As American as Basketball

Written By: Charles - Aug• 24•08

63  bar rises 30.17  3mph NW  dew-point 49  sunrise 6:26  sunset 8:04  Lughnasa

Last Quarter of the Corn Moon

The USA basketball team made this Indiana boy proud.  Not so much because they won gold, but because they showed that the ego driven individualism of the NBA can flow into team play.  The ego driven individualism of the NBA showcases an American individualism on steroids, true; but, aberrant it is not. The NBA demonstrates both the blessing and the curse of this signal American trait.  The blessing:  peak individual performance.  Think Michael Jordan.  Bill Russell.  Magic Johnson.  The curse:  destruction of group cohesion.  Think Kobe Bryant.  Stephon Marberry.

Basketball and America go together like cricket and India, soccer and Brazil, rugby and England, hurling and Ireland.  We should find satisfaction in the skilled play of countries all around the world, since it shows the global penetration of a defining American game.  It is not yet time, though, for us to look at the rest of the world and see  how far they have traveled in outstripping us on our own court.  That time may come, probably will come when China matures as a basketball culture, but it is not now and for now we showed the world again how the game can be played.  We have not become Milan, Indiana and Bobby Plump, not by a three-point shot we’re not.

The gardening part of life here in Andover picks up its pace as the temperature cools.  I look forward to it.

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