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Article:Hoop, Hype, Hyperbole

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' I watch a lot of high school and youth basketball games. A lot. Maybe I am losing my mind.

We live in an era where we are conflicted between reality, and a universe where everyone is a winner, everyone gets a trophy. Competition and honest opinion become subservient to avoiding bruising the collective ego. Although everyone's child is special, every player cannot be a special player...but you wouldn't necessarily know that from the atmosphere.

With no regard to a specific player, team, town, or coach...you can watch high school games anywhere and see players struggle to make good basketball decisions, take good shots, use good technique, play fundamentally sound basketball. Some are labeled 'great' players. Indeed, "in the kingdom of the blind, the one-eyed man is king."

We see terrific athletes who are mediocre players, and less gifted athletes who may be excellent players. Playing hard and playing well are not the same. Not surprisingly, we see few great athletes who are also terrific basketball players, just as Yo-Yo Ma, a Bobby Fischer, or Tiger Woods are few.

Reporting standards vary, but often candor becomes bashing; praise becomes hyperbole.

Yet somehow, if you asked a player about their most recent performance, you might get five categories:

  • "Played really well, helped the team win."
  • "Played well, had a good game."
  • "Was okay, nothing special."
  • "I don't want to talk about it."
  • "Dad, don't talk to me about basketball."

Maybe it's different where you live. For your sake, I hope so.


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