The first half was rotten; nothing would fall.
Couldn’t even dribble or hold on to the ball.
Kicked it out of bounds once and dropped it twice.
My hands felt so slippery, like a new sheet of ice.
So Coach took me out, sat me down for a spell.
Looked me straight in the eye and said, “You’re playing like hell.
Forget the cheerleaders; forget the crowd;
Get your head in the game, for crying out loud.”
He was right, of course; I had to admit.
Wasn’t helping the team, might as well sit.
Some days, I’m on; some days, I’m not.
But I gotta keep shootin’, keep lookin’ for my shot.
At halftime, I sat on the floor near the wall,
Head down but determined and holding on to a ball.
Had to get the feel; feel the tread in my grip.
Gotta hold on, can’t let this game slip.
Gotta come out strong when Coach puts me in.
Gotta help my team; gotta score, gotta win.
During warm-ups, I looked at only one thing:
I looked at the rim; I looked at the ring.
I dropped all my shots from two feet away,
Then, three feet and four, getting’ ready to play.
I dropped them all in, like pennies in a pond,
Farther and farther and farther beyond.
Top of the key, then out past the arc.
I knew I’d be hot; I knew I would spark.
Just put me in, Coach. Just give me a try.
I’ll light ’em up when I let ’em fly.
But the second half started with me on the bench.
Wasn’t out on the floor, was still down in the trench.
Waiting, waiting, wondering when?
Minute by minute, again and again.
We were still losing, the game getting away.
Deeper and deeper. I started to pray.
Finally, he called me with us down by nine.
“Two minutes left, Kid. Your time to shine.
Don’t hesitate. Don’t even think.
Just pop ’em and drop ’em, right into the drink.”
So I came up the court, I caught the ball on the wing.
I gave it a rip, and I made that net sing.
The crowd went nuts; they gave me a hand.
I pounded my chest; they knew I was the man.
Then, back down on D, I held my man back.
Can’t let him score, gotta keep us on track.
We made a steal. I flew up the floor.
I wanted to shoot. I wanted to score.
Again, I was open. They got me the ball.
Again, I let fly, and again, it did fall.
Bingo and Bedlam, Bazookas, Ka Boom.
The rafters were shaking; the place was in ruins.
Down now by three, and they called “Time out!”
They’re talkin’ about me, I had no doubt.
“You can’t let him shoot,” their coach probably said.
“He’ll kill us, destroy us, he’ll leave us all dead.”
I knew it was true; I knew I was hot.
I couldn’t miss; I’d regained my shot.
Our coach, he was cool: “Just keep shooting, my son,”
He loved me. He loved me, that son of a gun.
Back on the floor, they started to stall.
We had to foul. We needed the ball.
Their guy cashed in, now down by five.
Ten seconds left, but yet still alive.
I grabbed the rock. I darted. I flew.
I danced and I dribbled, and I found my way through.
I peered up at the rim, and I lofted one high.
It delicately drifted down from the sky.
“Yes!” they erupted when that one swished through.
Five seconds left, and now down by two.
We called time out to set up our press.
They sensed danger, distraction, duress.
“Ya gotta believe,” Coach yelled at us all.
“Let’s play some D, and get him the ball.
One more time, one last shot.
Let’s make it a Ripley’s Believe It or Not.”
We locked ’em down; their long pass was deflected.
Ball on the floor and, then, resurrected.
I chased it down; two seconds remained.
I knew what to do; my thoughts all ingrained.
I turned and I fired, from out near mid-court.
My dagger, my time bomb, my one last retort.
Again, it was high; again, it was far.
Again, the crowd froze, locked on to my star.
They didn’t know; they couldn’t tell.
They wanted to scream; they wanted to yell.
But I knew the outcome; yes, I knew the score.
I waited for the frenzy, the scream, and the roar.
The ball floated down and paid off my debt.
Cradling, caressing, touching nothing but net.
You heard me right; things were all set.
Because my shot hit nothing but nothing but net.
Yes, I gave them the moment they’ll never forget.
Nothing but nothing but nothing but net.