Basketball is art
Published: Wednesday, January 26, 2011
Updated: Sunday, January 30, 2011 21:01
From the behind-the-back pass to the alley-oop, basketball is one of the arts.
When you think of art, rarely does basketball, or any other sport for that matter, come to mind. However, after playing basketball for over 16 years, I believe that what is done on the court by every ball player is, in fact, art.
We've all seen the smoothness of a crossover dribble, one of the simplest moves one can do on the court, but how often do we consider it anything more than just playing the game?
I've come to realize that basketball is in fact one of the greatest sports, and one of the greatest forms of art, around.
While reading this, you may think I am crazy or have no idea what art or sport is, but let me explain before making any judgments.
One may say that ‘art is not competitive so sports cannot be art.' However, I disagree.
After much thought, trials and errors, a coach, or sometimes even a player, will develop a play that, with practice, can break down an opponent's defense and result in success.
Does that seem familiar to any art students?
After much thought, trials and errors, an artist will develop a masterpiece that can captivate generations.
Do artists create works to defeat an opponent? I am sure there are artists who have created a piece simply to be better than another artist.
What about competitive dance? Dance is an art, so if you are in a dance competition, your goal is to defeat your opponents.
So, now that competition is settled, let's examine variety. Clearly there are many different sports, like basketball, baseball, tennis, football, soccer, rugby, lacrosse and softball; the list could go on and on. There are also many different forms of art, like drawing, painting, sculpting, dance, film, photography, music, literature; again, the list could go on.
But what about variation within a specific sport and art form? How about we compare basketball and painting for variation?
Watch nearly any basketball game, whether it is the Wolves of Western or the Timberwolves of the National Basketball Association, and you will see trick passes like an alley-oop or behind-the-back as well as skillful dribbles like the crossover. Not everyone can effectively perform these moves, but the way in which those who can perform these are often different.
LeBron James, Rajon Rondo and Chris Paul can all do a crossover, but the way in which they do it is often different and typically for different reasons.
Additionally, an individual often performs these moves differently depending on the situation. One may go left with a crossover one moment and right the next or even backwards another moment. Variation is key to performing any move in basketball.
As for painting, we all know that there are thousands of different painters spanning the centuries. If one were to observe the works of Vincent van Gough, Pablo Picasso and Jackson Pollock, although they all can paint, one would see how different their works are from each other.
Furthermore, if you look at the paintings of Picasso, you would see how different they are and how none of them look alike. Even with the abstract, action paintings, in which Pollock would drip or pour the paint on the canvas, none of his paintings look identical. Although some look similar, no two are identical.
Therefore, competition and variety can both be components of art and basketball.
I hold a great deal of respect for artists. Whether they be painters, sculptors, dancers or basketball players, the skill they have and the way they use it has fascinated me for many years and I look forward to seeing more works of art, on and off the court, in the near future.