My name is Dan. I love basketball, probably at an unhealthy level. My love for the game started in 1992, as I watched Michael Jordan and his Chicago Bulls dismantle Clyde Drexler and the Portland Trailblazers. This was all on my own, mind you. My dad was a casual fan, but never pushed sports on me or my brother. By all accounts, my bloodline would lead you to believe I should be an avid baseball fan (now that we are all out of the house, the old man does enjoy himself a Dodger game). Growing up in Southern California, this wasn’t exactly the greatest decade in my Los Angeles Lakers’ history, but the 90’s were still an exciting time to be a basketball fan. Whether it was Michael Jordan shrugging his shoulders after sinking six 3’s before halftime, later that year being treated with the Dream Team, Reggie Miller battling the New York Knicks, marveling at little Muggsy Bogues running around the trees to steal the ball, the Bulls 72-10 run in 1996, the resulting tsunami from the splash the Lakers made by signing Shaq, or MJ’s storybook finale in Game 6 of the 1998 NBA Finals, it was quite the decade. And, needless to say, I was hooked.
Growing up, I was the annoying nerdy kid nobody wanted to sit with. My uncles and older cousins would watch a Laker game with me, and, because I considered them adults or at least older than me, I thought they would know more and I could have a conversation.
“Karl Malone is going to the free throw line, do you know who he is?”
“Yeah, he talks to himself, do you think that’s why he only shoots 69%? Didn’t he used to shoot 75% last year?”
“Uhh, I’m not sure…”
“Well don’t you watch basketball? You said you did”
“I do, but…”
“Then how do you not know this? We play them like 3 times a year”
“Well, if you know so much, how do you not know?”
“I usually have to be in bed by nine! I can’t watch all the games!”
“Hey, aren’t you hungry? There’s food at the table”
“But I want to watch him miss. He’s already made 4 in a row”
Karl Malone misses the free throw.
“How did you know that?”
“I told you, he shoots 69%!”
Nowadays, I’m like my uncles and older cousins in that I do not know everyone’s field goal, 3-point, and free throw percentages by heart anymore. When you get older, you get a job, you buy a house, you have responsibilities of your own. You don’t have time to care about what the hell Karl Malone is doing. That being said, I can still name every single NBA champion going back to 1976. I can recall lineups from teams that played in the 1970’s (I was born in 1984. My boss had a nice chuckle about this when I helped remind him Earl Monroe played for his favorite Knick team of all time back in 1973).
These are all facts I have put to memory because, well I never really had an answer for that. Nobody is paying me to do it. Which is why I can’t understand how ESPN can screw up a stat about a sport I know so much about, when I can only research in my leisure time. If it were my job, I would know any and all things basketball. Maybe one day it can be, but for now, I just want to talk hoops!
This is the purpose of my blog. I welcome anyone else to my topics and feedback is encouraged. This is not a challenge, nor am I here to start an argument. I’m simply looking to put my ideas and opinions out, with a few facts thrown in, to start a discussion. I’m hoping to reach people who are like me, and gain further knowledge and perhaps a different view or take on the sport and the way it’s played.
Yes, time has passed, I’ve grown up, I have a job, and I pay my bills. But, the truth is, I’m still that kid sitting in front of the television. Watching Karl Malone, knowing he’s going to miss.