Dribbling Back to Patience & the Slam, Bam Jam

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Patience has never been a strong suit of mine. My entering the world over a month early attests to this personal truth. It’s a virtue I’ve been working to strengthen. But the need to prepare and be patient connected with me in the unlikeliest of places. The point of connection was none other than the circumstances surrounding the NBA lockout.
My friend Gary and I have been grabbing at any and all NBA news morsels, like basketball starved Oliver Twists. Greedily grabbing news scrapes that would allude to there being a 2011-2012 season was necessary to our apparent fanatic well being. Communicative consoling in the form of discussions, games involving various lists of top teams and players and reminiscing about all things NBA, our love and longing for the game is real. Others have tried to suggest substitutes like the WNBA or college ball but with the recent events with Syracuse, it has become a sad state of events. Just as the well started running dry, our thirst partially quenched with the news of the season resuming on December 25th. Yes! Thank you, oh thank you!!  Feeling more refreshed then we have for months, the feel good inquiry and game affirmed plea of  please can we have some more was halted by the prospect of potential players not coming back until March due to contract entanglements. Is this only about money? What would have happened if they waited or if they do play until March? Is this going to further complicate matters? Serenity Now! 
While this isn’t the greatest of updates, I flashback to the ‘98-’99 lockout. The season was cut almost in half, with portions from salaries that were not to be replaced. Another friend of mine carries a popular sentiment regarding the bloated paychecks and negative mentality. To his credit and those similar minded, I do understand and agree somewhat. While it could and has been said these ball players make too much money, in the end, it still is their money. And not all basketball players are making the millions we hear about. Like actors, artist or pretty much in any field, you have a small group making a huge sum of money but for a large majority, the salary is understated in comparison. This is purely entertainment for some but for others like me that feel a kinship to game, their occupation should be respected. It made sense to me why some felt they needed to go overseas and play. If you wanted to stay athletic, in your field and make money this was one solution. However, now that the field has changed, is it fair to expect China to break their plans due to circumstances not really relevant to them? Why would it be okay for the contract with the CBA, (Chinese Basketball Association) to not be honored when the hope for the contracts here between owners and players are desired to be honored? In our society of immediate gratification, when things don’t go our way, sometimes we can’t see beyond what’s affecting us and how our movements may affect others. Even in the midst of a storm we have choices: panic or calm. But to arrive at a thoughtful decision and not one made solely out of duress, one must apply patience to their plan and then follow through. In order to have patience there has to be faith but in order to have faith, one has to hope. That kernel of what you want morphs into believing in the possibility, then doing all that one can to have it fulfilled. But then lastly, being still with the knowledge and affirmation that after everything, all will be well and it will manifest. It will happen.
Whether these guys shouldn’t have gone overseas or make too much or too little money is not my concern. As one that has been on the receiving end of much supposition and not enough information, I’ve seen the result of  people jumping off the cliff of judgment landing face first in the wading pool of reality. With personal quest and decisions of my own, my heart and mind rock steady with calm. The NBA players didn’t know the season was to start in December. The lockout could have been longer, though perish the thought. Some were able to plan using their resources previously accumulated and not be rushed. Others for whatever reasons; not saving, not having enough time like rookies, first and second year players in which to prepare were in a more precarious position. All that can be done in life is to assess your situation, work towards a favorable outcome and wait. While many of us don’t like to shift from our regularly scheduled life programming, hopefully this lockout will be the catalyst for that Sam Cooke change. And maybe a change will come in the form of newly structured deals and idealism, where love of the game precedes love of bank accounts. The sad ironic truth is our basketball legends made significantly less and seemingly contributed infinitely more to this game by way of talent and sportsmanship. Right now though, after months of anticipation, I choose hope and have faith that things can change. I will patiently wait for Christmas where this mami will not be kissing Santa Claus but potentially running down the street, a la “It’s A Wonderful Life” style, wishing all NBA fans a happy holiday. And to all a good night.


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