Call it a Comeback?

Last Wednesday night, I participated in an organized game of basketball for the first time since March 30th, 2011. I am back to playing in a professional league but it’s a different kind of professional. I’m not getting paid to play – no, I’m in fact paying to play. Professional simply means that people who have a job (a profession) get together and play. You pay a team fee and get 12 organized games in heated, clean gyms and a set of team t-shirts in return. It’s really not a bad deal and, although part of me misses being a professional basketball player, I am happy to be a professional who plays basketball. It felt good to do the things that I tried to perfect so many years without the pressure to reach perfection. I got fully absorbed in missing and making shots, setting screens and calling them out, turning the ball over and getting back on defense. It was the first time I played together with any of the women on my team but it didn’t matter because we were all there for the reason: to play a game, one of the fastest and most entertaining games I know. Yes, we all wanted to win but what mattered most was that everyone had fun and enjoyed the games. A game by definition is “a physical or mental activity or contest that has rules and that people do for pleasure. During my last season in Spain that ended in a freak accident and career ending injury, there unfortunately wasn’t that much pleasure left. Every single person on my team was frustrated. A lot of that frustration was owed to a coach, who took away the pleasure by being far more controlling than his limited knowledge as a coach could ever warrant. It’s needless to say that we didn’t have a good season and I could see the worry on the club owners’ faces every day. They had their life savings and their heart and soul in it and our bad performances literally made them sick. I don’t really consider making people sick pleasure. Don’t get me wrong, I was incredibly blessed to be a professional basketball player and I have countless wonderful memories. However, there were many moments when it felt more like a pointless business than an activity that people that people do for pleasure. I didn’t make a comeback as a basketball “star” but I certainly came back to the game that I love so much and I feel blessed to simply play it for my pleasure.

In my Team Lockdown Shirt

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One Response to Call it a Comeback?

  1. Thisboysmind says:

    I feel split about the unexpected December comeback.
    On the one hand, we are talking about my least favorite basketball player of all time.
    On the other hand, there is a natural empathy that comes when you see an athlete make a return to the court after a serious injury.
    But enough about Kobe Bryant.

    Glad to see you are playing hoops again.
    With Tyson Chandler out and Kevin Garnett declining rapidly, It’s good to know that there’s someone out there prowling the paint of Gotham, making the lanes unsafe again.

    Take care and watch out for freshly mapped floors.

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