In basketball we often utilize a "record" to quantify and qualify a team’s success. I believe this form of ranking is needed for the sake of competition and appease our rational minds. Yet it offers a only small piece of information that comprises the culmination of moments in a basketball season. We have arrived at the half way point of the season, as the Brampton A's our record indicates that we are 15-6 and have had a successful season by all accounts. We have had numerous comeback wins, a few convincing blowouts, and several down the stretch victories that have us convinced we can win every time we step on the court. What more interesting to me is how the identity of our team has developed over this period of time.
We came into this season with a unique philosophy, one that is seemingly contradictory in the highly competitive world of sports. While other teams emphasized the importance of winning, we focused on playing together and having fun. In a game currently dominated by the pick and roll offensive we chose to run infinity dedicated to getting everyone involved and in tune. We committed to playing for one another and the development of our identity. We chose to see basketball as it is, a game invented to be enjoyed by the players and fans, and it made all the difference.
However somewhere along the way there was a shift. It started when we began to win. With the wins came a perceived external pressure to win more. Games became less about playing and having fun, and more about setting ourselves up with a suitable record heading into playoffs. Each loss was met with concern of where we stood in relation to other teams, and doubt of whether or not we were on the right path. We had begun to gravitate away from our identity and in doing so lost the passion that had made us unique and successful.
It can be easy to become caught up in winning and losing, as most of the world is. Riding the highs of a win and the lows of a loss as if it defined who we are as men. When attention is centered on the finite victory of a single game one can lose sight of the greater picture which is the development of each individual and the entire team. To me the greatest victory is evolution, transcending the limitations of what has been done by elevating ourselves and the game we play to a higher state. The higher state being one of pure Joy. When we are playing in Joy, we are unstoppable. We have seen what it looks like, the seamless flow of infinity, extra passes, stifling team defense all executed with an expression of authentic passion and joy that unites our team and dismantles opponents. It would be easy for us to succumb to external pressures and move away from what we do. But that is not who we are. We are too blessed, too talented, and too determined to be like everyone else. We are the Brampton A's.