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It's Basketball Time

by Jason Miller

As the basketball season approaches, we have to take a moment to thank those who made this game and who made this game what it is now..........................................................................................

Thank you.

Now, let me give you a little background on my basketball life.  I played for my high school team, Juniors, then went to a D II school and played on a partial scholarship for one and a half years, had some medical issues, then went to UW-Whitewater and in 1999 won a collegiate championship and that same year was on the team that went to the final four in D I.  From there I went back home to Green Bay, WI and played for my rec team, Green Bay Horizons and helped bring them to their best finish in YEARS, with a third place finish and then retired from the game after 15 years.  I have all tournament honors, all conference honors, along with first, second and third place trophy's.  My best scoring efforts were: 55, 40, 35 and 20 something, which I did multiple times.  My average is around 15 points per game and if I had to guess my shooting percentage is around 50 percent from three point range and about 70 percent from the rest of the field.  I never once wore a protective anything, only an elbow brace because my right elbow started to wear down.  Oh by the way, this is all from a wheelchair.  There have been and are many guys who are WAY better and some who just play like I did.  There are guys I know who would NEVER wear anything because they thought it made them look weak.  You may be asking yourself, why is this guy telling us this?  Great question and I have a great answer.  

Karl Malone is the answer.  He is featured in an article from Yahoo sports, talking about how guys today wear too much "body armor".  Here is some of what Karl had to say:

"I'm not concerned with your elbow pads, your knee pads, all of your garb and your full body armor. What do you need all that for? Our soldiers need that in Iraq and they're doing a hell of a job for us. Take all that off! We don't need that. What I need you to do is show up and be ready to play. That's it.

"I had one of my ‘bigs' today and he had body armor from his thigh to his neck. I ask him what he was doing and he said he was protecting himself. I said 'Who you protecting yourself [from]?' There's no sniper in this building! Man up! If you're hurt, see the trainer and play the game.

"When I played, if you came out there with a sleeve on your elbow, I won't say 'I'm going to attack it,' but you're a wounded animal and I've got to take a stab at it. I like where we're at, but let's get rid of all that and play the game, encourage your teammates," Malone said.(thank you yahoo sports Kelly Dwyer)

I will tell you a quick story from when I was playing in college.  My team was playing the Minnesota Rolling Timberwolves and I got stopped going pretty fast by another chair.  I fell out and broke my leg.  I knew right away so as soon as my team got the ball back I called a timeout.  Went to the sideline, told the trainer, put three strips of tape on my leg.  One on the top towards my knee, the middle and then by my ankle.  Went back out there played the rest of the game, went back to school and saw a doctor and dealt with it.  Never letting anyone know till after the fact.  I am not telling you this story because I want to have your admiration or sympathy.  I am only adding to what Karl Malone, Hall of Famer, Karl Malone said.  The guys today in the NBA are all about perception, only problem is, they are being perceived as WHIMPS.  I love the game but I really want my Larry's, Magic's and Jordan's back.