For The Love Of Her

teen girlI’m going to be brutally honest. I only got into basketball when I was younger due to a girl I had a crush on. I was fascinated as an 8 year old boy, watching her move and break defenders down. She was 13 at the time. Call it pre pubescant hormones but it was amazing watching this young lady. The sad part is, I dont even remember her name. She was the one who gave me confidence to play the game. I would see her in the summers at the North Beach Playground here in the city. She would be on the court with grown men, Balling Out. I would rebound her shots for her hours on end. She told me that I’m great at finding the loose balls and looking for my teammates. I couldn’t shoot however. I shot like Josh Childress. Which sounds fine for an 8 year old kid, right? But when you play with hood kids and project kids, you constantly get teased. I wasn’t the best athlete growing up. I hated basketball at that time because I couldn’t play. I loved football and baseball more when I was younger. That young lady told me something very important during one our shoot around. She said “listen boy, you will play better when girls are around because we are prettier, smarter, and better than boys.” Now that may sound innocent and cute but that young lady taught me something that day: Women have tremendous power over us men. They motivate us, encourage us, make us work harder and teach us lessons. It may sound pompous or schvunistic but just think about it. Women are better teachers naturally than men. Because of our primitive interactions as humans I find this opinion of mine true. Think about it. You ever been in the gym working out, and a lady starts to work out next to you. You automatically start showing off or trying to impress her. There’s nothing wrong with it. Animals do it all the time. Whether it’s dancing, singing, urinating on things, scratching on tree branches etc. Now I know what you’re thinking. That’s all based off of chemistry, affection, attraction, and maybe lust. True, but let’s take that away. Women are more naturally fundamentally sound than men. In basketball men rely on their athleticism, their power, their height, and their speed. But what happens when a man loses those and doesn’t have a skill? He won’t be in the league for long. He would get immediatley  “Knocked tha fuck out.”

Laila_Ali

This isn’t one of those lets pay homage to women and never mention them again type of deals. This isn’t a flavor of the month and move on type of deal. It’s just one man expressing his love and respect for women sports. Whether its Women’s volleyball, gymnastics, swimming, softball or hoops, I’ve always respected the athlete. I also (aint gonna lie) love seeing athletic toned and curvy bodies, of the opposite sex move and sweat. Say what you want but women do the same thing. Like in football when the offensive line bends down. A lot of women are looking at their butts. Hahahahhahahahah its true. Its true. So this paragraph is to kinda preface you, as the reader on how I got into sports. WOMEN. With of course respectful boundaries it still doesn’t hurt to be surrounded by something you’re naturally attractive too and to be motivated to get better. Also, I’m the type of dude who support equal pay for women in the workplace and I’m not the type of guy who has a problem with a woman leader. Women who are strong get labeled as being a “BITCH” or “FORMIDABLE” never strong, or stern but fair. I’m all for a woman leading me, but understand that when danger comes, I am the Man. I have a primitive nature to protect those who are the weaker “STRENGTH” than me. I don’t care if I dated Ronda Rousey, If some shit goes down at a bar, I gotta make sure that you get out safely. That’s the priority. This is where it starts however. One of the reasons why a lot of boys don’t watch or respect women’s sports (so to say) is because they’re not taught how to respect women in general. Understanding that more that my daughter is now 11 years old, if I don’t teach her how to respect herself, she wont command any from boys. I say that to say this:  Lets give our women athletes the respect the deserve. When you play pick up ball against a women, you treat them like everyone else. No special treatment. Go hard against them. Compete hard, show respect, interact.

 Azzi

Now let’s talk, really talk about women basketball. The WNBA just started their 20th season. Experts did not give them 5 years. Because the ABL folded in 1998 due to bankruptcy, a lot of men hated the WNBA. Saying things like it was phony, that the women were ugly etc. I remember when USF would have open gym in the late 90s and Jennifer Azzi was there. Jennifer Azzi played for the San Jose Lasers at the time. She is now the current coach for the USF Women’s Basketball. It was a wake up call for a lot of the dudes playing because naturally we under-estimate women in sports. Our bravado clouds our judgement on things.  We forget while we have the physical prowess and ability to impose our will, women will not back down and have been playing against men their whole life. We forget about the fundamentals that women display. The array of moves. The foot work. The boxing out. Anyways Ms. Azzi was crossing cats up, making good plays, hitting 3’s. I was lucky enough to guard her on a few possessions she crossed me up too. I wasn’t ashamed because it happens but the guys let me have it. “Oh a girl crossed you up.” Yea well that girl had just won a gold medal in the 96 Olympics in the ATL. And honestly how many people can say that?  Call it an honor honestly.

Ella.png

Now fast forward to the 2016 WNBA season. Ask the common sports fan who their team is. Majority of people don’t watch Women’s hoops. I’ve heard all kind of excuses. It’s boring, the women are ugly, it’s too slow-paced, and girls suck. Now truthfully a lot of this feedback comes from women. Not all but some. Of course you got your typical alpha males, the do as I say man, but It’s surprising that most brothas my age hates the WNBA. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve never been to a WNBA game nor do I have their schedule, but I do watch when it’s on. I do honestly have a hard time watching sometimes because  when I watch women’s basketball today I tend to drift off. And it’s not because I don’t respect the game. It’s not that I don’t like women’s basketball. It’s honestly the frigging announcers. I love Doris Burke but her voice is so annoying. I wish they have a Marv Albert for women’s hoops. When I was younger I would want to see more athleticism. I would only watch the Lisa Leslie’s,  the Tina Thompsons’ the Michelle Snow’s, etc. Just the main ladies. In my older age I started to watch more of it to study the game from some of our greatest teachers. That’s right women. Understand that if it wasn’t for a woman, I wouldn’t have fell in love with this game. All because of a pretty older girl took the time to show this awkward, gangly, rebel how to ball, but not only that show him a lesson in life. Wherever she is Thank You

Serena

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7 comments

  1. I love this post Tareau. You hit it hard in all the right places. Very lovely homage.

    My brother played football for the Carolina Gamecocks; he was on the first SC team that ever went to a bowl. I said that to say this, he is still affiliated with SC and he said that when Dawn Staley, US women’s basketball coach walks in the room there is no question that she is THE BOSS!
    I can dig that!
    Oh by the way, you’re right, women love looking at athletes!
    I don’t give a damn bout most sports but I knew Rick Fox in college cause he was so good looking back then. I’m aging myself. Oh yeah, and this one football player, I think his name is first name is Larry. Dude shole is fine!
    LOL!!
    You know I had to have some fun with you.

    Liked by 1 person

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