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if you can't praise them, what are you?

Steph Curry tore up the NBA this season. A few nights after he set the record for 3 pointers and won the game on a ridiculous almost half-court shot. Average joes (not fans) were watching the replays on their iPhones and getting huge grins on their faces. 

In the middle of the Steph Curry show - which it was - there were quite a few ex-NBA players saying things like... 

Never seen anything like SCurry? Remind you of Chris Jackson /Mahamoud Abdul-Rauf, who had a short brilliant run in NBA? 

Phil Jackson said that. Phil Jackson who has coached more championship teams than any other coach. What? 

Oscar Robinson, an NBA legend, Charles Barkey and Walt Frazier all made comments that the game of basketball had changed and Curry, basically, isn’t as great as everyone thinks. 

Compare that to Lebron James who tweeted...

“Never before seen someone likehim in the history of ball!”

And Baron Davis, Rudy Gay, Dwayne Wade who all couldn’t stop gushing about his skills. 

(It's interesting that LeBron James went on to beat Curry in the finals.) 

This, of course, is not just a basketball thing. But it seems like there are two reactions to someone’s success: jealousy and/or negative reactions to the new operating system or simple enjoyment of the evolution of “the game” and the fact that someone is doing what they were made to do and you get to be there for it and learn from it. 

If I’m honest, sometimes it's hard not to be jealous. I spend all this time working on my craft, trying to get better, and here they come...

They’re so luckly.
They aren’t even that good.
It must be easy for them.
If they had to play the way I had to play. 

Just the ego responding to fear. 

So, I ask myself some questions...

If I can’t look at another artists’ work and say it is good, what kind of an artist am I? 
If I can’t read another author and say that is amazing, what kind of an author am I? 
If I can’t listen to another speaker and say wow, what kind of speaker am I?
If I can’t listen to another musician and be overwhelmed, what kind of musician am I? 
If I can’t see another person dance and cheer for them, what kind of dancer am I? 

If I can’t appreciate the people who are honing their craft with more skill and talent than I am, if I can’t be inspired by them, well… critics are everywhere. And they are terrified of their own standings. 

Critics are never the actual artists, authors, speakers, musicians, and dancers because they are too busy taking down the people that are, while believing they could do it better than all of them. Or, at the least, making excuses for their success compared their own. 

If I can’t appreciate a different religion or faith perspective...

rob bell.