When I was in the 12th grade, I chose to go to an Elton John/Billy Joel concert instead of playing in a school basketball game. For an entire day, this was a pretty big controversy in my high school’s basketball community. My coach, teammates, and, weirdly, guys from the men’s team came up to me, upset or perplexed about my decision. The whole situation was strange, especially because I wasn’t even one of the better players on the team—I wasn’t a total benchwarmer, but I also wasn’t essential to gameplay in any way. Clearly, these people took basketball super seriously, while I played for fun and wasn’t going to let the sport stop me from seeing the John/Joel “Face to Face” tour.
I may never be the kind of person who chooses basketball over hearing “Can You Feel the Love Tonight?” live, but I do enjoy the game, and after years of playing it, I (a) am almost always able to win the biggest prize at any carnival or amusement park basketball game, and (b) can show you how to execute a few basic shots.