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Basketball image of Venice Beach beach basketball players in a defensive mode defending agains another player painted in Black and white Orlando Magic owned painting

Art Basketball Venice Beach Sports Painting

Basketball image of Venice Beach beach basketball players in a defensive mode defending agains another player painted in Black and white Orlando Magic owned painting
Basketball “Defense” sports art painting by John Robertson 60″ x 72″ acrylic on unstretched canvas

Art and Basketball

In watching the NCAA finals between Villanova and Michigan it made me think of what it takes to be a great athlete – because, I think, the same principles apply to almost anything anyone wants to do.  In my case it is or was to be a good artist   I say good and not great as I know what my physical and mental laminations are.  One does have to start out with some sort of talent but it is how they use them.

There are differences.  In basketball it is a team sport and you have to learn early that you try to do what’s best for the team. Trying to make sure everyone’s playing together as one unit.  In painting, it is pretty much up to the individual artist in creating their work.  But to be more than that individual artist you have too participate in a team effort to be part of a larger picture of artists around you – artist that gives you support and guidance and help you develop.

It’s like a fourteen year old kid who practices and learns to be a really good shooter, and learns great ball handling and dribbling skills but until he can play on a team and be part of it, he won’t amount to anything.  He will just be a kid shooting basketballs down at the gym.  What you want to happen is for a new talent to join up with more advanced players, or in my case mid-career artists, who can take a development route towards more advanced play.

The problem arises when players (artists) want to take a shorter route, to get into the marketplace without all the tools that take time to develop.  In the case of a a high school  player, he might think he is ready for the pros, or the college player who wants to leave early out of the program and sign early.  Occasionally it works for that exceptional player but normally they need to stay and mature.  I don’t care what you want to do –  artist, basketball player asparagus farmer, whatever it is.  Whatever it is, there is no easy path except hard work and time.

Amway Sports Arena

Basketball sports art. The new Amway sports arena in Orlando Florida purchased this basketball art. This is where the NBA Orlando Magic plays.  The sports image came from a photograph I took of the basketball players that play on the courts in Venice CA.  The basketball courts were the ones used when filming the  great basketball movie, “White Men Can’t Jump.”

Painting of Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers making a jup shot with his hands above his head.

Kobe Bryant Basketball Art

Ten Things Kobe Bryant and I did at certain times.
Comparisons between Kobe Bryant and me.

Painting of Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers making a jup shot with his hands above his head.When Kobe Bryant left high school he was drafted and went directly into the National Basketball Association. The NBA. Whereas: when I left high school I could have easily been drafted – into the armed services (yes I was around for the draft) but I joined and went directly into the NAVY. He was a shooting guard and took thousands of shots. I didn’t shoot anything – but I probably had a thousand shots in some fly biting bars in a variety of ports around the southern pacific.

In his next year Kobe won the slam dunk contest and named an all-star in his second season. And I ended up in a dunk tank as a target for officers raising money for their new basketball court. I was good for seven dunks before being dragged from the tank with a fish in my mouth.

Kobe Bryant Success

Bryant continued on to become the cornerstone of the Lakers . He led the NBA in scoring during the 2005–06 and 2006–07 seasons. In one game, he scored a career-high 81 points, the second most points scored in a single game in league history behind Wilt Chamberlain’s 100-point game in 1962. He became the most valuable player a number of times and won a few championships.

My Successes

Me? Let’s see, what have I accomplished? At my last job I was fired for “not being a team player”. Although, it took them 23 years to figure that one out. No MVP that is for sure. Back to those high school days. When they ranked the senior class of 837 teenagers I was ranked 835. Yup. That is correct. I was 835th in a class of 837. Two kids had worse grades than me. Of course they were friends of mine. That fine high school education has led me on to a life of quiet obscurity.

And near the end of his career Kobe Bryant had a torn Achilles tendon that started his decline. But me? I never had a decline. You have to have had some sort of assent to decline from. And I certainly had/have my Achilles heel and my only claim to fame – I have more than two Achilles heels.