In basketball everyone is looking up, reaching up, carrying aloft, and sending a ball cleanly through a circle. Basketball elevates our characteristically upright stature. It’s a game that demands a heightening in the grace and heroism of the human form. It’s play that takes flight – that takes place largely in the air. The ball is never still or grounded for long, downed no longer than the time it takes to rebound from a dribble.Basketball is complexity springing from simplicity. A rectangle of air – that’s the simplicity of the space in which it’s played. Put a ball through a net – that’s the simplicity of the intent.
Yet this simple purpose in this simple context generates a whirlwind of complex activities: feint and counter-feint, the explosive power of legs and the delicate calculations of fingertips; the desperate energy and sweep of an arm reaching to keep a ball inbounds and in play, and the balanced precision of the human body firing from three-point land.
Like life, basketball is simple in its foundation and purpose, yet clever and complex in its execution because it has to be