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Love for Sports and American Spirit
"Free Beings" vs. "Chinese" Series
陈凯一语： Kai Chen's Words:
Sports and athletics propagate the concepts of objectivity, rule of law and free and fair competition.
By Kai Chen 陈凯 （8/9/2011 Reprint)
NBA semi-finals are in full swing. I have watched most of the games like I always did. But every time I watch these athletes exhibit their athleticism and their competitive spirit, I marveled over the greatness of mankind. I understand only in America, through pure and unimpeded competition, through a completely capitalistic, logical and open market, sports and athletics can retain a healthy and progressive essence.
Surely these NBA players make a lot of money, but the professionalism they have exhibited throughout the season and the playoffs shows that they are not playing for money alone, they are playing for the pure love of the sports, and through these games, they are burning like bright stars, bringing energy, optimism, respect and dignity to all of us.
Miracles happen in America all the time and I am so amazed that ordinary people here can display extraordinary courage and effort, and make sheer miracles happen. Phoenix Suns are not a talented team, but they have gone this far, and in their first game in Dallas, they defeated the host team, though great team work and effort. I am always moved by the courage and dedication they have displayed. It is as if their heroism tells me and all the people who are watching: If I can do it, with the limited talent I have, you can do it as well.
Think about what they have to go through to get to this point: fatigue, injuries, distractions, family obligations, relationships with teammates, audience, referees, coaches, management, opponents..., 82 games throughout the regular season, and playoffs with bigger games. It is only in America, athletes and players can have such a dedication.
I remember someone in European media once commented, back in the Jordan years:
"Just to witness the greatness of Michael Jordan, we can all rest assured that America system and society are healthy and thriving, for only in a great system, an individual like Jordan can fully exhibit his greatness, and hence all of us can experience unprecedented joy over limitless human potentials."
I solute America and American athletes, and proud of their achievements. I, as an former pro-athlete, will never take my life in America for granted. I have been through yesterday, I treasure today, and I am looking forward to tomorrow.
Let's all be grateful for the country we live in and for God to have created such a great country for free people: America -- My love.
As I watched the US -- China basketball game in Guangzhou, I also realized how important for players to have the right chemistry with one another on the same team.
In the NBA, because players have freedom to move around according to which team and what players they want to play for and play with, a team will have much better chance developing the right chemistry among the players. The owners and the managers also know that players who hate one another (or the coach or the management) will not perform well on the court.
However, in China because of this lack of freedom by the players to move around according to their own personal liking and interests, quite often you have players on the same team who dislike and hate one another. Yet they have to play together for they have no choice on which team they are on. Players may dislike the team, the coaching, the other players, the location of the team.... But they are forced together under one umbrella much like what China is today. So there is a tremendous inner-exhaustion with in-fighting and grudges among players and coaches and managers (leaders).
I remember that I had to force myself every day and every moment to be on the court with players I never wanted to play with, and with the coaches and leaders I never wanted to play under. This caused a lot of stress and unnecessary waste of energy for everyone. And I know for sure that unhappy players and coaches having to be together will not perform well. The team always suffers.
It is no surprise that China lost by 46 points to the US. The Chinese players are simply too exhausted in thinking about other things than basketball.