The Game That Compels You To Go Beyond Yourself
It’s no secret that I’m a big, big fan of basketball.
Ever year, sometime in the middle of March Madness, I have made a vow to update my 10-Minute Speech post.
The value of team-driven sports goes beyond just basketball, of course.
To paraphrase Gary Cantrell (aka Lazarus Lake), the Man Behind the Barkley Marathons: engaging in sports helps any young soul truly see that life isn’t equal. It teaches the responsibility of effort-in / effort out.
In my opinion, no where does the real world shine so broadly across the effort/talent-to-result spectrum than in basketball.
There’s been a lot of deep thought about that; many tributes, documentaries, books and quotes that dive deep into the heart of hoops.
But, I think it was Dean Smith — the 4th most winningest coach in men’s college Division I basketball — that made light of the fact that b-ball represents the epitome of the selfless pursuit of WINNING.
Immersive teamwork to the max.
The very nature of Dr. Naismith’s invention automatically instills collaboration and cohesive gamesmanship in each player. Some might say, “Eh, not always so much when you’re talking NBA.”
Sure, I’ll admit there are lone-wolf superstars — those who standout on their own — yet, they still can’t WIN without gelling with the other four on the court.
It’s the off-the-court servitude I also admire.
In this 2006-published book, Beyond Basketball, Mike Krzyzewski (aka: Coach K) writes:
“Having a positive influence on people, helping others: that’s winning. For someone to be a total human being, they must realize that something happened before them, something is happening now, and something will happen after they leave”.
That quote perfectly summarizes why I was ecstatic to see Budweiser (NYSE: BUD) give a heartfelt send-off to one of the games’ most caring, most give-back, kinda guys:
Dwyane Wade, after a legendary 16-year NBA career that ended through retirement on April 10th 2019, was honored with this 4-minute tearjerker tribute:
Make no mistake, impact on “community” is what measures the worth of a man over time.
We can ALL learn about individual toughness, hustle, assertiveness and drive. Yet, I think it’s about what we do with those traits BEYOND ourselves that make the most difference.
The more we can share what we know (i.e., our experiences and wisdom), the more we give people a hand-up (not a hand-out) with the resources we’ve accrued over the years, the more we can be BIGGER than our accomplishments.
When that happens, Dear Reader, so goes a better world.