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She shoots, she scores – she beats me?

My video-game-loathing girlfriend is a virtual master.

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There I was lying on my back looking at the ceiling in dismay. "How could this have happened?" I thought. A half-hour ago I was brushing up on my NBA Street skills with my team of Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and an animated version of myself on my PlayStation 2. Big alley-oops, thrashing drives to the hoop, classic blocks by K.G., and the occasional deep shot by Pierce. Everything was going great, we were working as a team, passes were smooth and better yet, my team was coming off 17 straight wins.

While on this winning streak, I thought it would be a good time to introduce my girlfriend to the world of 3-on-3 street basketball. This is a person who has little interest in video games, and on most occasions, doesn't enjoy seeing me play video games. It mainly comes down to the fact that when I'm focused on the television, I'm not focused on her. True enough. But secretly, I felt playing video games was a way to show off my mad skills.

Even though I know my girlfriend can be a fierce competitor – she recently qualified for the Boston Marathon with a time of 3:23 – when it comes to our relationship, we never feel like we are in competition with each other. So I was mainly looking to show off when I invited her to play.

The strategy was easy: Give her a perceived edge with a stacked team, let her win the first game, and then crush her in the second. So we established a strong offensive and defensive team built around a strong inside man, Shaq, and two great outside shooters, Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash. After that, I slowly went over the defensive and offensive controls, gave her a few tips on blocking and passing, and then we tipped off.


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