No, I'm not talking about how kids need Jordan's and Curry's as in the shoes. I'm talking about the Jordan's and Curry's that allow kids to get lost on a court pretending to be them.
For me, it was Jordan, Isiah and Dominque. Sure, kids today most likely aren't pretending to be Jordan, Steph Curry is all the craze.
The beauty of basketball is that all you need is a ball and a hoop and you get lost in your own imagination all by yourself. Of course, if you can't find a hoop, as we have learned, you build one.
It's game 7 of the NBA Finals. The clock is winding down. The balls is on your hands. Five. Four. Three. Two. One. Nothing but net. The crowd goes wild.
And then...you do it all over again. And again.
I worry, though, that these kinds of playground moments and memories are fading just like that game-winning jump shot. I didn't have the distractions of technology growing up -- no video games, social media, iPhones and tablets. You went outside and you played.
Pretending to be your favorite NBA player for hours at a time during summer break, outside playing the actual game and not sitting in a gaming chair staring at some big screen connected to a Nintendo (or whatever is popular these days), is about as pure as it gets when it comes to 'being a kid'.
KIDS, in general, need more of that. And the kids we are giving assists to, it can probably be argued, need it even more. It provides an escape. It provides a distraction. It provides, as it did for me, some consistency in what may be an inconsistent upbringing.
I have this fantasy that Milk Crate Basketball's efforts of "Giving KIDS an Assist" results in a direct correlation of time spent on playground courts going up and time spent staring at screens going down.
But for now...I'll concentrate on assisting one kid at a time and see where this goes.