blonde hair.

We’re still hoping Mamadi Diakite comes back. Among other things, because we think he still has the trophy.

Column by Chris Graham

uva basketball team of destiny
Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, by Jerry Ratcliffe and Chris Graham, is available for $25.


The book, with additional reporting by Zach Pereles, Scott Ratcliffe and Scott German, will take you from the aftermath of the stunning first-round loss to UMBC in 2018, and how coach Tony Bennett and his team used that loss as the source of strength, through to the ACC regular-season championship, the run to the Final Four, and the thrilling overtime win over Texas Tech to win the 2019 national title, the first in school history.
 
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