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On the way back to the locker room, I broke down and started crying. At first, it was because I knew that if I had closed out short, he may have had a more difficult shot. I placed the blame on myself for losing the most important game of my college career and tears began to fall. I kind of felt stupid for crying, but I couldn’t help it.
When I sat down in the locker room, that’s when it really hit me. I actually sat there and cried for like 15 minutes straight. And this ain’t one of those “like 15 minutes” that was really two or three. This was legit. I couldn’t believe it, but it was like releasing everything that college basketball had meant to me up to that point.
These guys care. They care a lot, actually. Yes, they care what people think. They care that their legacies are on the line. They care about the city of Miami. They care about the NBA. They even care about you, their haters. How do I know they care? Because I know how much you have to care to cry after a loss...
... Furthermore, the guys who cry after the games don’t cry because they are terrible and have no chance. They do it because they’re close. So close it hurts. I’ve never seen a last place team cry after a game. Nor have a seen a team with no chance for serious success do it. It’s only the guys whose will is strong enough to do something about it afterwards. My senior year of college was the biggest setback of my life. Since then I’ve done nothing but grow and get better, because my will to do so is strong.
I’m not here trying to convert anyone into Miami fans. I’m not even a Miami fan. I actually think it’s fun and easy to ridicule them. But when I see tears in their eyes, I get the idea that the fun and games are over, and maybe they’re poised to turn things around after this setback. Heck, maybe they won’t, but I’ll never again question how much they care.