The NBA Now Stands For “Not Boring Anymore!”

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The Philadelphia 76ers are on a roll! Last week they beat the Milwaukee Bucks and the LA Clippers. The Clippers! Granted, Chris Paul did not play, but still! And last night they beat the Sacramento Kings, without Joel Embiid. YES! The Sixers were 9-4 in January, and an easy vote for most improved team in the NBA.

The NBA is “Not Boring Anymore.” Harden beat my Sixers on the last Friday on the month by dropping 51 points on them as he recorded a triple double while scoring almost half of his teams points. And speaking of Triple Doubles, Russell Westbrook continues on his tear through the Association by raking up triple doubles almost at will.

And we haven’t event gotten to talking about LeBron crying like a baby or Sir Charles talking about King James like a dog and Steph Curry’s return to MVP form or John Wall being the player of the month, not to mention the Carmello Anthony trade/no trade saga in New York or the DeMarcus Cousins crisis in Sacramento or the Jimmy Butler/Dwayne Wade fiasco in Chicago. And I haven’t even mentioned the how good the Warriors are or the All Star Game Ballot Box brouhaha! Whew!

To be sure, the quality of professional basketball in “The Association” has gotten better. A LOT better. Now there are still too many sub-500 teams, but the exciting thing is, games are more fun than they were when I was coming up. And we’re talkin’ REGULAR SEASON games. Even though my team has a losing record, we are now winning games and are exciting to watch. Individual players such as Joel Embiid and many others are fun to follow as teams are jockeying for postseason positions and playoff spots now, and it’s still January!

Back in “The Day,” The joke on the NBA was that you only had to watch the last 2 minutes of ANY game to know who was going to win. But that’s not the case anymore. On any given Sunday, or weekday night for that matter, you can find a decent NBA game to watch. That has not always been the case.

The parallel is clear; our lives should be a mirror of quality and worth and excellence and value as well.

So it seems that the NBA has arrived, and not a season too soon. It’s not just the Warriors who are drawing crowds, it’s the OKC’s and the Sixers of the world that have a national following too. And this year, I might even watch the All Star Game.

The NBA Playoffs: Wake Me When It’s The Finals

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 Correct me if I’m wrong, but are the NBA Playoffs a sham or a charade? Are the NBA Playoffs a shame to the game or a waste of time to this great sports pastime? Or all of the above? Compared to the Men’s NCAA Tournament, the NBA Playoffs are a disgrace. In the early rounds, the Wizards or the Wolverines may win a game or two, but will they really win a series? Do they even have an outside chance of getting to the Conference Finals, much less the Finals?

On the eve of the Men’s NCAA Tournament, no one, and I do mean NO ONE, picked UCONN to win it in the fashion that they did. And that’s what makes college ball so much more exciting and exhilarating and intoxicating; the NBA Playoffs are just an excuse for commercials and revenue. The more games they play, the more money the league and the owners make. Nuff said.

All of God’s creation has value and worth. No person is wasted or unwanted. But in the NBA Playoffs, we are sold a bill of goods; 16 teams vie for a crown that only a handful of teams really have a legitimate shot at. So wake me up when it’s the Finals, and shake me when the conference finals roll around. The way I see it, if I watch these early rounds, I may be put to sleep, so why should I stay up when I can go to bed early?

Wake me when the NBA is ready to play some real ball.

One Game At A Time

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One Game At A Time

I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.

Michael Jordan

Michael Jordan took it one game at a time. He tried out for the varsity basketball team during his sophomore year, but at 5’11”, he was deemed too short to play at that level.  Motivated to prove his worth, Jordan became the star of his high school junior varsity (JV) squad, and tallied several 40-point games.  The following summer, he grew four inches and trained rigorously. Upon earning a spot on the varsity roster, Jordan averaged about 20 points per game over his final two seasons of high school play.

So take it one game at a time.  Jordan rose to prominence when he hit that game winning shot against Georgetown in the NCAA Championship game in 1982.  And the rest is history.  If he let discouragement defeat him when he didn’t make the team as a sophomore, he would not have won all of those titles, and all of those MVP awards, and all of those defensive player of the year awards, and  all of those scoring champion awards, and  all of those steals champion awards, and all of those . . . etc., etc., etc.  You get my drift.

Michael Jordan, arguably the greatest basketball player to ever play the game, took it one game at a time.  Yes, he was the greatest ever to play the game. Ever. Present company included. Sorry Lebron James Fans.  If you remember watching all of those playoff games and all of those finals games like me, you’ll remember that he and the Chicago Bulls came awfully close to not willing six championship rings in six tries.  But win they did. Yes, Jordan went six for six. That’s six tries at winning a championship, and six championships.

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So take it from Jordan – take it one game at a time.  Rome was not built in a day, meaning it takes time to create great things.  Joseph was 17 years when he dreamed that his father, mother and brothers would bow down to him.  By most accounts he was in his mid 30’s when the dream came to pass. Between the prophecy and the promise, he had to take it one “game,” or day at a time.

So let’s take it one game at a time.  Let’s not be so anxious. Let’s not get so down (when the dream doesn’t come to pass). Let’s not try so hard. And let’s not try to do too much. Michael Jordan didn’t win all of those titles as soon as he got to the NBA. His first title came in 1991, seven years after joining the league.

So let’s sing the song together:

One day at a time sweet Jesus
That’s all I’m asking from you.
Just give me the strength
To do everyday what I have to do.
Yesterday’s gone sweet Jesus
And tomorrow may never be mine.
Lord help me today, show me the way
One day at a time.