March 28th, 2016, 4pm

One of the unique ways that basketball sets itself apart from most other sports is the way that it all but mandates a rhythm to the game. I’m not referring to the natural flow that all sports have, from the back-and-forth of quick-passing games like soccer and hockey, to the methodical and cerebral plodding of baseball, and everything in between. What I’m referring to is basketball’s dribble. Players literally have to beat out a rhythm with the ball to move with it. That steady percussion is practically omnipresent throughout a game, syncopated with the squeak of rubber soles and the thunder of footfalls.

This rhythm is distinctly urban to me. You can easily find those who hear in it nothing but a farm kid playing on a rim mounted to the side of a barn, accompanied by the song of cicadas as dusk falls. But I grew up in a city, playing games on blacktop courts at local schools and parks. When I hear the phwmp-phwmp-phmwp of that ball, it is the start-and-stop of cars at traffic lights, the rumble of feet as pedestrians cross streets in unison. It’s the cla-clank, cla-clank of trucks driving over the traffic-rated steel covers of utility vaults and the chug of trains charging across town. It is the communal magnificence that is a city, thousands of people living elbow-to-elbow, simultaneously inspiring each other and driving each other crazy, shouting and singing and fighting and loving and life.

That is basketball. Whether played at a playground or in front of thousands at Madison Square Garden, it’s the heartbeat of a city materialized. I love basketball.

David Wade said thanks.

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Galway O.

When you were with her, there was a completely thrilling atmosphere - a need to create.

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