There is nothing better than leaving it all on the floor, the feeling of knowing that you have nothing left to giveand all the hard work has paid off.
There have been several occasions during my time at Michigan State when I questioned whether the hard work was all worth it. You are constantly being judged by fans and the media and you often feel that people don’t understand or appreciate the time and effort that you have invested in this program. Everyone who has worn that MSU jersey eventually arrived at a point where they were feed up with everything and needed a break. I call it the breaking point. It’s when people break down, transfer or step away from the game completely.
There comes a moment though that everything starts to make sense and you completely understand why you have put in all the hours of blood sweat and tears. You feel total appreciation from the Spartan nation and it provides a feeling that is hard to explain, the moment I am talking about is when you get to walk to center court of the Breslin, lean down and kiss that block S.
Shawn Respert started the tradition years ago and it has carried forward to the current players. You are giving thanks to all the Spartan warriors who came before you and laid the groundwork for each of us to play the game we love for the greatest program in the country. It’s an emotional experience where you profess your love for Michigan State, the fans, your teammates and coaches all in one brief exchange of lips on court. As the fans rise to their feet, You almost feel like a modern-day gladiator returning from one final battle in the Coliseum. You turn around and head towards the home bench one last time and things seem quiet. You always lock eyes with Coach Izzo, and you see that his eyes are filling with tears. You take a deep breath fighting to hold back your own tears and you know you have left it all on that floor.
I’ve heard it said that “Life shouldn’t simply end being put in a coffin. Life should end sliding into a coffin from the side, exclaiming “Whoa, what a ride!” The same thing holds true as you walk off your home court for the last time. When you get the opportunity to walk to the middle of the floor and kiss that S, knowing that you left everything you had on that floor.