Get a load of this nice green blade field...now can you get your damn feet off the grass!
It finally happened...
I think it began as I was doing research for the 20th Anniversary of the Denver Nuggets upset of the Seattle Supersonics in the 1994 first round. That old comfortable feeling. Nostalgia. Remembering that time I was fully invested as a teenager in the Nuggets wins (few) and losses (many). The 20th Anniversary began my (very slow) realization that I like my era of basketball and I don't care if you don't.
There ... I said it. Get off my goddamn lawn!
Today as I was doing other things I came across one of my favorite series of all time. The 1993 Eastern Conference Finals between the Chicago Bulls and the New York Knicks. The whole. Freakin. Series. Yeah baby. Look...LOOK here I'll show you...
You know what? It's still my favorite series and watching game one was just as amazing as the 15 year old kid who saw it the first time. Game 2 is even better, featuring John Starks left handed dunk over Horace Grant to clinch game 2. It brought a big smile to face. It's an era of basketball that gets a bad rap (the REALLY bad NBA basketball in the 1990's didn't begin until the end of the decade with the infamous Miami Heat/New York Knicks brawls). If you like tough, physical basketball and tremendous half court basketball execution ... this is your thing.
You know what ... I miss it.
I don't PREFER it ... but I do miss it. It reminds me of a time when the NBA was exciting. I think that is the crux of the NBA and WHY it succeeds in thing new world. The NBA is a great game to watch for teenagers and young people. As I've gotten older (I'll be 38 in July) I still love the game but I find myself being taken over by nostalgia and missing the days of the back to the basket big man.
Then you start getting annoyed at certain assertions of the new generation. Watching twitter and getting annoyed at the groupthink that Basketball twitter seems to engage in. Then maybe you find yourself reflexively nodding in agreement at the insane ramblings of Charles Barkley on Inside the NBA ... Ok ... maybe not THAT far.
I've found myself feeling very old lately. I've blogged about the Denver Nuggets since 2010. I came on the Nuggets writing game when I was 32 which is extremely late for a blogger (most long-term bloggers get their start in their late teens or early 20's). So I was already on my way to becoming a crotchety old basketball blogger in Carmelo Anthony's final year in Denver. As the analytics revolution has taken over basketball I've found myself resisting the change much as I've resisted how "pop" hip hop has become since 2000.
One of the most unwatchable games for me when the Philadelphia 76ers played the Nuggets in a couple weeks ago. While the Nuggets pulled the rabbit out of the hat with an Emmanuel Mudiay shot at the buzzer, watching the Sixers shoot 40 three point shots in one game was just the definition of unwatchable basketball to me. But ... most people nowadays don't mind that sort of thing. I had to grit my teeth.
It is what it is though. I started late and powered through the changes in basketball with my own particular, cynical brand of covering the Nuggets. I've adapted to the newer generation, but I can't help but feel that my general approach to the game of basketball has largely been phased out of basketball. My Father worked for the Rocky Mountain News for over 30 years and saw the decline of newspapers. Where will the place for people my age be in the pool of NBA basketball coverage be?
In the grand scheme of things I don't care. I run a successful podcast with Nate TImmons and Ross Martin. I've helped build up Denver Stiffs to what it is today ... and I'm very proud of it, regardless of what the future holds. I'll continue to be Denver Stiffs grumpy old man and it will be great.
And get off my damn lawn.
Now watch game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals. Fast forward to the end for Stark's dunk