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Zen and Auburn Basketball

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NCAA Basketball: Auburn at Missouri
Dunking His Truth
Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Last night, Auburn throttled Mizzou in Columbia. After the game, analysts on SEC network went on and on about how good Auburn is and how fun they are to watch. They also said, over and over, how they don’t understand how Auburn is so good. There’s nothing statistically that says they should be the best team in the SEC, but here we are. The Tigers are confusing, they are chaotic, they are perfect. When I was a freshman at Auburn, the Tigers were on probation and the stadium was empty. I used to walk to courtside seats I didn’t pay for and sit with my feet on the hardwood to watch a pretty awful and scholarship-limited Auburn team try to find the basket. Now, Auburn fans watch guys run up and down the court with smiles on their faces—a celebration of enthusiasm and teamwork.

Teamwork is a type of magic. A collection of individuals can become something bigger and better than any of them could be on their own if they submit to the creative force of the collective. This Auburn team is better than it looks on paper, because the individuals have contracted their egos to allow for the creation of a new, great thing. A sort of zimzum, to borrow a Hebrew phrase. We should celebrate the individuals on this team for their commitment to the collective, their ego-less contribution to the Group, and their fast-paced fun style of putting the ball in the basket. I know only one fitting way to do so, Gif and Haiku!

Jared Harper

Small but never scared

Here he comes to save the day

Harper for three, good

Mustapha Heron

Violent throw down

scream into the face of loss

Look to march, let’s dance

Bryce Brown

simple sparks bring flame

flame burns entire villages

get hot, lay waste, game

DeSean Murray

They say he is short

and then they try to stop him

unwise, tanks are strong

Anfernee McLemore

A shot is taken

It sails up like a balloon

Smack! broken nose, row three

Horace Spencer

Energy, effort

A vacuum for basketballs

End their possession

Davion Mitchell

Defense and passing

They can’t win if they don’t score

swagger off the bench

Chuma Okeke

Always left open

Stay quietly dropping bombs

Chuma Okeke

Malik Dunbar

killer on the ball

inevitable, big shots

falling like the rain