Over the past decade, the biggest names to hog the NBA spotlight revolve around Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan, LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and this past two years, Steph Curry of the reigning champion Golden State Warriors.
But while these resident superstars continue to make the NBA a global brand, an interesting sidelight are some of the “non-superstar” players, who through sheer hardwork, have somehow, carved their own place in the American professional basketball league.
Some of my friends, who join the NBA Fantasy league, are actually talking about Miami Heat forward Hassan Whiteside.
And certainly, the seven-foot Whiteside has gone a long way since being waived by the Sacramento Kings in 2012.
Although he spent a lot of time playing in the NBA D-League, toiling with such teams as the Reno Bighorns, the Sioux Skyforce and the Iowa Energy, along with stints in Lebanon and China, Whiteside has made a name for himself as one of the NBA’s premiere defensive players today.
Before being sidelined with a hip injury this season, Whiteside has solid per-game averages of 12.3 points, 11.2 rebounds and 3.9 blocks for the Heat.
Another NBA player worth talking about is San Antonio Spurs shooter Danny Green.
A quick check on Green’s profile revealed that the 28-year-old American forward had a rough start to his NBA career after being selected 46th overall in the 2009 NBA Draft by the Cleveland Cavaliers.
His first two seasons for the Cavs and the Spurs (2010 and 2011) weren’t that rosy as he rode the bench most of the time.
The University of North Carolina alumn even had to spend some time playing for the Reno Bighorns and the Austin Toros in the NBA D-League, before getting another opportunity to return to the NBA following the 2012 lockout.
Since then, Green made the most of the chances he was given, making a name for himself during the 2013 NBA Finals after breaking the record for most three-pointers in a championship series.
Whiteside and Green got drafted in the NBA, drifted to the minor league, before finally earning their respective spots after being given a second chance.
Their unique, inspiring journey reminds me of how we all would wish to have a second chance every time we make mistakes.
Since we are all humans and have the tendency to err, it is common for us to ask for a second chance from someone we hurt.
When you make a mistake by causing your company to lose a potentially big transaction, you’d surely pray that you get a second chance from your boss.
I’ve been married for 11 years now and one too many times, I’ve made mistakes. There were times when my wife and I argue over an issue and I say things that tend to hurt her. But thankfully, despite my failings, God is a God of second chance.
You and I make mistakes. It’s a given because the Bible says we have a corrupted nature (Romans 3:23, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”)
Yet, God is also a God of mercy. For though we commit mistakes, hurt other people through our actions and words and even offend God by what we do, He still extends His mercy and forgives us.
A passage in 1 John 1:9 says, “But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.”
Instead of shying away from God and feel condemned for what you in the past, why not open yourself to Him? Tell Him how sorry you are, receive His forgiveness, embrace the newfound freedom He is giving you and, with the strength He provides, move on and avoid committing the same mistake.