Love Letter on Rejections

We all miss basketball.

The sound of the ball as it goes through the hoop. The squeak of the sneakers on the hardwood. The roar of the crowd. Mike Breen’s “Bang!” or Boom Gonzales’ “Gets it to go!”

What’s the best way to cope when you miss something you can’t have at the moment? You write it a love letter.

Photo from the NBA

Dear Blocked Shots,

For the past two months, life in general has been stuck in a routine. It’s pretty much the same deal for all of us, no matter where we are. Either we’re stuck in our homes or neighborhoods with our movements limited or there’s just not much going on outside of our lives to shake things out of its usual course.

Blocked Shots, I just wanted to paint that picture a bit of how the situation is just so you can get a better of picture of why I miss you so much. There are a lot things I miss about basketball, but to be specific, it’s you that I miss most.

For a long time, I guess I kind of took you for granted.

Here’s the thing, most people do not deny that you are cool, Blocked Shots. But when it comes to the exciting parts of basketball, people will first point to the flashy things on offense: the Dunks, the Crossovers, the Three-Pointers. That’s understandable. Those are the things that gets the game moving, puts points on the board. You’re somewhere on the list of exciting events, especially when you’re on display at the most crucial point of completing the biggest comeback in NBA Finals history (co-starring LeBron James), but let’s be honest: You aren’t near the top.

However, I’ve come to appreciate you a lot more in the situation I’m in right now, Blocked Shots. In a world that seems somewhere in the middle of being stuck in a loop and on pause, the refreshing injection of the unexpected bursting out nowhere seems much needed.

Photo from USA Today

Dunks, Clutch Shots, and Crossovers are all fun but, for them, there is always a sense of anticipation as you see it slowly unraveling.

Let’s imagine LeBron has the ball in his hands with a poor defender facing up on him. The defender is already expecting that LeBron might look at the ball, hit a side-step and make a tough three-pointer. When all that happens, it’s fun and exciting to watch… but let’s turn the tables a bit here.

Let’s say LeBron does shake his defender with the side-step. Let’s say he’s already loading up and going through his high-arching release. But let’s say that that poor defender (maybe it’s Patrick Beverley), recovers somehow. He gathers and bursts into the air in a split second. He meets LeBron as he’s rising for the shot. The ball had barely left LeBron’s hands. It didn’t even get into its perfect spin. Now, it’s been knocked off its course towards a different direction.

The imaginary crowd goes wild for you, Blocked Shots.

Photo from AP

All of this happens in a snap of a finger with barely any anticipation for the rejection. Even if it’s a good defensive player, the odds are always stacked on the defender to come up with a block. So every time I see you on the court, it’s usually unexpected but always a pleasant surprise.

During these times, man, you are what I need, Blocked Shots. Sure, I need basketball back, in general. But that spike of excitement in a split second that gets us all off the course of the routine flow of the game – yeah, that’s what the doctor should be prescribing.

With everything that is going on now, I just really need you back in my life to spike the routine away.


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