For many years, my best friend nabbed every…and I do mean every opportunity to tease me-- for my total, unadulterated, and well known ignorance of all things sports. She would text me and ask, “what did you think of the game last night?”. Even though she knew I hadn’t seen it, and didn't even know it aired. It was all in good fun, and never got old. And then I got married. Unbeknownst to me, a large portion of my transition from Ms. Hayes to Mrs. Gordon was accepting the fact that, the world of sports could no longer be housed on a galaxy far far away from me.


I would soon be indoctrinated into full NBA fandom. I quickly evolved from tolerating games while scrolling down my timeline—to screaming at our 48 inch when there was a lack of assist. I joined the ranks of the know-it-all social media commentators and used my limited storage space to download the NBA app. Next on the list of NBA obsession was-- apparel purchases, Google searches on players’ stats, and of course-- social media stalking, specifically Instagram (Joakim Noah’s mom is really pretty). But why? How did I move from disinterested to invested? Is the game just that riveting? Sometimes, but certainly not ALL time.


Alright, I’m about to go full nerd. Let me explain. I am intrigued by backstory. When I am watching a game, and D Rose shoots a 3 pointer—I see that moment as his reward. A game winning 3-point shot is the reaping of hours, days, weeks, and years of practice sewed into early mornings and late nights. I admire discipline, drive, and unfaltering dedication. The commitment required to be a part of the starting 5 on any NBA team is awe-inspiring. It’s what we don’t see, that excites me. Even the so called “bench warmers” have given their life to the pursuit of winning; winning in its purest, its most measurable form.


The days and nights when there were no applauds but they came to play, to train, and to get gains.

That is the place of beauty.

The echo of a ball rapidly beating the driveway, the gym floor, the concrete court, and even the kitchen tile...

The times they had to push away from the table when everyone else ate and drank until they were merry…

The invitations that were sorrowfully declined…

And the friendships that collapsed under the weight of a vigorous training schedule.


And I’m not just talking about past sacrifices. The current pressure, scrutiny, and injuries are extreme-- as my mother would say, during my childhood, they “pay the cost to be the boss”.  The strategizing, fighting, and continued surviving as contemporary gladiators-- is what enchants unlikely fans.  


The romance between man and victory is as old as the earth. That’s why we are so passionately enthralled as viewers.Their wins are our wins because we see a reflection of our own battles, triumphs, and sometimes failures in that slow motion replay.







Alright that’s all ;-)

K. Gordon

Published by Kamesha Hayes