The clock was running down. My team had the ball and a two point deficit. Perry our point guard dribbled the ball on the perimeter looking for a potential three or someone else who could shoot it. I dropped back to three point country myself figuring we were playing for the win. Perry continued to stall, letting the clock wind way down. A that point, I thought he was going to shoot it himself, so I took a step toward the basket thinking to tip to tie in case he missed. That's when he passed me the ball. I pulled my foot back behind the three point line and let fly slightly off balance as time expired. It bounced of the rim and out. We shook hands with the winning team. Everybody went to the showers except me. I took a ball and fired in a few perfect shots from that spot, when everyone was gone. That loss hurt. If I hadn't second guessed the play, we would have gone home winners.
That wasn't the first pivotal play I've blown. I don't even think it was the only one that season. It's just the one I remember the best. I felt bad about missing the shot but I don't feel bad about taking it. Had I not taken it, we would have lost anyway. Feel it, learn from it and move on.
I'm no stranger to different outcomes. My favorite happened that very same season. The game was close but our front court had major foul trouble except for me. Both Donald our regular centre and Paul our power forward had fouled out. That left me filling in at centre. Our opponents relied more on speed than size so in the half court game I still physically over matched their centre. Worse for them, my hook shot was on the mark. I put several of those in including one to tie the game up within the dying minute of the game. They had one good chance to put in a game winner after that and I knew exactly what they were going to do.
Their point guard was unbelievably quick. He managed to put the same move on Perry over and over and get to the basket. Perry was no slouch mind you. He was an all star and I wasn't. I did have the chance to study this move in some detail and now being slid over to the centre of the defense I was in a position to set a trap.
They brought the ball up the court and set up their half court offense exactly as they had done all game long. I abandoned my man and drifted to the middle of the key crouching down so that their point wouldn't notice me out of position. He put the fake on Perry and broke around toward the basket. He beat Perry, but when he came around the corner, he shouldered right into the middle of my stationary chest, knocking me on my rear end. Offensive charging was called, while he looked at me wondering where the heck I had come from.
In that league a foul in the last minute of the game like that would automatically mean two free throws and possession to the other team. I iced both shots from the line and Perry and Wes killed the
clock for the win. That more than made up for the one I didn't win.