Tuesday , Nov , 04 , 2003 C.Y. Ellis

Love for the game

Love is a word that is loosing its real meaning these days. Looking it up on the dictionary, the definition that it yields is as follows; “A deep, tender ineffable feeling-An intense emotional attachment to a person or a treasured object”. I love Basketball. It consumes my thoughts, affects my actions, and it contributes to a huge part of my lifestyle. To me, Basketball is represented by three words that begin with the letter S.

Love for the game

Substance

"That was an easy bucket!" "He can only hit it from the elbow!" "He aint better than me, he just gets in my way!" That’s substance. The ability to do the uglier, simper side of Basketball, is like when you have to clean up after you’re dog-nobody wants to, but it has to be done. The difference between cleaning up on the court and after you’re dog is that if you do it well, you can make it look good. Great in fact, the teams and individuals that win games are those that can clean up and hit nothing but net from a particular position, enabling them to let the flashy side to their game shine like a Lexus Coupe fresh from the carwash. Can you hit that shot again? Would you make life hell for that shooting guard, just by being there? Can you do the simple things well? When you can, then work on you’re style.

Style

Correct me if imp wrong, but Basketball is the most stylish sport in the world. Of course the easy tip-ins and lay-ups are important (See substance), but in this sport, in the words of Nasir Jones, "it’s not about what you do, but how it’s done." One basic crossover isn’t enough. Put the ball through his legs, not yours. And while you’re at it, put it around his back, and to finish, hit a three point fade away. From the baseline. With your eyes closed. It’s all about getting a reaction in Basketball. Hitting three point baskets, or incredibly innovative dunks on your own is essentially pointless. Flashy game deserves and requires a stage to shine- Nailing that shot or that dunk on your own is the same as having that car washed Lexus Coupe in the garage, and never driving it. If you can’t play in front of anybody else apart from your Grandmother, then this is not the sport for you. Further to the notion of style, it doesn’t just relate to how flamboyant you’re game is-you have to look good doing it. This doesn’t mean that you have to go out and buy the And1 kicks that are featured on this website (They feel great though!), but as long as you play in something that’s clean and comfortable, you will be fine. There are some (myself included) that love Basketball so much, that they had to, would play in the nude. This is where strength attaches itself to the game.

Strength

Trash-talk is connected to Style. But if you cant back it up, you will be insulted with a severely acidic tongue as those around you, will no doubt open, and verbally cascade salt into you’re emotional wound. This is something that every player has gone through, and will continue to go through; humans make mistakes, other humans express amusement. It’s the way of the world, and it’s definitely the way of the court. If you’re not ready for the abovementioned sentiments, then please, don’t play Basketball. Strength of character is an essential part of Basketball. Without it, you will definitely fail in the sport of winners-the losers either draw from their disappointment and gain strength, or fall faster to the court than a flat Basketball. Just like a flat Basketball, those people will be forgotten and left in a corner. Alone. Basketball alone is a learning curve. It forces you to work on what you are weakest at, and improve what you’re already good at. If you want friends around you to deliver those sobering words of sarcasm, that’s great; but if you need them, then in my humble opinion, you can’t love basketball. The other link to strength is in the obvious phsyical presence that the professional players have. We have all tried to get through that brick wall of (see substance), but when you ARE that brick wall, it can be quite advantageous. Put down the pizza, and hit the floor. You don’t need to be a member of a gym to do push-ups.

That’s what Basketball means to me. Everything.
Ive turned down girls ahead of the ball. Battled to the point of starvation. Played streetball in the heat to extent that I got sunstroke. Have you? Would you? Could you? Now that’s love for the game. Ill see you on the court.

Words, Thoughts and ideas by Daniel Henry