I am blessed to work with some terrific coaches. In our typical pre-game talks, our head coach Shawn Cassidy will set the tone by reviewing match-ups and game situations and re-emphasizing specific defensive concepts. I then go over our offensive game plan and throw in my two cents about attitude and other things and then one of our other assistants, David Cooks, will hit upon the defense again. Coach Cooks has some terrific experience, including working on Coach K’s Duke staff when he was pursuing an MBA. Without hesitation, one of his last reminders to the team is always, “50/50 balls. We gotta’ get ’em.” If you’ve watched the NBA Finals, you know that one of the reasons Cleveland has hung in despite some injuries is Matthew Dellavedova. He’s a lighting rod for sure, as basketball fans tend to have varying opinions. But make no mistake, when it comes to 50/50 balls, Delly usually comes up with them!
BASKETBALL – Effort
If you’re a Cleveland fan, you love him. If you’re a Warrior fan, he frustrates you. If you’re a neutral party, you probably respect his tenacity and his willingness to do whatever it takes to help the Cavs win, whether it’s smothering Steph Curry, attacking the paint, or diving on the floor (and possibly even into the legs of the opponent) for loose balls. When the ball is loose on the floor or being knocked around on the rim, Dellavedova feels like its his to get:
I admire that. Comedian Jimmy Kimmel had a great line about Delly:
“He’s the kind of guy you’d like to bring to Wal-Mart on Black Friday. You’d definitely get an Xbox with him there.”
We’ll see if he can keep it up now that the series heads into the decisive final three games. He’s making things difficult for Steph Curry and is literally playing his guts out, which is what you have to do when you’re not as talented, but then again, he’s also playing with LeBron. It should be a great conclusion to the championship!
LIFE – No regrets.
Happiness in life often comes down to the 50/50 balls, too. Most of the regrets in my life have come down to the things that I didn’t do. Certainly, I’ve made some poor and foolish choices, but when I look back to learn from the past, I too often see a disappointing trend. There have been times that I failed to speak up, avoided confrontation, or half-heartedly committed to act. Athletes and students do this all the time, so do husbands and fathers and employees. It seems like I need to have a little more Delly in me at times and just go grab the ball. That’s not to say that there aren’t times that we need to consider our actions and consider the consequences, but life will certainly present 50/50 opportunities where you either dive on the ball or you stand by and watch. Indecision and failing to act, usually gets you nowhere!
FAITH – The Big 50/50
Jesus presents us with the ultimate 50/50 ball, an opportunity that plays itself out in every moment of life, but most importantly, when this life is finished:
He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters abroad. (Matthew 12:30)
That’s a 50/50 ball. You’re either with God, or you’re not. It can’t even be 70/30 or 99/1. It can’t just be on Sunday or when you’re with Christian friends. Like Delly, God wants us committed to hustling after every loose ball in every moment of your life. But even better, is that Jesus has done the dirty, Delly-work. He took the risk and He freely gives us the ball He dove on the floor and through His Spirit, Jesus allows us to reap the reward. No regrets. No risk, but the highest of rewards. The 50/50 ball, which could go either way is now completely ours.
If you’ve been with me for a while, you know I’m a huge Steph Curry and Steve Kerr fan, so I’m pulling for the Warriors – but, I’ve grown to love and respect Matthew Dellavedova’s game as I previously wrote in Matthew Dellavedova Proves One Man Can Make A Difference. And as I watch him dive for those loose balls, I’ll hear Coach Cooks’ voice about winning them and I’ll join him in encouraging you to go grab the ultimate 50/50 ball.