Losing your love: Basketball, players and fans alike miss you

A gamer plays the video game 'NBA 2K12O' developed by Visual Concepts and published by 2K Sports on a Sony PlayStation game console PS4 Pro during the 'Paris Games Week' (Photo by Chesnot/Getty Images)
A gamer plays the video game 'NBA 2K12O' developed by Visual Concepts and published by 2K Sports on a Sony PlayStation game console PS4 Pro during the 'Paris Games Week' (Photo by Chesnot/Getty Images) /

Losing basketball goes well beyond just a change in society – it ranges from fans to players from all ages to coaches.

Losing something you love causes acrimony, and can sometimes leave you in cognitive misery.

Imagine a 14-year-old boy waking up out of bed around 7:00 a.m. As he awakes, he finds out someone stole his XBOX One. He now searches his room vigorously for the popular game console, and the only thought in his mind, “Who stole my XBOX?”

That 14-year-old now feels “lost” without his XBOX One. It’s infuriating for a young man at age 14 to not have a video game system. He can’t play against his friends online. The instant gratification he felt when defeating his friends is gone.  He can’t play his favorite games. He misses it.

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The level of missing a video game system can’t even compare to the substantial number of players who currently miss the game of “basketball.”

Missing something you love. Stories we’ve heard repetitively before. But missing the game of basketball is deep. Not just for NBA players, coaches, team managers, front offices, and executives; but ultimately, the world.

Basketball is a culture. It’s a global culture.

Since the initial closing of gyms, locker rooms, and training facilities; there’s been an inevitable feeling of frustration inside the minds of many NBA players, and subsequent basketball players in other international professional leagues. Collegiate and high school players are also experiencing that same feeling of mental frustration without basketball.

In addition to mental frustration, we’re living in unprecedented times. Food shortages, millions of workers laid off, businesses shut down, all due to a  pandemic that’s arguably the most historical event in American history. The ramifications of the pandemic are still being discerned by experts. We’ve practiced social distancing. We’ve done virtually everything mandated by our government. But social distancing also means distancing yourself from the game you love.

NBA players weren’t prepared to distance themselves away from the game. None of the players were prepared. Not even NBA Commissioner Adam Silver. And, with the NBA season still in a hiatus, it’s convoluted to make a precise guess as to when, or if, the season will resume. Or, will we still have a postseason? Those questions have disseminated across basketball minds for several weeks.

Mentally lost without basketball. Mentally absent without basketball.

That’s the narrative for most passionate basketball players. Most players went from shooting 3’s to quarantining. The quarantine experience has affected players adversely from a training perspective. How many players are actually still in legitimate conditioning shape? If any at all?

It’s not just about missing the hardwood. NBA players are compensated for their craft. Basketball is a craft. Just like any other sport or endeavor. It takes years to perfect your craft.

Without basketball, most players are mentally lost. That feeling emanates from the last announcement Adam Silver made regarding the NBA season being suspended because of COVID-19.

Can basketball players and fans remain mentally strong until the basketball world opens its doors again? Hopefully. Being mentally lost and absent from your passion creates morbidity. We don’t need excessive morbidity after the countless number of lives lost due to this pandemic.

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Basketball, the NBA misses you. International players miss you. High school and collegiate players miss you.

We miss 3-pointers, dunks, crossover dribbles, no-look passes, wins, championships, etc.

Basketball! Without you, we’re mentally lost!