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Saturday, June 9, 2012

Ball Above All

I love NBA playoff time.

This time of year in 1991 started a real love affair with the game.  I've often said baseball is my sports wife, but basketball is most definitely my mistress.  In three short years I was fully invested in the game, and watching my hometown team in the NBA Finals.

I admit to, when I was a teenager, thinking I was a better ballplayer than I actually was.  But there was one constant.  After every game on a Saturday or Sunday, and with that very catchy NBA on NBC theme song freshly in our heads, my friends and I would head to Strickland Park on Mill Avenue, or Marine Park just off Flatbush, and we would take on all comers.  We would go and play for five or six hours, until we could no longer see the ball, and trek home.  In the summertime we would play every day, whenever we could, relying on our parents for bus fare.  The hot summer days spent on the blacktop in Brooklyn really solidified the bonds between me and my closest friends.  And hell, I was in the best shape of my life.

We had dreams in those days of being pro ballplayers.  We were hopelessly deluded.

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