Monday, December 29, 2008

Mirrors, Windows, and Fingerprints

I love FreeDarko, but they make it difficult for me to find unique premises to present to you because they're so much better at it than I am (Thanks a lot, Shoals. Seriously).  From lamenting Tracy McGrady to praising Tim Duncan's stylish lack of style, they concisely answer the questions and prove the theorems and corollaries that most wouldn't dare ponder, much less openly convey.  But I'm not complaining.  We're kindred spirits with the same common goal—real basketball truth.  I guess it is true what they say about great minds.  Anyway, let's get to it...

Being entrenched in the realm of Basketball has taught me a lot about myself.  I have learned of my own complex person through the way I gravitate to ideas on both sides of the various spectrums.  I appreciate Timmy's fundamentals and Howard's unadulterated power; Lebron's might and Kobe's precision; the educated game of Brandon Roy and the destructive everything-ness of Gerald Wallace; the Spurs and the Hawks.  In short, I'm chill but live; like Common over a Dilla beat.  Each entity has it's own subpoint in the ambiguous outline titled, "What I Like About Basketball."  But the "what" isn't my point—it's the "why;" more specifically, why basketball grants neurotic fans like me permission to admire such contradicting hoop elements.  You know where to meet me for the explanation...

To me, basketball allows for more individual freedom of expression than any other team sport.  It's player and ball; and with it, a brief viewing of that player's character traits is on public display.  For example, think of a player that would be classified as intense.  Now, think of a finesse player.  Next, determine which would rather dunk and scream, and with would rather lay it up off the glass.  Finally, think about their individual personalities; and you should find it impossible to see one acting like the other.

A microcosm of the individualism in basketball is an examination of where NBA players attended school (excluding high schoolers) and how they see basketball.  Patrick Ewing, Alonzo Mourning, and Dikembe Mutumbo each had multiple years under the tutelage of John Thompson at Georgetown.  However, each has a fingerprinted brand of big man game.  Ewing was the offensive tactician; Mutumbo, the defensive stalwart; and 'Zo was the solid blend of both.  It has nothing to do with Coach Thompson--he just let them be them and refined the tools their souls has already designated for them to use.  No two players are exactly alike because of how much each player's personality is interwoven in their respective games.  Yes, every player fits into fits into some broad hoops category (pass-first point guard, interior presence, etc.), but there will never be a duplication of anyone, even the scrubs.

And that's why, when we do proclaim what we like about basketball, we have a taste for a little bit of everything.  The soul is, based on its structure, multi-faceted;and each move/player/team/moment is a small opening to the gateway of our selves through that entity's revealing of its self.  Basketball requires its inhabitants to fuse the game into his or her DNA, down to their choosing of where to place the guide hand for a jumper.  Because of this, we get insight into each player's makeup; as well as find parts of us throughout the sport.  If the eyes are the windows to the soul, then basketball is the mirrored portal with which we can gaze upon our reflections atomized withing various sections of its realm.  Watch a game and learn more about yourself.


No comments: