Today is a very important day for me and about 10 percent of the world: it’s International Left Handers Day.
I have an odd sense of pride being left-handed. Being a part of such a small minority makes you feel that way. And since handedness is genetic, that adds to feeling like you’re special. You don’t choose which hand is your dominant hand, you’re born with it. You either are left-handed or you’re not.
I identify as left-handed on my Twitter bio. I’m in two different GroupMe’s that’s all featuring other lefties or honorary lefties. This year myself and two friends founded the LHF, that’s the Left-Handed Faction, where we... well we do the same kind of stuff other people do, we’re just lefties. What I’m saying is my handedness is so prominent in my life I basically introduce myself like Eric Stratton did in Animal House.
Zachary Junda, left-handed, damn glad to meet ya.
Unfortunately when 90 percent of the world is right-handed, it means almost everything’s made with them in mind. You ever try writing in a binder or a notebook with your left-hand? The binder rings and notebook spiral make life hell for a left-handed student. And I don’t know what kind of sick collusion there was but can-openers were absolutely not created with left-handed people in mind. You all are awful, but the joke’s on you because I learned how to use one and I’ve never felt more invincible in my life.
Before I ramble too much about left-handed struggles — and this accidentally turns into an Odyssey piece (15 things all lefties are tired of hearing: you won’t BELIEVE No. 5!!!!) — here’s some NBA southpaws that are probably celebrating this joyous day.
- Tayshaun Prince - The mid-2000 Pistons were the first teams that I loved. From the color scheme to the mascot name and to beating the Los Angeles Lakers in the 2004 Finals. Believe it or not, Tayshaun Prince was my favorite guy from that bunch.
- Mike Conley Jr. - Before LeBron James signed his new deal with Cleveland, Conley was momentarily the league’s highest paid player. A victory for lefties everywhere indeed.
- Zach Randolph - Two lefties named Zach in one piece! Z-Bo has been one of the league’s better longstanding big men and the leader in the “dudes you don’t want to fight” clubhouse since he came into the league.
- Josh Smith - J-Smoove! Going into year 13, I’m still not sure if Josh Smith is worth a damn, but I don’t believe there’s been anyone better at the missed three-point shot with 17 seconds remaining on the shot clock than Smith. Keep getting them checks.
- Chris Bosh - An 11-time All-Star, two-time NBA champion and member of the United State’s 2008 gold medal team, Bosh is the most decorated lefty in the league. And because life comes at you fast, Bosh is also the last member of the Miami Big Three. It is my sincere hope that his medical issues can resolve themselves so that he may return to the court again.
- Manu Ginobili - Ginobili is many things: one of the best sixth-men of this generation, a four-time NBA champion and the greatest Argentinian basketball player who ever lived. But he is also a lefty, which is most important. Don’t forget the time he slapped a bat. And because of Ginobili’s dominant hand, he gave us the Jumpman line “I hit the Ginobli with my left hand up like woo”
- James Harden - Yes, he plays no defense. Yes, he plays a little too much iso-ball. Yes, he is at least 37 percent responsible for the Rockets faceplanting this year. But, The Beard is one of the top scorers in the game and an expert at getting to the foul line. Hey, he’s left-handed, so if you have a problem with him, you have a problem with me.
Here’s some other tidbits about left-handed NBA players courtesy of a 2015 piece by Andrew Perna of realgm.com: of the 492 players in the league, only 42, roughly eight percent, are left-handed. The last left-handed player to be named league MVP was David Robinson in 1995; Robinson was also the last lefty scoring leader back in 1994 and before that you’d have to go all the way back to Nate Archibald in 1973 to find a left-handed scoring leader. And there have only been four left-handed MVPs in league history: Robinson, Dave Cowens, Willis Reed and Bill Russell.
I’m not saying Left-Handers Day is the most important day of the year, but I’d argue it’s at least top-15. Maybe not more important than Christmas but just ahead of Arbor Day and National Cheesecake Day for sure. So to all my fellow lefties out there, I hope our day is an enjoyable one. And remember you ain’t right unless you’re left.