"We’d play one-on-one, and he always beat me. He was really good, but he also played tough. Sometimes he’d hold me with one hand while he shot with the other. He poked me in the ribs and pushed me and grabbed me all over the court. I’d get mad, but he’d say, “No, that’s not a foul!”—which only made me more frustrated, and pushed me to play harder, despite everything he was doing to harass me.
But that was the point. Dad was teaching me that I wouldn’t always get the calls, that I had to play above the contact. He showed me different shots, like the two-handed set shot, which wasn’t used anymore, and a running hook shot, which he had pretty well mastered. But above all he taught me how to be aggressive on the courts: how to drive to the basket and take the charge; how to put up a shot as I was being hit. If they called the foul, great. And if they didn’t, no problem.
He taught me to win against the odds, and never to quit. It was years before I was finally able to beat him one-on-one. But when I did, I knew I had really earned it."
- Earvin "Magic" Johnson, Author of My Life
Do you remember playing one-on-one with your dad? I remember the pride I had when I finally beat him but soon after he hurt his knee. We rarely got to play after that, we just shot baskets. I still enjoyed it because we got to talk about basketball and life. Isn’t the driveway a good reflection of life? How our parents taught us important lessons and we usually didn’t realize it at the time. Then those lessons make there way into our lives outside of basketball. Magic’s dad showed him how to play through the contact and I’m sure he carried that through his life, especially when he had to retire from basketball because he contracted the HIV virus. What lessons did you learn in the driveway that you’ve carried through your life?