I am a great sport’s fan. I even discovered that I enjoy watching most of them. Of course I have some favorite ones, and basketball is at the top of my list. So it isn’t a big surprise to say that I am carefully following the NBA finals.
Two nights ago I stood awake to watch the game 5 of the finals. I never was convinced by the Miami Heat team and this because of the “three amigos” : two out of the three couldn’t be my amigos, because of their behaviour in and off the court. So was it that for those finals I took the side of Oklahoma City Thunders, a group of young guns including a swiss made one. But from a purely basketball way of playing, my heart goes to San Antonio or Boston – this year even Indiana pleased me with their team play.
Since the beginning of June, the soccer Euro championship is taking place in central Europe : Poland and Ukraine. Because of some family background, I am used to watch soccer – I used to play as well – and so I am always interested in those championships. But year after year , I tend to get more frustrated by the evolution of that sport and I do change channel more often. What particularly annoys me is the profile of the new players, specially the strikers : most of them don’t run, most of them are only waiting for the ball to reach them, most of them shout on each other when something isn’t done the way the wanted it to be. Overall I do have the feeling that this sport became the most individualistic team sport.
20 years ago I was proudly wearing a complete Jordan basketball outfit in front of my TV…and watching Barcelona Olympic tournament. I was a 13 years old kid totally crazy about basketball and having the US dream team and my heroes – Magic and Bird, yes sorry despite my clothes I wasn’t such a Jordan fan – in this little box in front of me will remain a great memory. By that time all that counted to me was how to play a better game and my teachers – apart from my coach – were those guys.
In order to celebrate those 20 years, the NBA produced a documentary about the team and all the players were interviewed within the last months : I felt back in those years – I wasn’t wearing the Jordan outfit this time but I felt like – and for 70 minutes I couldn’t believe what I was hearing : not all of them were enthusiastic about joining the team, but all of them wanted to play with their best enemies. All of them wanted to be in the team to be able to compete with their greatest rivals. And once they were onboard and taking it all far to easily vs a sparing team of young college boys (yes the first game of the Dream Team was a defeat), they used their ego to boost their talent. They worked on what the weakness of the team was to turn it onto their main strength.
So on the game five of these 2012 NBA finals I rediscovered a great team and great players that deserved their ring. I felt again like in front of the dream team ; of course the style has changed, basketball of today is far different from the one 20 years ago – as it was 40 years ago etc etc – but one thing that doesn’t change is the work out. What doesn’t change is what takes you to be a great champion : work, effort, humility and the passion for the game. The love for the game.
I will watch the rest of the Soccer Euro Championship and hope to find such. For now I can only quote a journalist who said that ” players feel like they are big guns with their national teams and that they can behave like spoiled stars, when within their normal team they are nobody, even sometimes not sure to be part of the starters”
I will watch London 2012 Olympic tournament and look forward to see which team will have this love for the game.
I am happy for Miami and their ring, and happy for Oklahoma they could make it to the finals – and even more of what this experience of the defeat will bring them.
And finally, one day, I will find a clear opportunity to show my love for the game in a movie. That will be really cool !
For now, let’s have fun and work on it !