Guiding star (Polaris): Polaris more commonly known as the North(ern) Star or the Pole Star, and sometimes known as the Lodestar, is the brightest star in the constellation Ursa Minor. It is very close to the north celestial pole making it the current northern pole star. (Wikipedia)
Nearly everyone in the Memphis area has seen the North Star at some point or another in their lifetime. It is the brightest star you can see at night and your attention is drawn to it, almost as if by a tractor beam. It directs you north, even when other stars appear to be dim and hazy, as they change position from night to night. It is the star that the mariners of old used to guide them as they set out on voyages to circle the globe.
It is interesting to note that there is no South(ern) Star. That means that there is no star that will guide you down -- only up. That's how it is in the NBA as well. Real stars lead you upwards, out of the muck and the mire, towards greater things. They don't drag you down into the mud -- they pull you out of it.
Solar flare: A flare is defined as a sudden, rapid, and intense variation in brightness.
Solar flares are rarely seen by the naked eye, but they are very common and have a negligible effect on our weather here on Earth. A flare is violent, but brief -- more of a hiccup than a seizure. Flares vary in their occurrence, as they are very inconsistent, and therefore hard to track unless you are willing to observe the sun relentlessly.
The NBA has had its share of solar flares, as well. Most teams have had "the next great thing" pass through their organization at some point or another. That player might be better served as a complementary piece to a "real star" or he could have other issues that lead him to never fulfill his potential, such as attitude or injuries. Some of these flares focus on individual goals of money and fame (leading to infamy in many cases), rather than team success. Needless to say, there are a lot more flares than stars in the NBA each and every year.
What will O.J. Mayo be in his tenure with the Memphis Grizzlies? He has the talent and potential to be one of the greatest players to ever wear an NBA uniform. He has been profiled in basketball magazines and websites since before junior high school and has been successful (to some degree or another) everywhere he has played. He could be the player that lifts the Memphis Grizzlies out of the backwoods swamp they currently inhabit.
Or, he could play out his rookie contract in Memphis with one eye on the bigger markets of New York, Los Angeles and Miami and bolt when the opportunity presents itself. He could be a franchise's savior or he could be a franchise's coffin nail. make no mistake about it -- trading away the consistency of Kevin Love for the promise of O.J. Mayo is the biggest risk/reward play that Memphis could afford to make in this draft (because there is no way they were trading Rudy Gay for Michael Beasley). This move will likely define the Memphis Grizzlies organization for the next decade.
One last note regarding astronomy: The North Star is actually a cluster of three stars, not just one. Given the success of Boston, San Antonio, Phoenix and others with "The Big Three" in recent seasons, it does give fans hope with the presence of Mike Conley and Rudy Gay flanking Mayo on the roster. As always, we'll have to wait and see what happens to make the final determination. I hope for the sake of Grizzlies fans that our newest star shines bright and true.