Oh my goodness, did you see what Ginobili just did?
Game One of the NBA Playoff series between the San Antonio Spurs and the Golden State Warriors. 3.4 seconds left in double overtime and the Spurs were down by a single point. A beautiful screen, a long, risky cross-court pass, and all 72,000 fans held their breath as he caught the ball and lined up the three-pointer. His shot swishes through the net, and the stadium erupts, having witnessed one of the greatest battles on the grand stage of the Playoffs.
These are the moments where one would normally call a friend, scream into the phone with a “DID YOU JUST SEE THAT?!?!”. These are the moments you rub the sweet sweet smell of victory in a colleague's West-Coast face.
But I don't get to do that here in Singapore: we are footballing people. My colleagues who spent years receiving their education in the Bay Area are entirely oblivious to the monumental disappointment that had just been dropped on the entire city the night before, so there's no reference point for a quick jab.
So I keep my basketball enthusiasm to myself. Singapore doesn't have the basketball culture I crave and love. The sports bars are all about the English Premier League, and even the ESPN we receive has gone through the localized treatment.
There is one place that is basketball crazy.
Helmed by my very own 5-year old Head of Basketball Operations, my home is an endless fountain of basketball goodness. NBA Highlights are the only things he'll watch on television (via AppleTV), after which he performs all the basketball moves he just watched in my own living room. Reverse layups, windmill dunks, skyhooks...this boy does them all on the four-foot tall Fisher-Price hoop we got for him two Christmases ago.
Most recently he has been asking about players from the 80's and 90's like Charles Barkley and Michael Jordan, and I know it sounds silly, but it is so nice to share these things with him.
This is how he dresses: two watches, one on each hand, because Dwight Howard wears two arm sleeves, and a snap-on wrist band on his right knee as a knee guard. He goes to bed like that. He even spent the better part of a morning with the snap-on wristband on the bottom of his chin in an attempt to be more like James Harden.
In my world, where NBA basketball fans are few and far between, I hug him close, smell his hair, smile and whisper, “you get me”.
Life is good.