Basketball brings on a new day meaning each time we play the rules never change and yet the outcome is always up in the air. The rules bound us to what’s familiar and at the same time we experience something different every time. Anyone or thing can make the game that more interesting. At least for me it is. I always had studied my favorite ball players style. Actually recognize what they brought to the game. Not so much copy their style but see what can I take away from their approach to game and apply it to my own vision of how to play. I’m embellishing a little but only because I’m trying to make a point about how each player in the game offers something to anyone paying attention.
Me and Leo had already started a game of 21. Usually we do our chit chat before the game starts. Once the game starts there is a more serious feel. It’s fun but it’s also competition. So any kind of words exchanged is usually regarding the score. “How much you got?”
But today our friend Matt came in to play a couple of games. We had already started, Matt jumped in mid-session. It changes the dynamic instantly. From being a one-on-one game to three-for-all. To each is own but still the same concepts.
Matt had a certain kind of style that was very calming but yet effective. The first time he gets the ball he shoots a three. Sinks it. After you score in 21 you get to go the free throw line and shoot till you miss. Some games there will be a limit to how many time you can score at the free throw line but we have no limit. You can be there all night. If you want.
Matt very nonchalant about his approach he tells miniature stories as he dribbles the ball. Having individual conversations with the defender. Matt could not miss a free throw. Greeting people as they walked into the gym, while we were playing. Very unlike the serious-not-speaking-just-playing attitude we usually go for.
A great player can play without the ball. To influence the game not just by scoring points but by getting other players to shift their style of play by just being present.
Matt leaves once the game ends. Leo and I head out soon after. Good games with good friends. This wellness is contagious. Nothing but net.