Saturday, March 17

I Never Wanted to Be Grant Hill

I mean, I've been a Duke fan for as long as I can remember (This is what happens when your grandmother went to Duke) but I've never wanted to be Grant Hill...

...or Bobby Hurley, Christian Laettner, Elton Brand, JJ Redick, or any other "star" player. Maybe Steve Wojciechowski or Shane Battier. Maybe.

The heroes of the teams I loved were players like Antonio Lang or Chris Carrawell. Guys who worked their asses off to be, as Bill Simmons says, "Glue Guys." Or even more commonly, "Blue Collar Players." Players who would do all of the dirty work to win the game. Players who were leaders, but not stars.

These were the players who commanded respect from teammates and opponents for the roles that they played in helping their teams be successful. They didn't give an inch, ever. If the game was on the line, they were not afraid to take the big shot because they put in the work to earn the opportunity. Their teammates would not begrudge them taking the shot because they worked endlessly to make the team better and had high Basketball IQs. If that was the decision they made, that was the right decision from a basketball standpoint.

I acknowledge that I'm glorifying and oversimplifying this a bit, but there are players on every team in college and the NBA who do the selfless work to make the team win. George Lynch was a great example of this, even though he played for the hated Tar Heels. He played a man's game both in college and the NBA. Malik Rose, Tayshaun Prince, Big Shot Rob, Aaron McKie, Bill Cartwright, Mo Cheeks, Bobby Jones, Charles Oakley and even though they qualify as stars: Jason Kidd, Bill Russell, Kevin Garnett.

Perhaps you can see my bias for 76ers in that list. Perhaps you can see that there's at least one stone cold Jules-from-Pulp Fiction-style-badass in there (Oakley-- possibly two if you count KG) and that not all of those guys played fair. The thing is, when you were playing against any of those guys, you knew you were in for a battle. They were there to win. Not for stats, not for fame, but to win. Essentially, you were/are fucked if you didn't want it as much--whether you were friend or foe.

That's how I see myself as a player. That's who I've always wanted to be in every sport. Do the heavy lifting, put my teammates in position to succeed and want it more than anyone else.
Workout total:
30 min dedicated stretching/yoga (Still crazy sore from those last two workouts)

1 comment:

John said...

i was actually thinking about nate james for some reason today. college hoops is more fun when duke doesn't suck.