On August 14th thru 16th, Nike held the World Basketball Festival in my city, Chi-City. This festival wasn't on the north side; it wasn't downtown. No, this festival was held on the best side of the city...the south side, at the 63rd street beach.
Of course I had to throw on the #8.
I didn't know what to expect at the festival; I just knew I had to go. I checked out the Tournament of Champions, watching some of the best in the Chi play against some of the best in NYC. I saw hella Chi-town basketball legends. Current NBA players, retired NBA players, and plenty of movers and shakers of the city.
But the highlight for me was the exhibit that gave a history of Nike basketball shoes. From the very first pair of basketball shoes made by Nike, to Forces, to Flights, To Jordans, to Lebrons, to Kevin Durant's...I wish I would have taken pictures of everything. What was so dope about the exhibit was how it was customized for Chicago. When I saw pics of two parks I've frequented as a kid and adult, I couldn't help but to smile.
Seeing these pics took me back to when I first started playing basketball. I didn't even have proper basketball attire, but I was in the alleys on the milk crate trying to establish my game; pretending to be Scottie Pippen in a game we made up called "The Passing Game." When we got older and were able to ride to the parks, we'd go to Avalon, Cole or Tuley Park; wherever we could find a pick-up game. Then, as an adult, I was at Cole, and then 63rd & Hayes when I moved to the South Shore area. Some people got their suntans at the beach. I got mine on the basketball court.
I truly do love this game of basketball. I'm sitting here typing right now with my left forearm on fire after it caught a serious elbow this morning. I don't know. Maybe it's not meant for me to wear heels until I'm 75 like my grandmother. But I do know I can't let this game go. Whether I'm playing or watching...it's in my soul. And it's nothing I can and will do to stop it.
K to the...