By: Austin Greene
I love the game of basketball . . . However, when I was on the Ravenscroft Middle School Basketball Team last year, the team only got to play two games due to quarantine and COVID-19 restrictions. That was one of the worst things that happened to me during the pandemic, because I truly missed playing the game competitively for my school. So, why do I love this game so much?
For one, basketball is a game that is infinitely expanding. Unlike some games, basketball can’t be mastered because of how quickly the game changes. New dribble moves, dunks, and shots are being invented every day and mastered by their creators. There isn’t a way to master every aspect of basketball, making it challenging, fun, and never ending.
Like our ever changing world where what is considered socially acceptable is rapidly changing and people are gaining rights that others didn’t realize they had denied, basketball has gone through some serious changes. When the game was first created by Dr. James Naismith, people did not dribble, and the game was played through the centers and big men (in 1947, free tickets were offered to anyone who was taller then 6’10”, the height of one team’s center). Now, the National Basketball Association (NBA) is built upon shooters and point guards, such as Russell Westbrook, Kyrie Irving, Steph Curry, James Harden, and Kevin Durant.
To win a basketball game or championship, one must know the secret of basketball, which was debated heavily. However, when Bill Simmons, (author, host of The Bill Simmons Podcast) interviewed 1980s superstar Isiah Thomas and asked him what the secret of basketball was, he was told that the secret of basketball is that it’s not about basketball. At first this sounds very confusing. However, what this means is that the secret to winning depends not on how great or talented the team is, but by how badly they want to win, the team players they have, and their on- and off-court chemistry. In the 2000s, Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal (two of the best players in the history of the NBA) were talented enough that they could have won at least six championships together. Instead, it is alleged that they couldn’t get along because of egos, dominating the ball, and some other issues, and only won three.
There is something that appeals to me about working towards a goal that I know is not achievable, but enables me to get as close to perfection as basketball. As long as I am able, I will keep playing basketball and attempting to master the game I love.
Babb, Stephen. “How the 3-Point Shot Has Revolutionized the NBA.” Bleacher Report, 1 Aug. 2013, bleacherreport.com/articles/1715367-how-the-3-point-shot-has-revolutionized-the-nba. Accessed 15 May 2021.
Simmons, Bill. The Book of Basketball: The NBA According to the Sports Guy. New York, ESPN Books, 2009.
Zarum, Dave. NBA 75: The Definitive History. Buffalo, Firefly Books, 2020.