USA Basketball and International Competition
It hardly seems possible that the summer is almost
over and the leaves are turning and football has returned to the forefront
of sports. But before we spend too much time figuring out if Ohio State
can beat Texas this weekend, I wanted to share some thoughts with you
about our basketball team that won the bronze medal at the World Championships
This team has great potential and unlike many of
the past teams, their attitude was better in that they did not embarrass
us with their actions as well as losing on the floor. This team will
get better if they work at understanding the differences between the
game we call basketball and the way it is played and officiated in
the NBA, and the international game which is clearly more of a team
game and less of a one on one or two on two type of game. It is also
a game where the officials will not grant as much super star leniency
on traveling violations and getting fouls just because of who you are.
The unlimited application of zone defenses and the team
play which the better international teams have developed, make it more
important for the US team to be able to duplicate those same tendencies.
If we brought Greece, Spain, or Argentina into the NBA and asked them
to compete there, they would be mediocre to below average teams with
Germany probably being more competitive as an NBA team. Even though it’s all “basketball” the
games and team structures are significantly different and until the
American players and fans recognize the difference and work on those
deficiencies we will still be just one of the better teams instead
of returning to the position we all wish to be the best team.
What is the lesson to be learned? If we want to have credibility in
any are of influence whether it is athletics or to be able to share the
gospel with others, you first must respect them and understand who they
are before you try to sell them on your ideas. One of the great thrills
I have had in serving the Lord over the past 6 years has been to serve
in several different roles in overseas mission projects.
Whether in the
poorest section of El Salvador or the most obscure
school in Kenya, the people we met were always deserving of our respect
and loving them as human beings first and foremost was essential in sharing
the gospel. You may find that offering yourself in the most humble ways
will beat out the hubris of Wall Street just as the quiet hard working
USA basketball team will make a better impression and have the best chance
for winning gold in 2008.
What do you think about the impression this team
Sent September 4, 2006
Dwight Short if you would like to receive future
Monday Morning Messages.
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