Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Interlude-"The Move"

It is a normal eighth-grade practice at the crackerbox Our Lady of Perpetual Help "gymnasium." The gym is more often used as a parish staging area, or for school pancake breakfasts or for rowdy parish group meetings. And it shows--faded free-throw line, incredibly inconsistent three point-lines and ridiculously-small spacing between three-point lines and halfcourt, baselines and wall.  
In the middle of a heated practice for the varsity boys team, I catch an outlet pass around "halfcourt," where I am met immediately by Tom Bermudez, a friend and the type of friend who you compete against on a daily basis for neighborhood pride.  His ball hawking forces me to catch the pass, transfer it to my left hand, spin (for some reason) off him, and catch the ball in stride with a my right hand, whereupon I continue dribbling towards the basket with an astonished Tom left in my wake.
Years later, when Allen Iverson was at the apex of his fame and ability, he made a Reebok commercial in which he made a similiar move, one that clearly could not be used in a game, and Tom joked that I should get royalty fees.  Tom is and was the type of guy with a childlike enthusiasm such that he couldn't contain his glee after I made "The Move," even if he were the victim of such tricky greatness.  Even today when we see each other, the conversation invariably comes back to "The Move," no matter the occasion or the conversation topic.
The truth?  It was a lucky move, one that was forced by the particular circumstances, one that I do not honestly think could be replicated by me in 100 tries.  
But, man, did I feel like The Ish after that move and whenever it was brought up as evidence of my prodigious Game.  
This was Street Cred.  This was Juice.  This was Respect.
Man, I should have retired right then and there, complete with crocodile tears at a press conference held at the school and replete with Jim Brown comparisons... 

1 comment:

  1. we all live for those glorious moments - to tell the story at backyard BBQs, adding more (exaggerated?) details as every year passes