Saturday, July 28, 2007

Since about noon yesterday i had been on a mission, and that mission was to play some basketball on Saturday morning. I got off work, went to my PO Box to get my mail, then headed to the barbershop to get a haircut, and then right before Target closed, I headed up there to buy a basketball. Not just any basketball, but a pro-size basketball, I had claimed on the internets. It had the perfect grip, it said NBA on it, and most importantly , it was an indoor/outdoor ball, which is the kind of versatility I look for in a ball. My plan was to wake up early Saturday morning, and go play ball at a court in Adams Morgan. This court is relatively empty, and it would allow me to get my game where it needed to be. I was not yet ready to play a full court game, because I'm not sure my wind would allow me to do that. Plus I just wanted to work on some fundamentals in preparation for a full court game sometime soon. I could do a one on one, two on two, and maybe even a three on three game, but half court was a bit much. As you can see I had put some serious thought into this.

After a night of restlessness, I woke up around 7am, and the first thing I did was listen to an excellent interview on the radio. Bob Costas was interviewing former Governor of New York, Mr. Mario Cuomo, and they covered topics ranging from Cuomo's minor league baseball days, to what he would do if he were commissioner to politics of course. It was such a compelling interview, that instead of leaving out of the house at 7 like I had planned to do, i decided to hear this inteview in its entirety, and leave out at 8am. A setback, but a welcome one. I grabbed my laptop, a towel, my newly purchased basketball, and a bottle of water, and I headed out to the basketball court ready to work.

There's a feeling of invincibility when you initially step out on an empty basketball court. Four baskets are at your disposal, your energy level is at maximum capacity, and when you go early in the morning, the heat has yet to arrive, so you feel as if you can play all day long. I put my bag down, and started my usual routine when I haven't play basketball in a long time. I did what is called the Mikan drill, which is an excellent way(especially for an old man like me) to establish rhythm and break up a light sweat, and I did just that. After that drill, i starting doing full court layups, jump and hook shots, post moves, and basically I was displaying the full repertoire as Marv Albert would say. Considering it had been a few months since I had played, my jumpshot was surprisingly good, although I was very tired (but I refused to drink water, I hate it when folks are playing ball and they take frequent water breaks...man the hell up). And then at this point, someone else stepped on the court...

Now when you are on the court solo, and someone else steps on the same court, immediately thoughts of one-on-one creep into your head, and that's exactly what was on my mind. I started shooting with my right hand(i'm left handed) just in case he was scouting my game, and I used less post moves and took more jumpshots..I don't even know if this other dude was paying attention to me, but dammit this is war, and I wanted to be prepared for anything. I stole some glances at him (I know this sounds borderline gay, but bear with me here) and I noticed that he was right handed, about 6'2(i'm 5'9) and he was lean...he looked to weight about 170-175, which means I could take him down to the post, and put my weight on him if need be(i'm 195). Mind you, all of this sizing up went down in a matter of about5 minutes. So now I was ready to play, so I went over there, and ask him if he wanted to run, and he said no I'm just hear to break a sweat. I said are you sure, and he said yes. Man I can't tell you how hurt and angry I was. One, here I had take the time to curtail my game and size up his, and he rejected me? And if you are trying to break a sweat, what better to do it than to play one, two, hell even three games of one on one. In some cases, you get a much better workout doing that, than you would in a full court game. But I left him and his pseudo-sweaty workout alone, and I went back to playing alone. Eventually he left the court, and I kept looking around hoping someone else would come to the court, but no such luck. I played for a good 45 minutes more, and then I came to the coffee shop to blog about this devastation.

So what's the lesson here? I need to hurry up and get in shape, so I can play 5 on 5. Its not in the cards for me to play one on one anytime soon I guess...

2 comments:

Bashful said...

I am not a sports fan but this entry has peaked my interest in basketball...LOL! Have a great weekend!

nichole said...

*snicker*