It’s true that sitting in a wheelchair can’t help but take some of the height advantage away, but how badly do you think a team consisting of San Antonio Spurs big men Matt Bonner (at 6-10), Aron Baynes (ditto) and Tiago Splitter (6-11) would beat a wheelchair basketball team in a game of three-on-three? After all, Bonner is one of the most accurate NBA shooters of all time, Baynes is a highly-regarded reserve center, and Splitter is one of the league’s best young offensive centers.
This is where you find out that some skills don’t translate, and that wheelchair basketball is an entirely different sport. A fascinating, entertaining, engaging sport. Seriously, if you ever get to see a game of wheelchair basketball down at your local YMCA or student rec center, take it in.
Oh, and those three Spurs lost by a 28-6 count to a group of army veterans, playing at a rehabilitation center at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio on Tuesday. The Spurs got their tails handed to them.
After a 20-minute game, the three veterans, Edwin Gonzalez, Matt Spang and Chris Pettway — all amputees — trounced the Spurs, 28-6. Gonzalez, from New York state, said it was generous of the Spurs to compete in wheelchairs.
I am not going to sit here and say that these Spurs players should be embarrassed by losing this wheelchair basketball game because they should not. I’ll tell you what, its impressive to watch wheelchair basketball, I couldn’t do it. The strength and fortitude that it takes to push your own wheelchair and think basketball is amazing.
I give it to Edwin Gonzalez, Matt Spang and Chris Pettway, not just for their win, but also for protecting the rights of America! I also give it to Bonner, Baynes, and Splitter for being willing to take it on the chin because you have to believe that they had no expectations to win!
P.S. Here is what wheelchair basketball looks like in case you never seen it.