Officially, we lost. Unofficially, it was total domination and we won.
However, this game wasn’t about winning or losing.
It was nostalgic. I drifted back to a time in which basketball presented itself as something more than a game to me. To say “I lived it, slept it and ate it” is a complete understatement, because it is ingrained in my DNA. It is my security blanket. It encompasses my soul.
So as I stepped onto the court when it was empty, I was searching for the answers to life’s problems. In search of a solution, I continuously shot the ball, calming my soul and clearing the path to clarity.
When the gramps walked in, I had to sit down on the bleachers. I wanted to get focused; I wasn’t going to half-ass this one. Sitting, I wiped away the sweat and the thoughts that were intruding the moment.
With a placed call to a friend and with fears dissipating with every practice swoosh, the four-on-four game started. Everything seemed right; life fell into place.
John Stockton, the 2-3 zone gramps, is slowing proving to have been a former NBA player. We run the floor until we get into the passing too much mode. The headline reads: “When teamwork goes awry.”
Who knew another life existed during your adult lunch-break?
Anyhow, the game went on and we bounce passed like crazy, got intercepted as if Jake Delhomme is now an NBA point guard and smiled as if we all turned into kids.
Suddenly, we got skillz (mad skillz). From Stockton’s inside moves, to Dirk Nowitzki’s rebounding, to Spud Webb’s speed and to my court presence, we were a formidable group. On one possession, Dirk inbounded to Webb, Webb then passed it to Stockton and finally Stockton found me for an uncontested lay-up. The ball never touched the floor, priceless!
However, we wished we had a score keeper the entire game. Without a score keeper, the Senior Citizen Stretch Armstrongs took advantage of every wayward lob and every fast break turned the other way.
In the midst of the abundant turnovers, the sound of nets swooshing was nature’s way of whispering into our ears. We found solitude amongst ourselves.
Instead of listening to the swooshing, I should have been paying attention to the instructor. My shot was blocked. My pride fell to the floor, not really. I knew it could have been worse so I kept playing hard. I flashbacked to my roommate’s ball getting demolished as she shot the ball after a steal. I could see the leather casing leaving what was formerly known as a basketball.
We continued to play a game, a game that anchored us to childhood (keeping us forever young).
Though, the opposing team soon got hot. The only thing I heard was “He’s on fire.” 3-pointer after 3-pointer a win was getting out of reach.
Stockton, Nowitzki, Webb and I fought hard till the end. No amount of shots rimming out or in could have altered the outcome. The final score, officially, was 36-33.
In the end, in summation of all of our sweat and all of our hustle, we accomplished what we set out to do every day from 12 till 1 in the afternoon; we drifted off into lunch-break nostalgia.