The I-Ching According to Michael Jordan

The last few days Mojo, the children and I have been hanging out at the UCSB Thunderdome ostensibly to attend basketball camp.  But really we’ve been hoping to meet Michael Jordan, the greatest basketball player of all time.

Last night Mojo and I arrived early “to see how the kids are doing”.  We were just in time for the nightly camp awards.  After the medals were passed out, the head coach told the kids to gather around the court.

“Who did you come here to see?” the announcer asked.

“Michael Jordan!” the kids shouted.

“I can’t hear you.”

“Michael Jordan!” I shouted.

“Boys and Girls, Michael Jordan!” he said uselessly as the screams overpowered him.

The crowd quieted.  600 camp participants and 1,200 parents pointed roughly 1,500 cameras and phones, each trying to take the winning FACEBOOK shot.

MJ started out with some advice about getting into the game by spinning the ball.  He talked about lay-ups.  He moved onto free throws and asked the kids,

“Free throws are different than any other shot.  Why?

After several attempts, no one gave the right answer.  Finally Michael had to answer his own question.

“Because they are the only shot where you are not already in motion, you have to start from a standing position.  When you free throw you need to have a ritual to get you into the flow.  Do you know what my ritual was?”

A 12-year old raised his hand.  Michael picked him out.

“You spun the ball, then dribbled three times, then you spun it again.”

“You’re right!  How old are you?  You weren’t even born when I was playing.  How did you know that?”

I couldn’t hear the answer, but everyone laughed.

MJ went to the free throw line.  Instead of trying to start from zero, first he got into the Flow, the energy that already existed.  He spun the ball like the earth, dribbled three sacred times, another spin then he directed the ball’s energy straight into the net.  Swoosh! The kids roared.

The I-Ching according to MJ.  Get into the Flow, set your intention, then let the universe make it happen.

To teach the lesson, MJ started a game of Around the World.  If the player made the eleven shots around the court including the easy but treacherous lay-up, the whole team got a pair of new shoes.

The first boy got the lay-up but then missed his second shot.  A second boy was chosen.  With the swagger of a NBA player, he floated the ball through the hoop, easily making every shot.  His team went wild and weaved their way through the sitting kids to pick out their shoes.

The entire gym raised their hand hoping to be chosen.  But it wasn’t as easy as the second boy made it seem.  Child after child missed the first lay-up.  Their team members wailed with disappointment.

After about a dozen kids, MJ pointed at someone under the net.  It was Susan!

Mojo went wild.

Susan made the first lay-up.

She moved to the top of the key.  Swoosh, it went in.

She stepped to the opposite side.  She stopped moving and held the ball.  Concentrating hard, she tried to force it into the net.  It hit the backboard but didn’t go in.

Michael held out his hand towards her.  She didn’t notice.  Her mind was on failing to secure shoes for her team.

We congratulated her on doing so well.  Only two kids completed all eleven shots and maybe four went beyond the third shot.

Her error was she got out of the Flow, the Tao the Chinese call it.  It was a lesson in how MJ turned the I-Ching into Cha-Ching.

Archives

Tales by Chapter

%d bloggers like this: