It was three handicap teenagers who challenged my cousin and I to a game of pickup basketball

Their speech bogged down with slurs and stutters but basketball is a game of action not words. Although the odds were in favor of them, I felt confident that Adam and I could deal a blow to their pride on their home court. We shoot for ball. Swish and its our ball. I storm to the hoop and lay up overtop the awkward kid wearing grey sweats. 1-0. Some quick passes and teamwork allow Adam and I to dominate.

Early on it becomes apparent that these kids have little understanding of the game and peering over to the sideline where their ball sits flat on the ground only confirms my suspicions. Swish from downtown, 5-0. This is no time for going easy; this is game time. One could argue that there was nothing to be gained by playing them, that at best we get a hollow victory for beating disabled children and at worst we lose to them. No so. And when that little kid with the Leggo-hair threw a weak jump shot and I palmed the ball back in his face, that felt good...no great. A celebratory chick walk afterward solidified my ball-handling prowess.

8-0 Us. They lacked the ability to dribble and pass back and forth, inevitably taking bad shots that we rebound. No outside shots here, I want to drive to the hoop and show those kids who I was and what I do. The overweight kid who ran with a scamper made an easy bucket.

11-1 Us. While my chest doesn't swell with pride, I take stock of the game and know Adam and I played well. Our defense was tough and our offense consistently put up solid shots. Those three kids could never mound a solid attack and we established and maintained the game's tempo.

"Game over kids," I say. "You know the bet you're not allowed to come back." While I will never go back to those West Hollywood basketball courts, my only hope is that neither will those kids. There is something to be said about beating your opponent badly, even if your opponents are three disabled children.
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