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On the surface, “21” is just a basketball game. A warm up before a recreational game. A feasible alternative when less than four players show up at the park or gym. It is also a preview–a final look at who you could be paired up with or game planning to stop.
But on a deeper level, has the individuality of “21” had a lingering negative effect on its loyal participants especially those ball players who reside in the ‘urban’ part of town?
I think so especially when that game of “21” has to be finished even though more than 10 people are now playing.
Why is this?
Well, humans are naturally selfish and men are highly competitive so their ego gets involved. Now the mindset is for every player to prove the two men guarding him and the others camped near the basket that he can score at will and dribble circles around his opponents.
And for what?
For personal glory, which unfortunately infiltrates the team game and produces a contest of five defenders versus four spectators and one scorer.
Wow, “21” in another form and not the game God allowed Dr. James Naismith to discover. Subtly, this concept has trickled onto a higher level, skipping the college game due to the coaches’ control, but staining the NBA, where many players, who have to fight that selfish spirit on a daily basis, run the show.
As a result, this self-centered mentality continues because the youth step onto the blacktop with the sole intention of emulating their favorite player’s 1-on-1 moves, thinking that is the only way to prove to others they can play basketball.
However, this is the worst way to approach the game despite possibly developing into a match-up nightmare. Not all is bad with “21” and it’s not for everyone, but its negative effects have touched too many–those in need of a pick and those who don’t.
Participating in a game of “21” doesn’t work for me, unless totally necessary, so I actively and mentally retired from it.