As we matriculate our way through this thang we call "40 Games in 40 Nights," sometimes you've got to pay your respect to your elders.
Sure, we've waxed poetic on the greatness of LeBron James, the defensive dominance of Dwight Howard, and the uprising of Kevin Durant, but when you start looking at some of the key faces in the 2010 NBA Playoffs you will realize that there are some definite greybeards in attendance. It reminds me of certain times when I sit in a lengthy frat ('06) meeting and an intense debate will begin, there are those who always have something to say, and those who sit back and just listen with deaf ears.
However, whenever "True Old School" stands up and has something to say, you listen. No matter how long-winded, deranged, and senile the man might be, there is some truth in what he is saying, so open up your eyes & ears and learn something youngblood. Take notes, you might not get this thing called "The Game" from anyone better.
THE OLD GUARDS, KIDD & NASH - At a combined age of 73, there isn't anyone in the league who's been doing it longer than Jason Kidd (37) and Steve Nash (36), the men simply do not age. How do we know this? Because the two are performing almost to the heights of their superpowers 10 years ago. Kidd, whose 9.1 assists/game this year are directly on pace with his career numbers, has somehow found a way to become one of the league's 3-point shooters, (11th in the league, 42.5%) and has renewed a bit of flair and offensive poise to a team that hasn't had anything like it since....oh yeah, Steve Nash.
For Nash, the thing I'm more impressed with than him leading the league in assists (again) and the fact that he's single-handedly revamped the Suns into a health revitalization spa, is the fact that he's arguably one of the best shooters in NBA history. John Hollinger from ESPN did an article proclaiming as such, but the fact of the matter is he's arguably the best all-around shooter (I'd love to see Nash & Durant play HORSE) in the league. Old dudes always got tricks under they sleeve.
UNCLE JERRY - See, this is how I know that I'm old. I can VIVIDLY remember the days when Jerry Stackhouse (35) was wearing the North Carolina blue and doing that signature reverse one-hand dunk on Duke.
What's he doing now? He's teaching these young boys how to win basketball games. The Milwaukee Bucks began the season lost, but somewhere in the middle of the season they were found. One injury down, one free-agent signing, and one trade can do that for a team. For Stack, its seeing him talk to Brandon Jennings about being a pro. (You know, except for that whole "haircut" thing.) For Stack, its about pushing John Salmons to be the killa he was back in Miami. For Stack, its shouldering the load when the big fella Bogut goes down for the season. Its something that a fellow O.G. tried to show him (Jordan) back when he was in D.C. Its just a right of passage I guess, the better making of men on the basketball court.
THE CAMBYMAN - Marcus Camby has went from being a coveted young star in Toronto, to a key cog in a Finals birth in New York, to being a cagey veteran in Denver and L.A. to now being thrusted into a team in Portland that was as decimated as the banana pudding the secretary brings in every 2 weeks. (nom nom nom nom nom) Before Marcus Camby got there, Portland was prepared to put Neon Boudreaux, Jackie Moon, and Spaceman in at center. Ok, kidding. Kinda.
Its interesting that the Blazers would count on Camby, of all people, since he's the king of being injury-prone. Dude has missed 31% of his career regular season games (367/1198), and yet he's been the anchor for the frontline of the Blazers. I bet Marcus is like your great-uncle who's always got like 10-12 pills lined up to take. One's for blood pressure, one's for the thyroid, diabetes, rickets, arthritis, you call it you name it. Then goes out and smokes half-a-pack a cigarettes, smashes a double-deuce, and mows the entire front and back lawn with only one church sock on. I bet he cusses real well too. Old people cuss the best.
THE BIG OLDIE - Simply put, Shaquille O'Neal is now 37 years old, he's old as hell. At this point, its young boys that might not be able to remember the greatness that was The Big Homie. Seems like in this season he's been resting, getting his injuries taken care of, and he's been resorting to old man tactics
I have a feeling he's still got one or two old man
WHAT OTHER O.G.'S ARE OUT HERE REPRESENTING IN THE PLAYOFFS? WHO DO YOU THINK HAS THE BEST PLAYOFF RUN STILL IN THEM? LET US KNOW YOUR THOUGHTS!
P.S. If you missed our live show, you can download our weekly podcast of "Unsportsmanlike Conduct" on the ETSF Radio Network, as we are live Wednesday's at 9pm Eastern at http://www.blogger.com/www.blogtalkradio.com/edthesportsfan!