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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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