Love the Game
I hear so many people talk about how much they “love the game” of basketball. Then I hear people talk about how they lost their love for it. I’m trying to figure out how this happens.
Basketball has been extremely good to me. It has allowed me to meet tons of people, see all kinds of places and impact lives. I’ve been a part of a lot of great moments, but it hasn’t always been smooth sailing. In fact, there have been a lot of rough patches and bad days.
So I have to ask myself, why do I love the game? If it was about counting the good days or the bad days, that would take too much effort. There have been a lot of “bad days” and I think I would have quit a long time ago if it was based on that.
Yes, I enjoy helping people, but I can help people without the game of basketball. Yes the game allows us to teach a lot about life, but so does anything else. There’s something special about the game of basketball.
It certainly isn’t about the money. I was going to be a doctor when I went to college. Obviously that didn’t work out and I’m glad that it didn’t. I don’t have a passion for that. An average doctor could probably make more money in one year than I’ve made in all my years put together. I’m not complaining. I’m happy and blessed.
I love the game because of the game. I think the game is amazing. It is a true team game. Players have to play offense and defense. Specialists have a place, but the best teams have multiple players with diverse skill sets. These skill sets have to be accompanied with the ability to move in different ways. It’s not enough to just be able to perform a skill.
Speaking of skill sets, watching high level players in today’s game is amazing. The level of coordination and precision that players show is a credit to the amount of individual work they have put in. You can be a better player by yourself. You don’t need anyone else to work on your game. However, no matter how hard one player works, it’s still a team game. The best teams defend together and score together.
The game is fluid. There aren’t 40 seconds between plays. Players must constantly adapt and adjust. Five players constantly working together to either score or prevent the other team from scoring is fun to watch.
Basketball gives the opportunity to be a part of a team. It gives me the opportunity to compete. It gives me the opportunity to help people be better as individuals as well as grow through being part of a team. The game is a work of art. Dr. James Naismith had no idea what would happen when he decided to try this game in his PE class. Now look at the game. What will it look like 50 years from now? I can’t wait to find out.
There are so many strategies to win. There isn’t one right way. The game challenges coaches and teams to respect it no matter which strategy they choose. It honors teams that play the game the right way and embarrasses teams that don’t. The game requires hard work to be good. It requires unselfishness to be successful.
You don’t have to love the game. You don’t even have to like it. I’m not trying to tell you to think like me. But if you love the game, why do you love it? Do you love it because you get to be in the starting lineup? Do you love it because you get to put your game day picture on Instagram? If you love it for the wrong reasons, it will punish you. The game doesn’t care. It doesn’t have feelings. The game will keep going.
Like Ice-T said, “Don’t hate the playa, hate the game.” Or love it. It’s up to you, but if you cheat, you’re going to get caught.