Monday, June 3, 2013

The Beginning of the End

Today, one of my favorite basketball players retired, Jason Kidd. My dad put me on J-Kidd in the late 90s when he was on Phoenix. He told me to keep an eye on how he passes and finds teammates. I was amazed, not just by the blond hair, but his speed, quickness, and no look passes were incredible. A lot of people forget how good Kidd was because his prime was 10-12 years ago. He is the best point guard of the last 20 years. Better than Payton, Nash and Parker. No point guards, except Magic and Oscar Robertson have been as well rounded as Kidd and its hard to see another one coming.

Along with Kidd, Grant Hill retired on Saturday. Hill was the evolution of the modern small forward/point forward position. There was Scottie then Hill and now LeBron. Hill was robbed by injuries so we'll never know how good he could have been, but we do know that from 1994-1999 he put up 20+ points, 6+ assists, and 7+ rebounds. Sounds really similar to that guy on the Heat. Kidd and Hill retiring has made me think though, this is the beginning of the end of an era.

The early 2000s were an awesome time for me. I was in middle school, throwbacks were dope and I began going through puberty, which led to me lust over just about anything with a vagina. Basketball was also big for me in the early 2000s. I loved watching Kidd, Iverson, Duncan, Kobe, T-Mac, Vince Carter, Dirk Nowitzki and Steve Nash just to name a few. Back then these guys were  the next wave of legends and for the most part they did turn in to legends. As I sit here now, in 2013, I realize that time is over. Throwbacks are long gone (but I had a closet full of them!), puberty is over (Wait...I'm done growing?) and I have a girlfriend so I literally am not allowed to peep hunnies (I'm kidding, she's cool!). Along with those changes, many changes have happened in the NBA. Kobe and Duncan are no longer the best, T-Mac is a bench warmer on the Spurs and Vince Carter is a role player. How the f*ck did this happen? Time.

Time is a b*tch. It catches us all. It caught Shaq, it caught AI, and it just caught Jason Kidd and Grant Hill. Who's next? Probably the guys you grew up watching. They aren't getting any younger. Incredibly, Tim Duncan is in the NBA finals, but this is feeling like the last stand for a battle tested warrior. All of these great players from the early 2000s are losing steps or have lost steps. Yes, they are still some of the best in the game, but the windows are closing. Its getting to the point where we have to defend our favorite player's legacy to little kids who don't know s*it. It sucks, on a side note, if you were born after 1994, I don't understand you, and I apologize. Times have changed far too much in the last few years and our disconnect is tremendous. Back to the topic.

The San Antonio Spurs are going up against the Miami Heat this Thursday in the NBA finals. The former MVP vs the current MVP. I don't know who is going to win this series, but I do know this is the last time I'll see some of my favorite players in the finals and it hurts the 13-year-old in me.