I always knew her as Mike’s girl. Everyone wanted her, everyone dated her. But Mike had her heart. Then for some odd reason, Mike didn’t want her anymore. This guy named Hakeem would pick up where Mike left off. It was odd but interesting seeing it unfold none the less. When Mike came back into the picture, it only made me want her more. Truthfully I don’t know what it was that drew me to her. The noises she made as she left my fingertips? The swishing sound of the net as she passed through it? The way she fit my hand just like a glove as I carried her all over the court? These things were cool, but then she also had some habits that really annoyed me. I hated it when I would let her go and she would connect with the rim instead of the net. Better yet, I despised when she would leave my side following a turnover. Other than that, the times we did spend together were always splendid. She had a hold on me. To say the least of course.
Throughout life, through all my ups and downs, there has always been one constant. Basketball. The game has given me some great teammates that I consider brothers for life. The game afforded me an education. The game grew me. All of the lonely nights alone, trying to perfect my Iverson/Francis-like handle… Going from a no-jump-shot-having guard to a deadly threat anywhere on the court, the game has done more for me than I ever could for it. But that game cheats on me. Every minute, every second of the day. Across the globe. With whom you may ask? With people of all ages, all races, all genders. The game is only loyal to the highest bidder. She uses you. Knows your deepest secrets, biggest fears. She swears she’ll always be there for you, but in reality you’re borrowing her for just a moment in time. No matter how much work you put in. No matter how much time you dedicate to her. At one point or another she’ll leave you. Kobe Bryant is going through that now. She’s LeBron’s girl now. Her friends and family however are trying to persuade her that Steph or KD may be better for her. I’m starting to feel like her support system is actually more of a bad influence on her than good. To make matters worse, whoever has her heart at that moment will never be as good for her as Mike was.
For a few autumns years ago, the game adored me. She loved me so profoundly to the point that I would go anywhere on God’s green earth to defend our love. I would take on all challengers, blindly not knowing that she had given them the same feeling, the same speech. Let me tell it, I was better than all of them. I loved her more. Took care of her, had her best interest at heart. Then crept in her friends and family once more. “Such and such is better for you than he is”, and just like that, she was gone with the wind.
Every now and then, I catch her at the gym or on my TV. We’ll dance how we used to, before my knees start to ache. She’ll whisper into my ear that I haven’t lost a step — the wise, old me knows it’s still all gamesmanship with her. I can’t lie to you, it feels like heaven being with her for those few brief moments. Sadly, it’s become routine for her to get me high, then leave me low. When she’s on TV, I get caught up in my feelings. I just get upset when I see other people abusing her. That’s just me though.
For what it’s worth, the pursuit of her was like no other. 10 times out of 10 I’d put myself through the pains for doing it all over again. Of course with a couple tweaks here and there. Although the outcome is inevitable, I wouldn’t want it any other way. I’ve accepted her past, just as I accept her future. Millions before me, billions after me. That’s just the way it goes.
To the game of Basketball,
I’m firing my love shot.