I love playing sports, particularly basketball. I never really played on a team unless you count the CYO league back in elementary school. I had big dreams about playing professional basketball when I grew up. (I'm talking D-League dreams.) That was when I was just El Guapito. Didn't play high school ball, instead I took up running and swimming. At this point my dreams were a lot more realistic. (Become a street ball legend at Mosswood Park in Oakland.) I still play a pickup game whenever I can. Up in the Bay Area you can find me and the Guapo crew (not official/agreed upon) in Alameda tearing shit up. I also got my spots in LA. I bedazzle crowds of basketball fans with my superior point guard skills, or at least I try to. However, wherever I go I hear the same thing from my teammates, my opponents and my fans: Why did you try reversing that wide open lay-up? You were wide open, why did you make that shot more difficult than it had to be? You didn't need to fade-away that shot. Why aren't you using the screen? Stop, Mario! etc, etc. My response? Flare.
I believe it was the 2003-2004 season when I really became a dedicated Warriors fan. Back then my favorite player was Jason Richardson. He was exciting. He had flare to his game. He did windmill dunks because he could. He could have easily just attempted lay-ups on fast breaks, but no. That's not the J-Rich way. The J-Rich way is doing a 360 dunk. Guess who was my least favorite player. It was Mike Dunleavy Jr. Oh, how I detested him and his stupid bounce passes. I relished the moment he was traded away. And with that trade the Warriors formed what we all know as the WE BELIEVE team in '07. My heart is racing just thinking about that team. Baron Davis' no look passes, J-Rich's dunks, Monta Ellis' moves, Stephen Jackson's fast break threes, oh what great memories. (Anyone else excited for this upcoming season?) Point being, the flashier, cooler team was without a doubt the better team.
Just think about the best basketball players. What made them so great? Their swagger did. Think Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Shaq, Dominique Wilkins, Kobe and LeBron James. All great players. All exciting to watch. They didn't just go out on the court, make a few jump shots, make a lay-up, win the game and call it a day. They went out and put on a show. As great as Larry Bird was, who would you rather see, Magic or Larry? Today the best argument for fundamentals over flash would be Tim Duncan, the Big Fundamental, Grandpa Duncan. "He won four championships using no flash whatsoever," they say. "Championships is all that counts, regardless of showmanship." Well tell that to Carmelo Anthony fans. (Since LeBron won his championship we've all had to find new targets for ring-less jokes.) Besides, I can't remember the last time I've heard ANYONE say, "Hey, the Spurs are playing the (insert home team) tonight. Let's get tickets!"
Why limit this argument to just basketball? I could I apply this to any sport. It's all about the eccentric athletes. How can you not love someone like Chad Johnson, formerly known as Chad Ochocinco, formerly known as Chad Johnson? (Is it just me or is Chad a weird name for a black guy?) Andy Murray doesn't just play tennis, he puts on a performance. Then there's Mr. I'm-A-Living-Legend himself, track star Usain Bolt. He wouldn't be nearly the sprinter he is if he didn't showboat a little. And you can't not like a boxer as flashy as Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Flashiness shouldn't just stop in sports. It's a concept that could be adapted in every profession, be it rapper, lawyer, doctor, teacher, accountant, cashier, vet, businessman, President of the United States or blogger. Sure, it's great to have sound fundamentals in whatever you do. But there is nothing wrong with adding a little spice by unleashing your flashy side. Why stop at just getting the job done, when you could take one step further and get the job done with some style?