Today I played in my first game against another Google basketball team. It was also the first real full-court game I ever played in my life. Previously we had a few pick-up 3-on-3 practices amongst my team.
I really, really enjoyed it. It was a lot of fun, and not as scary as I feared.
However, in comparison to my awesome team, I sucked. My team got to see me perform feats such as:
- while jumping up to catch a ball, fell backwards onto my ass
- forgot to follow the opponent I was defending against, such that he got the ball and scored a point while I was standing 15 feet away
- not score any points. I attempted 2 shots, one of which bounced off the rim and the other of which was blocked. This was very sad, as shooting is one of the few basketball things that I'm any good at.
My teammates were very kind, allowing me to play for half the game, and saying things such as "You improved a lot since our first practice!", "You're making all of your passes!", "You're doing really well!".
At dinner, I chatted with Lu, one of the other players.
Lu: Did you enjoy the game?
Me: A lot. [pause] You know, I had a revelation.
Me: When I was in my master's program, for one class I was on a project team with 4 other people. One of them was a guy who had already gotten a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering, and he was now switching to computer science. He obviously wasn't very technically savvy, so when we coded up our project, he didn't actually contribute any code. So we asked him if he'd take all the applications that the rest of us wrote and benchmark them against each other, make a couple pretty graphs. It turned out that he couldn't even figure out how to run a Java program. At the time, I was annoyed at this guy and shocked that he got into a top-notch CS grad school and he couldn't even execute a Java program.
Lu: I see. And what brought on this memory?
Me: I realized that in our basketball team, I'M THAT GUY.
Lu: Oh, it's not the same.
Me: Well, I realize now that that guy deserves sympathy!