Ever since you were a little kid you have known about the playground. You know that recess time fills up your nostrils full of fresh grass, wet pavement, and gravel that only reminds you of opportunity awaiting you in your own curious state of youth. The playground is the one place you know of that provides the serenity, peace, and safe haven that allows our youth to develop by role playing and frolicking to their hearts desire.
There is also another sense of sound in the playground that can only be matched by the competitive spirit or just the simple game of horse. The sound of a bouncing rubber object in the distance, the clanging or crashing of the iron or metal, the swoosh of the nylon or clink of the chains, and the constant pitter patter of sneakers scrapping along the pavement. This playground is for finesse, fickle, and fortitude. Only the best ballers will survive. This version of the playground requires determination, max effort, and a place where legend is born. This is basketball at its best.
There are the stragglers, the lolly gagers, and the old men with perfect fundamentals, but this sanctuary is a place for the diverse, the accepting, and the best memories. On rainy days there have been fadeaway's that have won ballgames right before dinner was called, catch and shoot corner daggers on scorching afternoons, and soft rim attacking layups with an "Oh Baby" attached for good measure. Not everyone here goes pro, but some think they can. Some do have facets that pro's might wish they had, but this place isn't built for that. The playground is a place to stand your ground, a place to show that you have what it takes to compete and the best part is, it never fades.
This is the place where equality exists, where it thrives, where real life takes a backseat. No color, no money, no fame, and no name is ever guaranteed a warm welcome. Real game speaks here, while real talk echo's. The passion and fairness of the game exists while the real referees sit on the sidelines. Nobody calls fouls on a real blacktop. Go to the hole, get close-lined by Big Mike in the paint, get up, run back down court, play defense. Dap it up during a dead ball and move on. The way the game was meant to be played; hard, physical, aggressive, but with mutual respect understanding that the ball was the target.
The playground can be unforgiving, but at the end of the day, only you can make the decisions. The sanctuary is laid out, the stones are aligned, and the ball is in your court. Whether its life or a game, make the best of your opportunities and always give your very best. While the children play and their sounds billow in the blustery winds, you feel the rock in your hands, the pavement between your leather, and 9 guys around you, waiting for you to make a decision.
The playground doesn't wait.