What Really Matters
My friend Ty invited me to a Boston Celtics home game. Any game, my choice. I checked the schedule and the Lakers game ended up being my preference. So, I flew up north to Boston for my first visit to the MA and CT area. And boy was it cold. After leaving the airport, we headed to Ray Allen’s house (he and Ty are good friends). Ray had already headed to the game, but I was able to meet Ray’s wife Shannon (who is expecting) and their other two young sons ‘Walkie’ and ‘Ray Ray’. Shannon was very nice and the kids were as cute as can be.
We walked through the cold to get to the game and every seat was full. We took our seats in the lower level and the game was action packed. Like always, Kobe brought his “A game”. The game went into overtime and the crowd stayed on their feet. As the clock ticks at the end of the game with the Lakers up by one, Ray has the ball. This is it, baby. All or nothing. As the last second runs out, it looks like Ray is fouled. The crowd waits for the call – nothing. Game over, Lakers win. Suddenly everyone in the Garden is booing, but there is nothing that can be done.
Ty was pretty bummed that the Celtics lost. We went down and stood next to Ray’s business manager. He said, “It’s just one loss. It’s not the end of the world. Think about their record overall”. We continued walking to the area where all the players wait for their families. There were cute little kids running around everywhere. I met Rajon’s girlfriend and enjoyed talking to her about Louisville. I wondered how upset Ray would be when he came out.
Out he emerges. He takes about 10 steps out, stops and squats down. Up run his sons at full speed and they just embrace each other for an extended amount of time. It was a father/sons moment and nothing else around seemed to matter. It was then that I noticed that it really wasn’t about winning or losing. At the end of the night, it was about being surrounded by those you love.
We all walked out together. Shannon and crew headed home, Ray headed to the airport to fly to the next game. I needed a happy moment too, so Ty ever so greatly said “Hey Ray, Michelle came up here all the way from Louisville to watch the game. Would you sign this jersey for her?” He looked VERY exhausted and like the only thing he wanted to do was get in his car and go. But, I flashed that Yeager smile and said, “I’d really appreciate it!” And with the stroke of a pen, it was done! Thanks Ray! Thanks Ty!