Greetings Daddy Kampers!
So obviously I took a little break. It happens to bloggers, right? I guess we eventually lose steam, or that’s what we tell ourselves. In the beginning of May, we did some traveling and met up with family members we haven’t seen in some time. One of them asked what happened to my blog. She admitted that she enjoyed it and found it moderately insightful. I said, “Really? Because I felt like I was getting scoldy and soap-boxy and quite tired of hearing myself blather.” She disagreed and said she didn’t get that impression at all, and that sharing my parenting experiences were helpful, or at the very least entertaining. Also, it was a great way for distant family members to keep tabs on us so as to feel like we’re still in each others’ lives, even from thousands of miles away and decades long hiatuses.
This experience also helped me to refocus on what Daddy Kamp was supposed to be: A place to share, ask questions, be vulnerable and open, as well as grow and learn. I guess I don’t have to know everything. Thank goodness too, because I don’t know shit. But I am learning, and don’t mind sharing what I’ve learned. Which brings me to Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors! (Too soon?)
The Steph Curry Effect and the Just-Shut-Up-Already-You-Stupid-Old-People Phenomenon
Okay, maybe it’s not quite a phenomenon yet. But I’m getting pretty tired of us. You heard that right: us. From old-timers like Charles Barkley and Oscar Robertson to wannabe coaches like myself, Steph Curry is seen as the harbinger of end times, or at least yet another example of the demise of whichever version of the golden age perennially eludes future generations. And I agreed, initially. Because I hang out a lot after school, I often watch or shoot some hoops with interested boys and girls. Nothing too organized or coached, but I try to help out when I can. Mostly, I just keep the ball moving and make sure teams are fairly set up.
As Andrew Cotto mentioned above, Steph Curry and Klay Thompson have changed the look of playground basketball all over the world. It was already difficult to get kids to pass the ball. Well, not only do they skip the passing, but they don’t even bother getting close enough for layups. What, when you could just launch it from wherever you happened to be. Rebounding? Forget it! It was very frustrating to watch. But the kids were having fun, even with the 98% miss rate. And because I wasn’t there in any official capacity, I just decided to exercise my age given right to grumble to myself about damned kids these days.
Interestingly, between being forced to interact with other parents and, surprisingly, finding life-long friends – I started to notice something. That miss rate became 96%. Then about 90%. These kids who couldn’t even hit the free throw line from the 3 point line, were now hitting the rim. The miss rate dropped to about 80%. At that point, I started thinking of hit rates. They were making more and more of these 3-pointers. A few weeks later, as I walked up after the last bell of the day, my kid said they hit about 285 three point shots during the day. During every break or recess, every kid with a basketball rushed out to shoot 3s. And somebody kept count. It became a school wide project. A handful of them wanted to continue counting, so we drew a 3 point line around our driveway hoop and they hit even more. I watched it. These kids were making shots. But importantly, they were having fun. No iPads, no pokemon cards, no grade school drama. So what if they weren’t playing basketball? They were playing basketball.
Lesson: Shut up and get out of the way, old folks. The kids will be fine.*
An amazing family just moved out of the area. When our kids started at their elementary school, my oldest son found an instant friend in one of his classmates. Since then, they’ve played baseball, took guitar lessons, traded Pokemon cards, took way too many three point shots, had sleepovers, arranged to be in the same car on field trips, boogie boarded, and even gotten into some trouble together. They also manage to wrap their younger siblings and parents up in their friendship. Thanks for the last five years, Speyers, and keep in touch. Your friends and family in the Bay Area will miss you greatly and will cherish the fond fond memories.
* I have to admit there is one thing I don’t especially appreciate about the NBA, especially after the 2016 Finals. Little T was outside by himself working on his game. At some point, he spun himself off balance, put up an ill advised shot, then proceeded to complain to an imaginary ref about a foul from an imaginary player! Again, he was by himself! He had no idea I was watching him from the garage. Maybe they’re doomed after all. As we all are eventually, I guess.