As a basketball fan, and also a fan of human beings, I loved this read, “My Dad’s Friendship With Charles Barkley.”
It is an excellent story of what seems to be an unlikely friendship, but as you read it, you realize how much the relationship makes sense because of the shared bonds between two people. The part in the story where the daughter asks Charles Barkley, one of the most famous basketball players ever, why he hung out with her dad, is so powerful yet so simple:
‘Why My Dad?’
Later, after it all, I texted Barkley and asked him: “Why my dad? Why did he matter so much to you?” And recently, I called him up and asked: “What did you even have to talk about?”
“Well, I think — first of all, clearly, he was a fan,” Barkley said. “But I think the main thing we talked about was you and your brother.”
“What did you guys talk about — what did he say?” I asked.
“I think it was more that he was proud,” Barkley said. “Because I’ve got a daughter, too. I’m just really, really proud of her, because I think she’s a good person. And your dad was so proud of you and your brother.
“Listen: As an adult — and you’re too young to understand this now — all you want is your kids to be happy. That’s what you work for. To give your kids everything in life.”
The last line was something that resonated with me as an educator, a father, and a son.
I encourage you to read the whole thing.
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