The metaphor of basketball is to he found in these compounding alternatives. Every time a basketball player takes a step, an entire new geometry of action is created around him. In ten seconds, with or without the ball, a good player may see perhaps a hundred alternatives and, from them, make half a dozen choices as he goes along. A great player will see even more alternatives and will make more choices, and this multiradial way of looking at things can carry over into his life. At least, it carries over into Bradley’s life. The very word “alternatives” bobs in and out of his speech with noticeable frequency. Before his Rhodes Scholarship came along and eased things, he appeared to be worrying about dozens of alternatives for next year. And he still fills his days with alternatives. He apparently always needs to have eight ways to jump, not because he is excessively prudent but because that is what makes the game interesting.
Bradley calls practically all men “Mister” whose age exceeds his own by more than a couple of years. This includes any N.B.A. players he happens to meet, Princeton trainers, and Mr. Willem Hendrik van Breda Kolff, his coach. Van Breda Kolff was a Princeton basketball star himself, some twenty years ago, and went on to play for the New York Knickerbockers. Before returning to Princeton in 1962, he coached at Lafayette and Hofstra. His teams at the three colleges have won two hundred and fifty-one games and lost ninety-six. Naturally, it was a virtually unparalleled stroke of good fortune for van Breda Kolff to walk into his current coaching job in the very year that Bradley became eligible to play for the varsity team, but if the coach was lucky to have the player, the player was also lucky to have the coach. Van Breda Kolff, a cheerful and uncomplicated man, has a sportsman’s appreciation of the nuances of the game, and appears to feel that mere winning is far less important than winning with style. He is an Abstract Expressionist of basketball. Other coaches have difficulty scouting his teams, because he does not believe in a set offense. He likes his offense free-form.
This sportsman's spirit may be developed in ordinary life. In whatever walk of life one finds himself he must be able to do his duty. Material gains apart, he must be able to deliver the goods. He must be reliable and a good companion to his comrades. He is faithful and obedient to his superiors. He goes about his duty without gossiping and scandal mongering. Then people call him a good sportsman. Such people are scarce but they are assets wherever they are found.
Starting on the professional sports level, bad sportsmanship behaviors, like the use of steroids or "throwing" a game or a match in an effort to please the sports gambler trying to get their big pay-off, has trickled down through the college level and even down to the high school level.
Sportsmanship is the ethical and moral dimension of sports. It is demonstrated by a number of attributes and attitudes such as fair play, respect for the rules and traditions of the sport and various traits of good character including integrity (abiding by the letter and spirit of the rules and concepts of honor); demonstrated respect for others including teammates, opponents, officials and spectators; accountability, self-control, and graciousness in victory and defeat.
— Michael Josephson
Sportsmanship is a great tradition in sports and competition that means playing clean and handling both victory and defeat with grace, style, and dignity. This is the reason why you guys line up after each game to shake the hands of your opponents at the end of each game… win or lose. Sportsmanship includes playing fair, following the rules of the game, respecting the judgment of referees, and treating your opponents with respect. As a general rule of thumb, it makes sense to look at sportsmanship in a similar way that we view friendship… treat the people you play with and against as you would like to be treated yourself.
Sportsmanship, in its very essence, is respect – respect for others and for one’s self. Sportsmanship encompasses all that which is good in human nature. It is a concrete measure of the understanding and commitment to fair play, ethical behavior and integrity.
— California Interscholastic Federation (CIF)
Conduct that involves fair and honest rivalry, courteous relations and graceful acceptance of results.
— Sportsmanship, by John Bowman
If people do know the value of the sporting spirit why then the rarity or the absence of it ? Simply it is because of selfishness. For personal glory or ownership or name, one grows selfish. The selfishness gets started in early childhood. Jealousy and rivalry and sometimes even lack of security lead to selfishness. Very often children do not want to part with their play things or share them with, others. When this selfishness grows into life, there will be absence of sporting spirit. Such people keep themselves in isolation and they never mix freely with others. Temperamentally they are non-companionable and they are never happy nor add to the happiness of others. So we see that this sporting spirit must be developed even when they are children. Here comes the Cubs, Girl Guides and Boy Scouts movement which develop in their incumbents all the good qualities of a sportsman.
The world from the dawn of civilization has been enjoying sports. One of the pastimes of the rulers was to arrange for periodical sports. It may be hunting, chariot race, horse riding, wrestling and boxing. Organized sports were popular in Greece, especially Olympia from which modem Olympic games have derived their names. Sports were for fun and frolics. In the middle ages sports were very popular in European countries. Sports are supposed to develop many good qualities. There may be healthy competition and rivalry and never enmity or bitterness. It is and should be for the sports' sake and not for winning the laurels. This is the real sporting spirit. There are rules and regulations in play and games. The sporting spirit implies the following of rules whether one wins or loses. The outcome or the result is not the important thing but how the game is played.
In the past, all these were only very simple games, but they have evolved tremendously over the years and now, have become very professional sports, with many high-tech equipment to boost the sportsman’s performance.