I watched a video posted to the Facebook by a good friend of mine. The poster played some college basketball and shares a passion for the game as many of us do; which is to say the video came from a trusted hoops source.
Here it is:
Unbridled joy for a simple game. And this doesn’t need to be basketball specific. I’m sure we could find Baseball Kid, Soccer Kid, Tennis Kid, Hide-n-Seek Kid, Imaginary Friend Kid, or any of an assortment of other kids so damn fired up about something they’ll suggest taping a cheetah to grandma’s back. But Basketball Kid helped with perspective; that this is a game and it is one that we love.
I mean, Adam made a shot while playing defense!
And while that’s a remarkable feat in and of itself, I want for us to be reminded that Andre Roberson was once Basketball Kid, too. He just wanted to play. After all, how much do you have to love hoops to play defense and rebound? Today he’s taking heat for trying to play, once and for all, at the highest level.
Grant Jerrett, too. Taking heat for the dream.
And I’m simplifying this stuff. I’m breaking it down to the easiest level of comprehension because deep down I want to be so naive that I think every competition I watch is a celebration of sport.
It’s why I had to look away during The Fab Five as they showed each of Chris Webber’s two long walks down that longest of corridors. I don’t care how much money he did or did not take from Ed Martin, that was Basketball Kid. He cared and he was genuinely hurt.
Perhaps the decisions of Roberson and Jerrett are misguided. Maybe they’re not setting themselves up for success but that’s not the point as they seek to fulfill their professional aspirations. Because if they really do have enough Basketball Kid in them, they’re going to be just fine.
Yes, I choose to be naive in these moments of perceived greed or self-interest because we’re not privy to the inner-workings of such a decision. Because we’re not far enough removed from One Shining Moment and because it’s not November yet.
Sure, the stakes are a touch higher than enjoying the swing set by your house, but Adam’s closing words ring true, “I love basketball.”
Well Adam, Grant and Andre do as well.
And me too, buddy.