For the most part I had a really good childhood. I was a dreamer. I hoped for big things. Not like the biggest toy, but I hoped to do big things in my life.
Things came easy back then. I didn’t have a care in the world. All I needed were three simple things to make me happy: SPORTS, SPORTS, and MORE SPORTS.
When I was younger, I watched ESPN Basketball Classics almost religiously. I love all sports, but basketball was my favorite. Watching ESPN Classics was so inspiring, because the most-played episodes were featuring the Magic Johnson vs. Larry Bird rivalry. Arguably the best athlete rivalry ever.
I idolized Larry “the Legend.” Sometimes calling him “the Great White Hope,” or, my favorite nickname, “the Basketball Jesus.”
Yes, he was white. I could relate. He had absolutely no extraordinary physical ability. I could definitely relate.
He was the only player in NBA history to ever exhibit a mustache-mullet combo. I couldn’t relate, since I couldn’t grow facial hair yet, but there was something about him that made him special. I don’t know, maybe it was the heroic shot he made at the end of every game.
Watching him play, and playing basketball by myself, I dreamed. I dreamed playing a whole game in my head. I would pretend that I was No. 33 with only three seconds on the shot clock, shooting the last shot before the buzzer.
"Three...two...one...the shot is up...and it’s good!!! Bird wins the game!!!"
I still do that to this day, but I should dream those dreams more often.