by David Brox, firstname.lastname@example.org
I participated in a good discussion yesterday with a couple of my high school classmates. Conversation spawned from the following tweet.
Instead of people whining and complaining about Miege’s dominance, just beat them! That’s the mindset I come from! #sorrynotsorry
— Peyton Leslie (@SHOtimehoops) November 19, 2016
It makes simple enough sense to me on the surface. Not everyone is going to win and accepting a loss and fighting like hell to get back and try again is sound logic to me. It reminds me of Michael Jordan fighting tooth and nail to defeat the Detroit Pistons for years to get to the top. Every off season working harder than the last until he finally got over the hump and dominated for years.
This is however a new age and mentality of our youth both in life and in athletics. Michael Jordan will forever in my mind be one of the most competitive players and athletes I ever watched play any sport. What would he do now? Would Michael Jordan be thought of like he is today if the Detroit Pistons had picked up Magic Johnson or Patrick Ewing? When I say new age this is the equivalent of what happens today not just in the pros but in high school.
Michael Jordan’s dominance may have been the turning point to this new partnership attempts at winning a ring. Clyde Drexler leaving Portland to go to Houston and win a ring. Scottie Pippen and Charles Barkley joining forces to try and win a ring. Karl Malone and Gary Payton joining the Lakers to win a championship. The “if you can’t beat them join them” era of sports began.
This was typically done in pairs but in 2007 when Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen joined the Boston Celtics and Paul Pierce to win an NBA title something happened. This is point in history where I think this tweet starts to dwindle in regards to “just beating them”. The whole game changed at this moment in history and renders most arguments about what happened before this time moot. Lebron James spent two more seasons in Cleveland and I have zero question he worked his tail off to get better but the world had evolved around him and “The Decision” happened. Fast forward to 2016 where we have the last two league MVP’s on the same squad.
Now kids are taking the attitude of congregating to specific schools where they can get high level coaching and success. Is it wrong? No, but it flies in the face of loyalty, pride and self made hard work that the quote from Peyton is inspired from. Kids living in one city but attending school in another. A new age high school free agency of sorts as kids from one city school transfer to another with hope of athletic success.
With new rules comes new mentality and discussion about an even playing field and this is where I will pivot to real life. Hard work is great but I am teaching my kids to work smarter. Take a situation where you are in a dead end job and working hard trying to advance and you keep getting passed over. Maybe it is that your boss doesn’t like you or discrimination of some sort. In today’s world you expand your horizons and look for an even playing field. Just holding on and continue beating your head against the wall is a waste of our most precious gift of time. Work hard but always look for a means to prosper. Play the game but play the game hard.
The discussion then took a very interesting pivot.
@OdoggBrox @SHOtimehoops Brox if miege came recruiting one of ur kids would u send them knowing the benefits
— Youngs Enterprise (@byoung01) November 19, 2016
Private school has been a topic in my house for a few years. I have heard some incredible benefits academically but the question at hand is would I let athletics dictate the decision of where to send my kids to school. Assuming I am still in a position to pay for it then without question I would allow my kids to go private school for athletic purposes. That decision is made a lot easier because I have zero loyalty to Olathe and its school district. I just live here.
I will close with this. I do not care in the slightest about any private school. This is a new age of people and mentality. My point is that the classification system has failed to evolve to account for this new way of thinking. It is not about quantity for athletics now in high school sports rather quality of athlete that are congregating at single schools and not just private ones.
Thanks to Brian and Peyton for the discussion!
Comments are welcome below.