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Friday, November 9, 2018

Basketball: Sympathy for the Devil

Matthew 7:1-3 King James Version (KJV)

Judge not, that ye be not judged.
For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.

Among over seven and a half billion people, we can't know why people do what they do. Selfishness, autocracy, sloth, and meanness are personal choices. The Roman slave Epictetus said, It isn’t the events themselves that disturb people, but only their judgements about them.”

We have all said or done things we wish we could redo. Even great coaches like John Wooden have tarnished legacies. And his critics reveals their dark side, too..."equal parts brilliance and abrasiveness" according to Bob Costas. "Sainted" coaches wear crooked halos

Scandal is neither unusual nor confined to "mediocre" schools. Stanford provided a list of easy courses to athletes. The NCAA whitewashed alleged academic fraud at Carolina. A relative of a dean at an ACC hoop power told me that when players were referred for disciplinary actions, the problems inevitably disappeared. Playing taking priority over punishment. Serial tripper Grayson Allen got wrist-slapping for tripping opponents. 

Some of us have mental, physical, or personality disorders. I heard about a physician who was "stealing" surgical cases from an Emergency Room, telling doctors that he was on call for other doctors. During a disciplinary review, he was sent for evaluation and had Huntington's Disease that can cause behavioral disturbances

"Money is the mother's milk of politics." Well, money is the juice that fuels men's college basketball. Yahoo Sports shares, "The worst-kept secret in college basketball is how coaches, sneaker executives, sports agents, travel-team coaches and financial advisers, often through under-the-table payments, steer top high school talent first to NCAA programs and later to apparel brands and professional representation once they enter the NBA." Many remain in denial about the sport's seamy underside. And yet, even on the perimeter of the sport we hear about magic numbers, like $120,000. 

How do we exorcise the demons within when so much money is out there for the taking? Or can we rewrite human nature and a history of selfishness, greed, and envy? We can't or we won't. 

The old joke explains that the Dalai Lama asks a hot dog vendor, "make me one with everything" and gives him a $10 bill. The vendor returns him a loaded dog, and the Lama asks for change. He replies, "change comes from within." And here we are. 


At practice last night, we briefly reviewed creating "double gaps."  
And during live "shell drill" a player made a great, instinctive read to open a lane for a drive. 

5 opens a driving lane after cutting by replacing. 

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