Tuesday, May 02, 2006

I'm Glad I Don't Coach Jermaine and Stephen

On Saturday, I was reminded why I like college basketball. I went to my first ever NBA playoff game. The Indiana Pacers had stolen home court advantage from the higher-seeded New Jersey Nets. They were up 2-1 playing game four on their own floor. All they had to do was win Saturday's game on their own floor, to go up 3-1 in the series.

Two of their stars evidently forgot to bring their effort. Nobody doubts that Jermaine O'Neal is one of the best players in the NBA. He is their leading scorer, has been an All Star four times. He had a great game 3, scoring 37 points and shocking the Nets. On Saturday, however, when I was in the gym, he appeared to give about a 30-35% effort. His partner in crime, Stephen Jackson, though not as gifted a player exhibited attitudinal problems that would drive me nuts as a coach. Whenever a call didn't go just the way O'Neal or Jackson wanted, they spent time crying to the ref. While they were crying to the ref, the other team frequently scored.

If I were the coach, I would have said, "Jermaine & Stephen, either you're going to give me 100% effort, or you're going to the end of the bench." The New Jersey Nets outplayed the Pacers on Saturday. Game 5 is tonight from New Jersey. I don't know if I'll tune in.

My parents always told me that "if something was worth doing, it was worth doing well". Thanks, Mom and Dad. Giving 100% is a spiritual discipline. Seeing these professional ball players mail in their effort was distasteful. Giving 100% was not only taught, but was sung about. Below are words of a hymn I learned to love when I was a kid. I think they are still timely!

Give of your best to the Master;
Give of the strength of your youth.
Throw your soul’s fresh, glowing ardor
Into the battle for truth.
Jesus has set the example,
Dauntless was He, young and brave.
Give Him your loyal devotion;
Give Him the best that you have.


Give of your best to the Master;
Give of the strength of your youth.
Clad in salvation’s full armor,
Join in the battle for truth.

Words: Howard B. Grose

Music: Charlotte A. Barnard

I want to thank my nephew, Richard McGill, for providing the ticket for me to go to the game. The seat was great. I highlighted the face value of the ticket, but blacked out the name of Richard's friend, who purchased the ticket package. Richard didn't go to the game himself, so that he could be at his daughters' softball game (he helps coach them as well). That's 100% giving for your kids. His Dad and I were the beneficiaries.

Hope you all have a nice day!



Dave Smith said...

Oh to live the life of a college professor ... jetting in and out of towns, getting playoff tickets "comp-ed" ... now that's the good life. Me? Like most other poor schlubs, I am forced to watch the game on television. Oh, to be a player ...

Kim Fish said...

so you've talked about greek, basketball...but so far nothing about your wonderful daughter and the fact that it was her birthday this last weekend!! i'm not understanding!! first you leave town and then you don't mention her!! i'll have to speak with her and see if she's okay with this!!

David G. Fish said...

λᾶθος μοῦ

Charissa said...

No mention of your other daughter either and her debut into the world of blogging! I see how you are! :-)

Gregory Fish said...

Oh, I just realized that these comments (which I hadn't seen b4) were the source of the MY BAD post. I was wondering where the word shlub came from too.