Jimmy King and the ‘Cultures of Basketball’

November 28, 2012 in Division I

By Patrick Hayes

Friend of the site Yago Colas, the University of Michigan professor who developed the ‘Cultures of Basketball’ course, has an excellent piece at The Classical on former Fab Fiver Jimmy King visiting with his class. Here’s a brief excerpt, where King is discussing the infamous timeout and why Chris Webber should return to Michigan:

To a group of Michigan students so young that they were not even alive when Webber signaled for that un-owned timeout—who are now the same age King and his teammates were on the date of that NCAA title game—King spoke a hard-earned adult truth about the hard truths he decided to speak.

“In my opinion, it’s gonna kill you more, it’s gonna eat you up even more, if you don’t face it. Life is,” and here King paused, as if a long shadow suddenly loomed over him. “You can’t run from anything. It’s gonna catch you. It’s gonna get you. You can’t run from it. It’s better to face it, face it immediately. Now you know which way you can go. But when you tryin’ to run and duck and hide from it, you don’t know where it’s gonna pop out on you, and that doubt or not knowing is the fear that just keeps growing and growing. “ King played professionally for a long time, in the NBA for a little while and in Europe for longer. But he’d lived a long time in the shadow of a moment and a myth. It was, again, heavy in there.

“It’s like Green Lantern,” he continued. “You know, the villain from Green Lantern feeds on fear. You know, I use that as an example,” and he laughed here, “but that’s true. You can’t, the more you fear something the bigger it grows. And then you really find out once you face that fear it wasn’t that bad at all. And you can crush it.”

It’s a great piece by the always-excellent Colas that is definitely worth your time.


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