There was no person I have wanted to beat in basketball more, since I was 12 years old, than Quintin Kamau Johnson. Objectively, Quintin has always been the better player. A few skills have always been consistent with him: A tight handle, underrated footwork, and incredibly consistent jumper.
However, Quintin and I are essentially the same height. That means that even though those that observed us two could see who was the better player, that didn’t stop me from sometimes getting the edge in a one on one.
And once you feel like you can beat someone, you never want to lose to them again. But through rivalry you build camradarie, and a desire to see each other get better.
Before we talked about anything, Quintin and I talked about sports. And that mutual love forged a bond that would last for years to come. As kids we played in 3 on 3 basketball tournaments together, middle school basketball teams together, varsity track and cross country teams together, and eventually men’s basketball leagues. Quintin took me to my first Cubs game. It was him I found in a mass of drunk people in Wrigley Field when the Cubs broke their curse. We’ve played countless games of NBA 2K. We once had a shouting match about the possibility of Lebron and Kyrie working as a tandem back in 2013 so loud that our friend almost kicked us out of his dormitory. (I thought they could work, Q thought they couldn’t. I guess in hindsight we were both right?)
So when the Your Sports Addiction podcast first became a thought, the partnership that we formed was an easy choice.
There aren’t many sports that you can name that Quintin hasn’t played. Varsity baseball outfielder. Tennis player. Golfer. 400mm runner. His perspective on how the athletic world operates is unique because he has possessed so many different vantage points.
As a kid I would archive sports magazines that my dad had subscribed to. Sports Illustrated, Sporting News, ESPN Magazine. The S.I. NBA Preview was a yearly tradition in our homeroom. Quintin and others would pass my magazine around our school and we would discuss our feelings about what was to come. Who looked cool in their new jerseys? What teams were gonna be better in the new season? These things were everything to us. The imagery, the numbers, the storylines. Things that get us going to this day. These are things that we know get you going too.
YSA is born out of the sharing of these experiences. The things that make you laugh. Why does Coach X wear that style of a mustache? Where were you in life when T.O. did sit ups in his driveway? What’s the coolest hockey jersey to rock right now?
But it’s also about how sports can make you cry. How your team losing on Sunday can ruin the rest of your week. How some little boys from the South Side of Chicago can play the best baseball of their lives and captivate a city. How those same boys can get that stripped away and let an entire city down as a result. How a playoff loss can be the catalyst to a franchise collapse. When your hometown hero becomes the scapegoat.
What was born out of two boys talking sports in their middle school classroom, to two men talking sports on a podcast, will now manifest itself in the form of various types of content. Some you’ve seen. But there’s more to come. And your feedback, whether it be your opinions or your experiences, is what we want the most. We want engagement, and as a result we are ready to touch the people. So join us on our journey. Because we are fueled by YOUR Sports Addiction as much as we are fueled by our own.