Tag: nba playoffs

The Kids Are Alright

Even though that they lost, they were all still winners, in the end.

Now, that probably sounds like the ending to some cheesy, cliche sports story. It’s not, though! It’s the beginning to this non-cheesy,  non-cliche sports story. Trust me, it’ll make sense later.

stories about tolerance

 

I don’t know about you, but I worry about what kind of people my children will be, when they’re older. B, in particular can be a handful, to put it mildly.  We try to instil as much as we can, but at the end of the day, it’s on B to accept it or reject it. As such, putting him in the right environments is always a big factor for K and I.  Sports, for example, are perfect, as they expose him to all kinds of life lessons in a structured, fun way.

Luckily, B loves basketball, and he played on a rep team in Hamilton this year. Even more luckily,  the team was comprised of a good group of boys. Sure, skill and talent-wise, they were OK, but everyone got along, and their attitudes were fine.  Off the court, whereas B’s the type who takes goofing around to new levels, I was surprised to see that, when with his team,  he wasn’t any more rambunctious as anyone else (usually).

After an up and down season, the team competed in the provincial championships recently.  The tournament covered a whole weekend, which meant staying out of town in a hotel.  After the first game Friday evening, the team went out to a restaurant for dinner.

While there, some of the boys ended up at the bar area, to watch the Toronto Raptors game on TV, including B. Don’t worry, they weren’t drinking  (they’re 9 years old. C’mon now). Eventually, though, B came running over to K and I, excited. He had worn his warm-up shirt to the restaurant, but now, he just had his jersey on. He told us that he gave away his shirt, to a kid at the bar. Since we had paid for the shirt, as part of his uniform, and B has a track record for silliness, like I mentioned earlier, our immediate reaction was to cut him off, and tell him to go get the shirt back.  He ran back to the bar, and came back to show us that he got it.

I’ll admit to screwing up here, folks. Sometimes, like the Fresh Prince said, parents just don’t understand. After the shirt incident, J went over to snoop on her big bro, and reported back that the boy who the team was hanging with at the bar had a disability (not her words, but I’ll error on the side of vagueness here). Then, we started hearing from B’s teammates that the boy was really excited to be talking to, and chilling with, the team. Then, we heard that B and one of his buddies had given him their shirts, as a token of friendship, and that the boy was super excited about receiving them.  B had come over to explain this, but K and I kiboshed it.

Sigh. Don’t do this.

When B walked by, after we found out about his gesture, we told him that, of course, he could give his shirt to his new friend, if he wanted to.  So he did. He then returned to say that the boy’s mom wanted to know where our games were the next day, as they wanted to come watch. K jotted down the address on a paper, which B delivered. Afterwards, when it was time to go, the mom approached the parents on the team, to say thank you, and compliment the boys.

The next morning, B kept nervously wondering if his new pal would actually show up, with his mom. importance of tolerance in schools As game time neared, I looked around the gym, and didn’t see them, which was disappointing, but understandable. Right before tip-off, though, they walked in! The dude was even rocking B’s warm-up shirt. B broke into a goofy grin, which made me goofily grin, too.  After the game, the team went over to say hi, and give the boy props and stuff, which he was clearly thrilled about.

Needless to say, I was proud that B, unsolicited and unprompted, made a new buddy, not because he was ‘different’, not because it was ‘the right thing to do’, but just…….because.  Maybe that guy will be alright, after all. We could all stand to be more tolerant, accepting and not quick to judge, right?

The only part that sucked was that the team kind of got killed in that game. However…..

Even though that they lost, they were all still winners, in the end.

 

Told ya that it would make sense. Til the next one, later!

 

 

We The North, He The Mouth

north

 

This post goes out to hoopsheads everywhere, and their little hoopsheads!

Now, for as long as I can remember, I’ve been a basketball fan. I  was never much of a player, but I sure could watch a mean game of ball. Anyway, since my kids were little, I’ve been looking forward to the day when I could share my enjoyment of hoops with them. Luckily for me, that day came sooner than anticipated.

B’s six years old, and he’s turned into quite the little baller. If he’s not playing basketball, then he’s talking about it, especially all things NBA related.  While that part has been “like father, like son,” I’ve also realized that his perspective on the game is sometimes not like mine at all.

Because they’re the local team, I’ve watched many Toronto Raptors games with my buddies over the years, either on TV or in person. We have a beer or two, cheer the Raps on, talk some trash, and shoot the breeze about whatever. Good times.

When I watch games with B, though, it’s still good times,  but the discussions are….

Different.

Not bad, of course. Just random. The mind of small kid is a scary place, for real.

Here, let me give you an example. Game Two of the NBA playoffs. Toronto Raptors versus Miami Heat. Myself, B and our stuffed Raptors mascot……

20160505_220151_HDR

settle in to catch the action. The following conversations took place:

⊕ B thinks that I am like Human Google, and if I don’t have an answer, then actual Google knows all. When told that one of the commentators, Alvin Williams, used to play in the NBA, B wanted to know how many buzzer beaters he made.  Not surprisingly, this stat is hard to find. If anyone knows the answer, please let me know.

⊕  During the pre-game introductions:

B – “Daddy? Is that Miami’s coach?! Where’s he from? What colour is he?

I’m at a loss for words, as I’ve never thought about Erik Spoelstra’s heritage before.

Spoelstra_presents_President_Obama_the_team_trophy

I wonder if Spoelstra gets asked about his background as much as Obama does.

⊕ A few months ago,  I made the mistake of telling B that my least favorite NBA player was Joe Johnson (What? He’s a Raptor killer). Every time Johnson got the ball during the game, B cheered wildly, to spite me.

⊕ More human Googling:

B – “Has Norman Powell played against every team?”

Me – “I don’t think so.”

B – “What teams hasn’t he played?”

*At this point, I called an audible. Rather than spending the next several minutes cross-referencing Norman freakin’ Powell’s game log, I recanted my prior answer.*

Me – “Wait! He has played against every team!”

B – “He has? Even Golden State?”

Me – “Yeah!”

I figured that would be it. But B had one more, head-scratching question:

B – “What time did he play Golden State at? What minutes?”

Sigh. Moving on….

⊕ With about a minute and a half left in the first quarter, B started to get excited about possibly seeing his favorite play – a buzzer beater. He started chanting “Buzzer beater!” As the clock counted down, he added a weird, nasaly, Russian accent to his chant. Alas, no buzzer beater was made.

⊕  If you’re like me, you and your friends have probably discussed which players your favorite team should trade for. Fantasy general managing. B and I took a stab at it:

B – “Golden State should trade Steph Curry for Jonas Valančiūnas.”

Me – “That trade would never happen. Golden State would want more for their best player.”

B – “Like Bismack Biyombo?”

Me – “No. They would want a lot more. Like a team’s best player, or a bunch of really good players.”

B – “Oh. They should trade Steph Curry for Kobe Bryant.”

Me – “Why would they want someone who’s retired?”

B – “Curry for Lebron James!”

I couldn’t argue that one.

⊕  Later, the game showed a person in the crowd holding a sign which read  ‘Be Yourself, Lowry.’

B – “Well, who else would he be? He is Kyle’s Lowry!”

⊕ Even though the game was close, he went upstairs to his room, to shoot hoops on his mini net. He eventually wandered back down at halftime. He had two questions – was there a buzzer beater, and who took the last shot that wasn’t a buzzer beater.

⊕   Demarre Carroll dribbled to the basket, and nailed a layup.
Me – “Wow. Carroll usually just hits jump shots. He never drives.”
B –  “Yes he does! He has to drive.”
Me – “What do you mean?”
B – “Well, how does he get to games? He needs to drive a car to them!”
 Once again, I couldn’t argue that.

Read More

Loading...
X