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Basketball at it's Finest. Also, other stuff. Sometimes.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

It's Faaaaaantastic

Man. It’s almost here. IT’S ALMOST HERE. We got to watch Team USA bust heads in the World Championships, but there's nothing like the anticipation for a new NBA season, and this one is going to be one for the ages. I’ve been an NBA junkie for almost as long as I can remember. I remember  1987, lil girls wearing sideways ponytails, the crappily drawn Simpsons, and the 6’9 cat in gold-n-purple ripping up and down the court, lobbing it in to the 7 foot alien dude with the impossible hook shot. I remember BeBop n Rocksteady catchin’ beatdowns from the damn Ninja Turtles, watching V.I.C.K.I. on Small Wonder (dude almost went to jail cuz V.I.C.K.I. told Child Welfare he kept her in a closet; I’d have turned her into a damn lawnmower), and Young MJ going God on the Celtics, making Bird find religion even while the Bulls fell to the Celtics. Bill Simmons talks about the mid 70’s to late 80’s like the NBA Golden Age, but funk dat, give me the epic bloody battles between the early 90’s Pistons vs The League, the Eddie Haskell “good guys you love to hate” Pacers, the ultimate domination that was “Soul Crusher” Jordan’s Bulls, the mind-numbingly precise “Stockton-go-Malone” versus Reign-Man’s terrifying athleticism and the Glove’s desecration of all point guards. I read the reports on the early internet about Mike retiring, the Baseball stint, the lock-out, the Duncan Tankathon. I was in San Diego, learning my way in the Navy, watching Shaq ruin centers careers, wracking up ‘ships with Wanna-be-like-Mike, crushing my boys in NBA Live 2000. The end of the Air Jordan era was bittersweet; dude was IT, and we loved seeing him pin Ron Mercer’s shit to the glass WITH TWO HANDS to win a meaningless game against Chicago, but it was like watching an aging King being ran by less talented knights with young legs. I soaked up the Kobe/Shaq, the Kobe/Colorado, the Kobe/Snitch, the Pacers keepin-it-real-goes-wrong, Portland’s degeneration to bullshit (but Sheed was legit), the young Guns of ‘03. Contenders to the throne, from the Soft Cousins Mcgrady and Vinsanity, to the cursed Grant Hill and the incredible Penny. I got to watch LeBron go from breathless potential to “get the #%&# outta here” League Conquerer to the black sheep of the sports world. And every ESPN editorial, every Sports Guy article, every Chuck Barkley “I tell ya what…”, I thought, I could DO that. Basketball’s been part of my life, through navy deployments, wild times overseas, dumb moves, birthdays, fights, promotion, break-ups, failures, ball is there. I yell about it, argue about it, text about it. I’m ALWAYS saying, I wish I could take it past me and the fellas just choppin’ it up, past me trying to drunkenly explain why Perk would have meant a W in game 7 for the Celts in a bar full of Lakers’ fans in San Diego. So it is written… I’ll overanalyze, I’ll nitpick, I’ll prognosticate, I’ll argue with anybody; if a cogent view is expressed, I’ll even flip the script and take the hit and be wrong (yeah right). It’s more than just points and dunks, its beyond the box score. So let’s go…

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