Whether it’s a 5-year-old who is playing basketball for the first time or a 50-year-old playing in the office lunch league or the best player in the world making millions of dollars a year, what are the reasons players play?

  1. You love the game.
  2. You love to compete.
  3. You are getting paid.
  4. You want to get paid to play one day.
  5. You’re on a scholarship to go to school.
  6. You want to be on a scholarship to go to school.
  7. You think it’s the cool thing to do.
  8. You are making someone else happy.
  9. You like your coach.
  10. You like being on a team.
  11. You play because your friend(s) is/are playing.

I’m sure there are lots more reasons.  Everyone has their own reasons for playing basketball or being involved in any activity for that matter. Whether it’s for one reason or a combination of reasons, everyone else is going to have their own opinion about why players should play and whether it’s “right” or “wrong” to play for certain reasons.

Here’s my thing.  I don’t care why you play.  It doesn’t matter to me.  And it shouldn’t matter to anyone else. However, the minute you decide to play a TEAM sport, your reasons for playing are all of a sudden less important than the team.

I’m not saying your reasons don’t matter, but your team matters more.  If you can’t put your team before yourself, basketball isn’t for you.  Should coaches learn about you and why you play?  Of course, they should. As long as your reasons for playing don’t impact your effort and your attitude, then it shouldn’t affect anything.

But don’t blame coach for not playing you if you’re not doing your part.  Did you lose your love for the game or did you lose your shine because you’re not in the starting line-up like you think you should be?

I’m not suggesting that there are simple answers to any of these questions.  Our minds are not that simple.

SImply, if you’re putting in your maximum effort to be your best and be the best teammate for your team, then it doesn’t matter why you play. If you let your reasons for playing change your effort and attitude, then your results may vary.

There are millions of people that love basketball and love to play basketball. How many people love what it takes to be great?

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