I was in the fifth grade when I decided I was going to play in the NBA. I knew I’d make it because I had all of the tools. I was short (I didn’t first top 5-foot-7 until I was in the eleventh grade). I was super duper thin (I don’t think I’ve ever weighed more than any of the Backstreet Boys in my entire life). I was unathletic (I’d guess I’ve led every league I’ve ever played in in Unintentional Fall Downs While Trying To Rebound). I was superheroically weak (Push-Ups? Please, more like Lay-Theres). And I was terrified of everything.

And my jumper, OH MAN THE JUMPER. It was an action of the highest order, the sporting equivalent to God creating the firmament.

I’d gather all of my energies into my hands, squat down towards the earth, start the ball at my shoelaces, build up its momentum as it passed my right ankle then knee then hip then chest then shoulder then head, and fling up towards whatever happened to be in the area. It was, in a word, transcendent.

Ray Allen’s jumper is probably the closest I’ve ever seen come to it. So connect the dots to finish his, because by doing so you’ll complete mine. We are kindred spirits, you and me, linked forever by the cosmos.