Posted by Steve Bzomowski on November 19, 2013
In the pros, I get it; it does not necessarily follow that to absolutely thrive you need to care as much about the people as you do the game. Yes, to build “team” you need trust, and you need some major level of trust to win. (Jordan had to trust Paxson; Bird had to trust DJ, etc.) But, you could be traded at any moment; so could your teammates. There’s that issue of the big contract you are trying to win, and your family, your reputation, your legacy. I think in the pros you are not playing – not loving – the game because of those around you.
College? Maybe a little tighter. You might room together, maybe take some classes together. Spend a year or two or four with the same crew. But is there a commitment to the game that comes directly because of who you will see on the court the next time you go there? College teammates are surely close but the reasons to play are many: yes, your teammates, but also the scholarship, the fans, your parents.
The regular pickup game is another story. Here’s one of those stories:
The Mayor and her people lacing them up.
We see this connection between a passion for the game and a passion for people every time we step on the court at Never Too Late Basketball, whether it be a weekend camp, clinic, or the Play Forever League. There’s a beauty to the game and the recreational player gets to feel that every time he walks onto the court, every time she huddles, every moment shared after the game to talk about, to relive, those moments. It’s a precious thing to play basketball for fun made all the more precious because the essence of this game is to share it – on the court and off – with others.
Posted in beautiful basketball, general improvement, without the ball | Tagged: DJ, John Paxson, Jordan, Larry Bird, Michael Jordan, Never Too Late Basketball, Paxson, Real Mayors of New York | 2 Comments »
Posted by Steve Bzomowski on November 12, 2013
How many buses will we need? 30? 40? Who is with me? We are going to Terre Haute to stand before, to pay homage to, to relive that year, to youtube that journey – let us pause to wipe the bottoms of our sneakers, you are wearing sneakers, aren’t you? – the 17 foot (why only 17 feet?) statue of Larry Bird at Indiana State University unveiled the day, November 9, 2013, that the new Celtics, the sons of Brad Stevens, took down the Heat.
Read the article and tell me that you 100% agree with Bill Walton (and had you not read his quote that you would have said the same thing): “It’s a great day, not just for Indiana State, not just for the state of Indiana, but for the world.”
Chills. I got the chills.
Posted in beautiful basketball, notes: college & pro, Uncategorized | Tagged: Indiana State University basketball, Larry Bird, Larry Bird statue | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Steve Bzomowski on April 27, 2010
When saying “basketball is a game of deception”, most of the images and examples that come to mind are the deceptions on the offensive end of the court: I’m going left, no I’m not, I’m going right. I’m taking this outside shot, sorry, I think I’ll drive to the hoop now that I’ve deceived you into thinking I was shooting! I’m stepping outside to catch this pass, oh-oh, backdoor pass for a layup! And on and on. But what of deception on defense? Deception cannot apply only to half the game, can it?
Deception is “the game within the game” and it takes place all over the court. There are numerous examples of where and when deception proves worthwhile on defense. I’ll tell you my absolute favorite in the hope that it will become your favorite defensive ploy and that you’ll use it, too. (Larry Bird, by the way, was the best ever at this.) After you’ve scored and you are under the hoop, teammates herding down the center of the court to your defensive end and as a couple players from the opposition are about to casually inbound and catch the inbounds pass, respectively, you act like you are going to join your mates; you’re just looking all lazy, slow to get back. Noting where the receiver is, you turn your back to the ball, taking one or two or more steps away (gauging when the ball will be thrown in) and then, quick as a cat from under a bush, you step into the passing lane and grab the inbounds pass, that lazy unsuspecting inbounds pass (probably a fat slow bouncing one that nestles into your hands, hip high, thank you) and either you score yourself (fun!) or wait for your teammates (who now regard you as a hero, and who probably won’t really ever trust you, either, deceiver that you are).
Posted in defense | Tagged: deception, defense, Larry Bird | 1 Comment »