SoonerSports.com  The Write Space and Time

 
 The Write Space and Time

 

Spacing and timing. Sonny and Cher. Batman and Robin. Some things just go together. By themselves they work, kind of. But when paired? Look out. That's when the magic happens. Beautiful basketball pivots on offensive spacing and timing. And it seems to me that life swings back and forth on the same two hinges. So every week or so we'll be examining both, or maybe just pondering about one or the other. And who knows what might happen with the right amount of space and enough time...

August 3, 2010: Shopping in July
March 15, 2010: Fight One More Round
Feb. 11, 2010: The Lesson
Jan. 26, 2010: Number 300
Dec. 17, 2009: The 2-For-1
Dec. 14, 2009: Groundhog Day
Nov. 26, 2009: Basketball is Cumulative
Nov. 13, 2009: Hot and Cold
Oct. 26, 2009: The Vision Part
Oct. 16, 2009: The Write Space and Time

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August 3, 2010 -- For 20 days in July, college coaches get to evaluate. It always reminds me of Easter and the dead sprint for the most eggs -- with your fingers crossed that you'll stumble upon the golden one with the cash inside. We all run out, and about, and around desperately searching for our savior, the perfect missing puzzle piece, while the clock ticks mercilessly as we scour.

Recruiting in July is like going shopping for that thing you have to have. It could be the perfect dress, or the shoes to match the perfect dress. It could be the kitchen cabinet knobs or the bed to top all beds. It doesn't really matter what it is you're after. The Holy Grail you're searching for hears you coming and the harder you look, the less likely you are to find whatever it is you're looking for.

What you'll find when on a mission is typically one of two things: either not worth your time to consider or more of what you already have plenty of. For instance, if you have a stable full of guards, every gym you walk in will have a 5-foot-6 spitfire that you can't take your eyes off. And if you have four Bigs, you'll find a fifth who makes you salivate. What you need, you cannot find; and what you already have will present itself to you multifold. That's the Law of the Gym in July.

I love to shop, but not when I'm on a mission. Mission shopping always feels contrived, with a hint of desperation. And desperation fogs the brain. Decisions made in the haze of desperation hang in the back of your closet with the price tags on them. I like shopping because I can, not because I need to. Unfortunately, July is "need to" month for basketball coaches because the NCAA says it is. As a result, the harder I look, the less I love anything I see.

I learned a long time ago, somewhere between knowing who I was and being financially able to do something about it, that I should buy what I loved when I saw it. Don't have anywhere to wear it? Who cares! It's fabulous. Figure it out later. Don't have anywhere to put it? So what! It's perfect. If you don't buy it when you love it, you won't be able to find it when you need it.

Years ago I stumbled across this incredible navy blue pin stripe Armani Suit. The jacket had three-quarter length sleeves and a curved lapel. The pants sat right on my hips with the perfect drape, somewhere between fitted and flared, the width you felt might hold timeless forever. When I put it on and walked around the fitting room, I felt like I could do something pretty important, maybe anything. So I bought it and it just hung out in my closet waiting for its day.

I finally wore Armani in San Antonio in 2002, with a red camisole my college coach ran out and bought for me the day after we beat Duke. It was my armor when we played Connecticut the next day for the National Championship, and though we didn't win, I sure felt like we could. As a matter of fact, we almost did. (Trust me when I say, that mattered.) Point is, had I been on a mission to find the perfect suit, it could not have been found.

It seems like the really great stuff always catches you when you're otherwise engaged.

The secret, I think, lies in silencing your tuning fork of need enough to know what you love when you see it. It might be a pair of black patent pumps or a tweener with a penchant for making plays. Whether or not you need it is irrelevant. If you love a thing, you make it work. Just because you need it, doesn't mean it ever will.

- SC