c039986-r1-18-19LOWER LYNN SHUFFLE

Taken with a Ricoh AF-5, Jan. 2017

Basketball is a great way to map small improvements. In the summer I play here, at Grey Lynn Park. A good revolving cast, some back-and-forth, always half-court, twos-and-ones. An easy way to make friends is set screens, roll hard, get some touch for that little Stone Cold Steve Adams push-shot from about four feet out. I don’t often feel at home around Auckland, but this is one spot I’ll make camp at.

Basketball, as well as being a pleasant yardstick for self-actualization, sports a beautiful language that makes it a pleasure to play. The pick and roll — the genesis of all action on the floor. Switching, hedging, showing on defense. A seamlessly executed defensive stop features a litany of shouts, scrambles, a final “get that!” as the rebound is secured. Then the sportsmanship. Every game is a good game. Every missed shot is either unlucky or a good look, even if you were falling away baseline on a no-hoper. “Shoot your shot, bro.” There is a great equalizing force at play at Grey Lynn Park.

Obviously, we still play without the theology. The world turns just fine without my opinions. It just feels good to be here, and I’ve been ready. Shoot for teams, shoot to start. I’ll be up at four.