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44 Things You’ll Only Understand If You Grew Up Playing Basketball

“What is love? Love is playing every game like it’s your last.” -Michael Jordan

Basketball was life. Basketball is life. Even if you don’t play anymore, it will always be a part of you. 

You’ll always miss those days, even the practices where your coach was in a bad mood and made you run a lot. 

When you walked onto the court, you felt more like yourself than ever. Basketball was and will always be a way of expressing yourself. And an especially good way at expressing your more aggressive side . . .

1. Basketball = literally the only reason you shaved your legs in winter.

2. Your number is still your lucky number. And always will be. 

3. You know exactly what March Madness means. You’re yelling at your TV the whole month.

4. You refused to take the number 23, because you knew you’d never measure up to Michael Jordan. 

5. And you felt bad for your teammate who ended up with it. 

6. They should just retire number 23 forever, from every team. 

7. In the spring and summer months, it was really hard to look cute in skirts, shorts and dresses. Because your legs had scrapes and bruises everywhere, and they weren’t easy on the eyes. 

8. You have a weird token of luck that you still hold onto today. Like, maybe one day your coach gave everyone a dollar to keep in their basketball shoe for every game. You still have that dollar. And even when you have zero dollars in your bank account, you don’t spend it. Also, it smells really bad.

9. You once had a mean coach, who you’ll never forget.

10. And a coach who was too nice, if that can be a thing. 

11. You became best friends with your teammates, even though you’re all completely different, and never would have met in any other way.

12. When someone defending you grabbed your jersey, you wanted to set them on fire. 

13. Speaking of fire: you pretty much know what it’s like to be set on fire, after all those summers playing in an non-air conditioned gym. 

14. It made you feel so special, when you were clearly the teammate that the other team wanted to stop. 

15. Your entire team laughed at anyone who had a show-y pre-free throw routine. Just dribble the ball once and shoot, dude.

16. You don’t need drugs, because nothing beats the feeling of stealing and getting a fast break. 

17. You don’t regret any of the terrible things you said about your rivals, because deep down you’re a very, very nice person. 

18. When you somehow ended up guarding the biggest, tallest, most terrifying girl on the other team. 

19. That gut-wrenching feeling when you’re really tired but your coach wants to switch from zone to man-to-man defense.

20. You hold onto t-shirts that will never fit you again, because of the memories. 

21. You once had a crazy passionate coach, who was pretty much a lovable Bobby Knight. 

22. You still remember that time your she threw the clipboard in the locker room and it broke. 

23. And when she threw a chair and  got kicked out of the game by the ref.

24. Overtime gives you anxiety. 

25. Even when you’re just watching it in a game on tv. 

26. Speaking of watching games on tv: your non basketball loving friends have a hard time watching with you, because it’s basically just you screaming and honestly it gets scary. 

27. You’re always on time to everything, because if you weren’t on time to practice, everyone had to do suicides. 

28. Suicides were pretty much exactly what they sound like, by the way. 

29. You hate scrimmage jerseys, and rejoice in the fact that you’ll probably never ever have to wear them again.

30. Also, you were always jealous of the boys: they didn’t need scrimmage jerseys, because they could just play shirts and skins. 

31. Love & Basketball is the best movie of all time.

32. Your former teammates still beat you up because of that game years ago when you missed a free throw that lost you the game. 

33. When you traveled, you were never more embarrassed in your life.

34. Except when you double dribbled, which is actually worse. 

35. When you talk about your glory days of playing basketball, none of your friends truly understand how nostalgic you are for them.

36. You wish all your friends now could have seen you then, so they would actually know how impressive you were.

37. And how aggressive you were. 

38. Defense wins games. 

39. You always had that one teammate who always fouled out.

40. If you didn’t have that teammate, you were that teammate.

41. Football is so annoying and slow. Why does the freaking clock run after the whistle’s been blown? This doesn’t make sense, and never will. 

42. You’ll never understand why wide open layups are the hardest to miss, but they totally are. 

43. You’re susceptible to nosebleeds, ever since the ball hit you in the face and you had to sit out the rest of the freaking game because it would not stop bleeding. 

44. When you see people playing basketball in public, you just want to invite yourself to the party.