At the Mixologi party last Friday at Mercury Lounge, I sipped on one too many Henn & Coke’s that had my speech slurred, and vision blurred. But despite the cognac goggles I still managed to recognize D-Fish’s face on the flat screen, and the words, “Tentative agreement” below him. I immediately stopped dancing and hopped on Twitter to verify that I wasn’t just drunk and seeing things. Sure enough, the rumors were true and a round of shots were ordered at the bar.
But then I hopped back on Twitter the following morning to see the aftermath of it all, only to have my excitement decrescendo. Don’t get me wrong, I am still ever so thankful that the NBA is back, but I don’t think I could look at the rest of the season the same way again. I’m still trying to find my stance on the whole players vs. management debacle . Even after reading this excellent overview, I’m still on the fence about it. I can go on and on about the players and their #firstworldproblems and management corporate greed, but you can go occupy half court for that.
Somewhere around day 130 I remember someone saying, “Thank God for college basketball, where they play for the love of it.” Although I sympathized the sentiment, I had to disagree or at the very least challenge it. Would those college students strive so hard if a multi-million dollar deal with the NBA didn’t follow? Would they still go hard in the paint if the likes of Kobe and LeBron made a public school teacher’s salary? While there’s no doubt in my mind that ball is life for them, I’m going to go out on a limb and say that many would not.
In the world we live in it’s hard to do anything without financial incentive. Rarely do I see people grind solely out of love, but it does exist. Away from the cameras, and basketball
groupies wives. I see it every Sunday at random high school gyms. There you can witness men who take the game seriously as if they were being paid to play. They go hard as if a packed stadium was watching. And they perform their best even though things like age and height will inhibit them from ever playing in the NBA. In the homie’s Triple Double Sports league as well as many others, these men are there every single Sunday; rain or shine, sometimes even hungover, because they want to be there. For the love of the game.
Everyone’s gotta eat, and I’d prefer filet mignon over Hamburger Helper almost any day of the week. But never forget that doing what you love, and loving what you do is a priceless blessing.
See you at the Dubbs vs. Chicago game.