Down at the park
With my family out of town I go down to a little park in Los Altos most nights to shoot some hoops and generally shake my limbs around. A couple of vignettes.
- I went down there one night and the place was deserted. I took a shot and it went in. And another, and another. I must have made, like ten or twelve in a row from all over the court. Some people wandered up the path from the park, and: clang clang clang, that was that. But I'm telling you, when no one is around and no one is guarding me, I am deadly.
- A few nights later a 9 year-old kid challenged me to one-on-one. I thought it over - I'd seen him practicing and knew he had a deadly jumper in the 6-12 foot range, and was a legit ballhandler. I sized up him and said ok. I admit I played somewhat passively on defense, and made a botch of even that, as he called me on it. "Come on," he said, "guard me for real." I slapped the ball out of his hands. He looked at me coldly and said "don't do that again."
- This morning a man was out with his young son and a friend shooting on the 9 foot basket. His son - we'll call him Little Johnny - insisted on taking shots from as far away as possible. His father tried to con him a little - "you know, you should shoot from as close as you can - that's what the pros do." And you know damn well Johnny was having none of it, because in his mind there is only: