I learned at an early age that I did not have a future as a basketball player; I was always the smallest person in my class, and I have not grown over 5’6” since. However, even though I’m vertically challenged, I have always had a love for the game of basketball. The fast-paced razzle dazzle of the game has kept me glued to the NBA for the past 16 years.
Basketball is a game of runs, which means sometimes the ball is going through the hoop at such an ease that it’s like it is three-feet wide (a regulation NBA hoop is just over nine inches wide). It also means sometimes you cannot pay the ball a billion dollars to get in the bucket. But, it is in those moments, when you’re 0-16 from the field, and something great happens.
During the 2016 NBA finals, the Cleveland Cavaliers found themselves down three games to one against the 73-9 Golden State Warriors — the team with the best regular-season record in league history, and defending champions. In game five of that series, LeBron James and Kyrie Irving combined to score 82 points, the most ever scored by a duo in the finals, the Cavaliers won that game 112-97 and set the tone for one of the most dramatic comebacks in sports history.
In game seven, the Cavaliers completed their comeback with an insane block by James and a clutch three-point bucket by Irving on the other end.
Comebacks are not only special when teams pull off magical runs, but player comebacks are also exciting, especially when a player is coming back from injury.
The NBA’s youngest MVP ever is Derrick Rose, who won the award back in 2011 at the age of 22. Rose averaged 25 points, seven assists and four rebounds a game that year, and lead the Chicago Bulls to the No. 1 seed in the East. Unfortunately for Rose, his career after his MVP season would be one plagued with injuries and “what could have beens.”
Rose tore his ACL during the 2012 playoffs, and the following season Rose tore his meniscus, and then two years later he tore the same meniscus. The rest of Rose’s career in Chicago was filled with minor injuries and mental fatigue. He was traded to the New York Knicks to begin the 2016 season. Rose spent a season with the Knicks, then signed for the veterans minimum with the Cleveland Cavilers in 2017 and was traded and cut midway through the season. Eventually, Rose signed with his old head coach Tom Thibodeau in Minnesota and has settled into a nice bench role for the Timberwolves this season.
On Oct. 31, in a game against the Utah Jazz, Rose started for injured Jeff Teague and scored his career high in points (50) and looked like vintage MVP D-Rose. What made Rose’s performance so special is that no one expected it; it came on a random Wednesday early in the season. But that is what is great about the game of basketball; the seasons are long, the games are fast, and on any given night something amazing can happen.
Two years ago, during winter break the Lady Bisons basketball team made history inside the Rhodes-Reaves Field House. The team completed the largest comeback in school history, erasing a 26-point deficit against Southeastern Oklahoma State University. Harding went on a 29-4 run in the fourth quarter and won the game 72-69. Something historic happened on a random Saturday night when the majority of the student body was away at home.
As the 2018-19 Harding basketball season begins, students should take every chance they get to watch the Bisons and Lady Bisons play; you never know when something amazing might happen.