My first exposure to the game of basketball came during the 1989 Denver Nuggets season — what ended up becoming head coach Doug Moe’s swan song. Michael Adams was my favorite player as he was generally the smallest player on the floor and had the funkiest jump-shooting form in the league at the time. Walter Davis, Fat Lever, and Alex English were legendary figures, as I used to marvel at the ball leaving their fingertips and finding its way into the bottom of the cup. The sound of the net and the squeaking of shoes on the hardwood hypnotized me. The game was organic. Rhythmic. Without duplication. And it felt like somewhere I could be accepted.

I continued watching the Nuggets throughout my youth — the ups, the downs, the lows, and the lowest of the lows. I religiously attended local college games at the University of Colorado as I was a ball-boy during lovable loser Joe Harrington’s last season and Ricardo Patton’s first. I saw first-hand the Chauncey Billups revolution. I was in the room when he declared his intentions to play in the NBA following his sophomore season at CU. I attended his senior banquet and had my picture taken with a barely 19 year old future NBA Superstar. I labored through terrible season after terrible season of basketball in both the college and professional ranks along the Front Range. I signed up to become a student manager at Colorado while Ricardo Patton was head coach but had to quit barely two weeks in because I didn’t like the feel of the program. I had intentions of getting into the business of basketball but never that way, under that coach, at that school, at that particular time. Somewhere along the way I lost touch with the game and gave up on my dream because the circumstances weren’t quite right.

A few years ago I realized that circumstances are rarely perfect for anything we choose to do — be it marriage, starting a family, changing jobs, or rediscovering your dreams.

I spent hours trying to make a basket on a ten-foot hoop with a volleyball when I was six years-old. When I finally did, I had such a feeling of accomplishment — the first of very few I would have in my life. Until another kid came up and told me I was a joke for not doing it with a REAL basketball. It’s why I’ve come to appreciate the game so much. It was my only reserve when life sucked, which it indubitably did more often than not. I know how hard it is to become even moderately respectable while honing it as your primary craft. Years later, in a pursuit to defeat the teasing of kids and attempt to make friends for the first time, I once again spent hours upon hours upon hours honing a respectable jump-shot out of the ashes of a two-handed replica of Michael Adams’ famous stroke. I did. Kids stopped teasing. But I never had the self-esteem to play organized ball in high school — perpetually feeling out of my league.

I don’t come from much but plan to make my mark in more ways than one. I try to back up the things I say with careful thought, thorough examination of every side of an issue, and tangible proof. Sometimes I am successful in that pursuit. Other times I am not.

Often contrarian, I’ll be darned if a few detractors stray me from success. I see things in ways most others do not. I have always wanted to go to law school, though, that doesn’t seem like a feasible plan at the moment. I will definitely be pursuing an advanced degree because I want to become smarter than I am today and everyday afterwards.  This is my story. This is my dream. I aim to excel at all I do. That’s Smooth.

Follow me on Twitter: @SmoothsHoops

Have advice? Input? Ideas for future posts? Things you wouldn’t have the balls to say publicly? Hate-mail? Email me: SmoothsHoops@Gmail.com


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