Crying in basketball allowed

Tom  Hanks’ iconic ine from the 1992  movie A LEAGUE OF THEIR OWN “Nobody cries in baseball,” has, unofficially, been a rule in professional sports nobody — hardly — mutters. Because they’re professional athletes: they are paid to play, to play, and to entertain. Loud booming music and a light show which — these days — are part and parcel of a professional sporting event. But, somewhere between the thundering beat of a sound system’s base and the colourful laser show, perhaps we forgot one fundamental thing.

We are all people. With hearts. With feelings. And, tears  … in the most unlikely of situations.

The name Bob Myers was one I had never heard until Monday night. Now, I’ll never forget the name, and, more profoundly, the man.

On a night when the Golden State Warriors had every reason to celebrate their one-point Game 5 victory over the Toronto Raptors to stay alive in the NBA Finals, Mr. Myers, Golden State’s president of basketball operations, choked back tears. Visibly upset, he faced a room full of reporters. Nobody, he said, should be blamed.  Then, came the words that riveted everyone: “…“but I understand this world, and if you have to, you can blame me.”  Because, Mr. Myers said it was him. He decided to parachute all-star Kevin Durant  into the line-up after missing more than a month’s action because of an injury. In the second quarter, Durant fell without contact and suffered a season-ending injury.   

The anguish Mr. Myers publicly showed was profound. He was, absolutely, broken. His voice  crackled when he described Durant as a player, as a competitor, as a man and as a friend. Mr. Myer owned his decision — one that took a basketball star out of the game he loves. Mr. Myer’s emotions reminded us winning, really, isn’t important: keeping healthy and safe is.

Bob Myers cried at a professional basketball game. And, we did, too.

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About the Author
Follower of Christ, husband, father, grandfather, Edmonton Sun columnist, Oiler Entertainment Group writer, co-author of Disabled? Hell No! I’m a Sit-Down Comic, speaker, comedian, former Edmonton Journal columnist, member of the Premier’s Council on the Status of Persons with Disabilities and closet Beverly Hillbillies mega fan and (very small) closet disco singer.

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