I could tell her how the pick-and-roll might be the oldest play in the book, or even the only play in the book, and teams still can't stop it, and go on about the value of listening to Hubie Brown teach the game. ("Now you ask, What does that mean, teach the game? Uh-kay, I'm going to tell you....") And I could tell her how one day I'll sit her down to watch an old Princeton game so she can see the most beautiful play in sports, a perfectly executed backdoor cut.
I could tell her all these things, but she wouldn't understand, at least not right now. Props wouldn't help, either; even if I had Elmo running the half-court trap on our living-room rug, it would be lost on her. After all, basketball's a game you have to grow into, and with luck you'll never grow out of it.
So instead I decided on the simplest explanation. "Daddy likes basketball," I said, "because it makes him happy." I paused. "Especially when the Lakers lose."
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