Nash, Griffin and What's Rare in the NBA

Do you know what’s rare in the NBA? Or in most pro, or even top amateur sports for that matter? No, not a 7 footer with great handles. No, not even a white guy Caucasian with hops. What’s truly rare is a self-effacing, humble yet smart and intelligent athlete, but with skills. And when I say that, I mean someone who can play and act like a pro, knows, respects and understands the game yet doesn’t feel the need to slap it in everyone’s face like he’s the biggest thing around (because he’s already a big thing).

How rare is it? It’s about as rare as a hiphop artist not going on about how big a house he has or how many honeys hang around him. It’s about as rare as a reader of this blog who understands what ‘self-effacing’ means. You know, really rare.

Which is why I bring you a pic of disguised Steve Nash playing street hoops in China.

Now here’s a guy who doesn’t need to prove himself, and more importantly, knows he doesn’t need to prove himself, and so therefore allows himself to look the fool not only for our benefit but, I suspect, more for his own enjoyment.

I mean why not? He’s already done this.

So why not more of this?

Or even this, which I wrote about way back when.

Seriously, reminds me of a story a PBA player once told me about another player whose style it was to point out how he’d probably been hitting the gym because he looked great, as a segue to trying to bounce a compliment towards himself in a kind of ‘I hit you please hit me back’ kind of way.

I played and continue to play with a lot of guys like that to this very day. At our post – pickup game round of drinks they’d find every available opportunity to comment on how great they played, primarily starting with a mention of a some play (as if it just ensued and not 2 or 3 hours ago), ie. “Pre, hanep yung play natin kanina, no?!”, in the obvious hope of someone mentioning their own, no doubt, spectacular role in it.

I’m glad I always end up smiling because it makes me look happy about the obvious self – praise that’s about to ensue, when in actuality I’m trying to keep from laughing at how pathetic it is. The right thing to do is, of course, cooperate, ie. “Oo nga, galing mo nga e.”, and watch him grin from ear to ear, muttering a “‘di naman.”. It’s nice to know I suppose, that you’ve made his day in some way, deservedly or not. And the amazing thing is, you might even get a compliment thrown your way as well, making this a true lovefest. At moments like that, I can’t help thinking how this must be what all those ‘the brotherhood’ commercials are all about, but in a kind of Dolphy – Panchito scene where they slap around each other acting like idiots, but verbally.

At any rate, back to my topic. Herewith is a find re Blake Griffin, the NBA’s current #1 draft pick, showing some signs of comic timing and abovementioned humility awareness.

Good stuff. Hope it sticks.

You know this whooole post was just so I could get to post that video, except I ended up talking about my weekly pickup games.

Well then since I’m already talking about myself and all, please someone tell Steve Nash to stop wasting his time with those chumps he’s playing with in those pics, and come to the Philippines to ball with me. That’s right, me. Get ready for some real skills, MVP boy.