I can’t imagine how it feels.
I just can’t.
My basketball playing days sadly ended at the conclusion of my ninth grade year of rec ball, but that final game wasn’t necessarily one of the lowest moments of my life. I hope.
So when Chris Chiozza sprinted down the court with four seconds left and hit a 3-point floater that Tony Parker could only dream of to crush the heart of the entire state of Wisconsin, I couldn’t relate.
What do you think about when the ball is in the air?
What does your body feel like watching that ball go through the net?
If you’re on the winning team, it’s probably an electricity that you feel like your palpable body can’t contain.
But if you’re losing, you probably want to shrink smaller than anything in the world… curl up into a ball until the end of time.
If you’re a senior, how do you cope with knowing that was it? Your whole career, done. Four years reaching their completion.
Once again, I’ll never know. Being a fan is one thing. I know from experience (what’s up UNC fans) that there’s an empty feeling after that, but I don’t pretend to know what it’s like to be on the court.
When you reach the locker room, how do you react? Do you throw a tantrum, or sit and sulk in what I can only imagine is a feeling of melancholy?
The key is that I don’t know, and none of us do. The wildest of endings provide the wildest or reactions and I refuse to believe I’ll ever experience that in that way.
And that’s why sports are such a wonderful storytelling tool. We watch a perfect, undetermined narrative taking place in front of our eyes, and then spend hours afterwards thinking about it and how we would have done it in those shoes.
I’ll say this: I’ve thought more about what it must have been on that court last night than I have about any film I’ve seen so far this year. I think that says something.