I'll give you a minute to pick yourself up off from the floor. Don't forget to close your mouth that is surely hanging open.
Now that you're back with me, let's start again. I've been watching the finals, and before that, some of the playoffs. Here's what happened: one night, many a week ago, I went to meet my favorite boy type person for dinner, and he was ancy as all get out. This is not uncommon for him, but this ance had a special flavor to it, and it was quickly discovered "there's a game on!". Plans changed to ordering in, and watching the game. Well, actually, he watched and I.. a little bit watched, but mostly saw first-hand how happy this silly game seemed to make him. I happen to like things that make him happy, and trust his judgement on
Fast forward and I've watched like.. seven games? Mostly I've watched them in conjunction with something else, flipping back and forth between things like The Bachelorette and The Tony Awards. A perfect fit, I'm sure you are thinking.
And since I'm a bit of a personal-growth-let's-learn-lessons-in-everything-person, I've realized that there's been quite a bit that I've learned during my new time as a basketball fan, both about the sport and about life.
1. Basketball is basically like a TV show or soap opera. Everyone is recurring, but there are stars, then supporting. So, if this was Pretty Little Liars, LeBron James would be Hannah (Ashley Benson), and Dwayne Wade would be Aria (Lucy Hale), and so on. And just like PLL, they are all hella dramatic. When someone falls, the world is ending. They lay there, drawing it out, waiting for the call from the ref. Everyone rushes over to help them up, as though they've been shot. When they're called on the foul, their eyes widen with innocence (Mr. James is super good at this, and looks about six years old). When they feel they've been shortchanged, they yell and make hand gestures, and just about have a fit. Oh, the drama.
2. Despite the drama, nobody really says anything bad about the other team. Actually, they say nice things. When a player is pulled aside to answer some quick questions, and the interviewer is all 'what's happening?', the player usually somehow compliments the other team. For example, they say things about how the other team/another player is really on their defense and working hard so they just have to work harder. They're also all very well spoken and never out of breath. How?
3. Ignore the praise. That's right, ignore it. If you make a basket and everyone cheers, and your fellow teammates are dancing around by the bench, you just make the shot and get on it with it. Back to the game. Focus on what you're doing. It's kind of crazy. If thousands of people were cheering for me for doing something well, I'd be all Taylor-Swift-Face-Making, like whooo me? Thank you, thank you! (You know what I mean if you've ever seen her accept an award.)
4. Practice really fucking hard at what you want to do. These guys are no joke. What does that book say? Outliers? That you must log 10,000 practice hours to achieve your goal? I'm gonna say these guys are at like 30,000. They've become the best at what they want to do, with diligence and practice.
5. Encourage each other. High fives for every little move. A little tap on the bottom doesn't hurt either. Actually the boys seem to enjoy this very much.
6. Work out. I mean, LOOK at them. It almost makes me want to get off the couch and put away the baked lays.
7. A small setback is no reason to quit. So you don't make a basket, okay, better stay on your feet because everyone else is still moving. The game is still going on. In the time that would be spent pouting, they could easily make a great block or rebound or something (look at me with the lingo!) that would also be super good.
8. On that same note, just because you have an off night personally, or just because your team loses a game, you can't dwell on it. You've just gotta keep hustling, keep moving, keep going. When I think of all the actor nonsense I've heard over not booking something and being in a funk for losing a role, holy potatoes. So if losing a role is akin to losing a game, I say no dwelling and get back on the court (in the audition room) and remember that you have no idea what will happen the next time.
9. Coordinating outfits with your friends is VERY IMPORTANT. It would be very embarrassing to show up in the same dress as a pal, right? Well imagine both teams showing up in the same color. The horror. Plus, super confusing. So outfits must be decided before hand. I get a good giggle over imagining the head coaches on the phone, arguing over who gets to wear white on which day.
10. Be the best at what you do. Then, find the other people who are best at what they do and team up with them. This seems to be what went down with the Heat. Or, okay, at least according to the Miami Heat fanatic who is singlehandedly educating me. So it could be that he was telling the story with pride and respect, but really some shady biz went down, I'm not sure, BUT it sounds like all of these super good players decided to figure out how to play together and make that happen. They could've been competitive with each other but instead they were all 'wait! I'm the best AND you're the best and we would be unstoppable.' Hello. Brilliant.
11. Cover your mouth if you're gossiping. You never know when a camera is on you.
12. Lastly, try something new. You might think you have very little interest in something.. say, for instance, basketball.. but then you try it out and start to learn some stuff and come to find that you're enjoying it. You may also find yourself up on your feet, yelling at the TV screen, and cheering in excitement. Hypothetical example, of course :)
Thus concludes the post I never thought I would write.