Sometimes it's Hard (to Be a Woman)
Freedarko is up at McSweeney's again today. The Buddy Cianci of this hoops-blog shit. On some two places at once/getting elected mayor while we're sitting in a jail cell.
“…God, I can’t believe both Carmelo and Nene are younger than me. There’re so many NBA players younger than me.
“Kind of ruins your dreams of playing professional basketball,” says a voice.
“Get ready to see a lot of younger people more successful than you,” says another.
“Yeah, I know. It’s just weird in basketball.”
The NBA can be crushing to a quarter-lifer, as it flashes in his(my) face all that one cannot be and all one is leaving behind in adulthood. Furthermore, The Association is an institution that never ages and is always in fashion Vs. in real life this is impossible unless you're like, Prince. Now, the question is whether this phenomenon is specific to basketball, or is this a point about sports more generally. Instinctually, I want to say that it's a hoops-specific thing, because basketball is simply inherently "cooler" than other sports. Like, when you think about Babe Ruth sleeping around and think about Wilt Chamberlain sleeping around, you know that Wilt was on some different shit. Same with comparing George Gervin's drug problem, to say, Mark Gastineau's.
And now I'm clearly conflating "youth" and "cool," which I think at this point we have some license to do, but I'm still not satisfied with my answer. I also feel like the eventual reconciliation on what makes basketball so eternally youthful/STYLE, and hence maddening, may be one of the primary justifications for this blog's existence. I know that rocking a football jersey would make me feel like Pittsnogle walking clueless around Times Square or something, and that wearing a baseball jersey would seem to involve going to a costume party with fake facial hair--whereas NBA jerseys just feel like "gear." But the worry is that the NBA stands out in this regard, only because it's my favorite sport. And maybe it's not so special or youthful after all. I have my theses*, but I'd love to hear yours as well, in hopes of transcending past oversimplifications akin to 'basketball is jazz/rap and old people dont like loud music or artistic progress.'
Thanks for coming to therapy with me...The pictures seem less random today.
Frustratedly yours, D-LIC.
-Focus is often on the single INDIVIDUAL for greater periods of time in hoops. Baseball is pitcher/hitter matchups, football is team-team oriented
-Courtside seats and everything that comes with them is UNHEARD OF.
-Specialized skill sets are more bad-ass + more military-like (defensive SPECIALIST, three-point ASSASSIN, paint ENFORCER) vs punters, kickoff returners, late-game defensive replacements at first base simply because some guy can do the splits better than the fat dude who was in the game for the first seven innings
-Hoops' renaissance occurring late 60s/early 70s (WALT FRAZIER = James Brown 'In the Jungle Groove') vs Baseball (1920s - Al Jolson doing minstrelsy) + Football (LATE 70s, inching ever more closely to "Coming to America" type joints)
-relatedly, remnants of all that was the ABA
-Coaches dress like pimps
-higher scoring games: more points, opportunities for offense = more more pleasure/hedonism/approach tendencies (i.e. drugs)