Old School vs New School
Steph Curry has won another MVP award, the first ever unanimous decision, but because haters are a thing and because older people have this ongoing craze that everything in “their day” was better than anything in today’s world, there has to be some scuffle about this.
For a team that went 73-9, the best record in NBA history, the 2016 Golden State Warriors sure have taken a lot of criticism. This isn’t about Lebron James’ recent comments where he said, “Hey everyone, I admit Steph is really good at basketball and I’m not saying he didn’t deserve to win the MVP, all I’m saying is, I’m also extremely good at putting basketballs into baskets and I should have won the MVP and this is all a load of crap.” I only glanced at the quote but I’m pretty sure that was verbatim. So Lebron was a little salty about not winning the award, but who wouldn’t be, I mean I’m a little jealous too. Lebron’s jealousy doesn’t bother me, what is becoming a little much for me is this ongoing issue older people have with the “kids these days.”
A few months ago, former NBA great, Oscar Robertson said, “I just don’t think coaches today in basketball understand the game of basketball.” Well I’m sold. But I have to say, Oscar, after hearing you say that, it makes me even more impressed these guys make millions of dollars to coach a sport they don’t understand. I don’t know how to explain it, I guess they must have really killed it on the handshake during their interviews. But not only that, Robertston said, the coaches also “don’t know what people are doing on the court.” Now this quote is more confusing for me, what do you mean they don’t know what they are doing? I’m just picturing Steve Kerr saying to one of his assistants, “hey guys I’m really sorry but I just blacked out again and I'm super confused, remind me what those 10 guys on the court are supposed to be doing again?” Robertson tops it off by saying, “[Curry] has shot well because of what’s going on in basketball today.” You’re right Oscar, his shooting has nothing to do with his unparalleled talent and work ethic, it’s all because in some crazy conspiracy to take over the world, NBA executives have hired coaches across the board who don’t understand basketball. Well put. I know all he is trying to say is, “the game was better when I played, just because."
Before I jump on that statement, let’s look to another old angry guy for some pearls of wisdom, Goose Gossage. Back in March, Goose, a hall of fame pitcher, had a few quick thoughts on the state of baseball today. “The game is becoming a freaking joke because of the nerds who are running it… these guys played Rotisserie baseball at Harvard or wherever the f--- they went and they thought they figured the f---ing game out. They don’t know s---.” Nothing like a bitter old white guy being extra bitter and super old to really wake you up in the morning. I think my favorite part about this particular quote is the strategic use of the word “freaking” instead of an f-bomb before he realized how mad he was about this. The hall of famer went on to swear a bunch more and shelled out plenty other pearls but what he was trying to say was, “everything was better in my day, I’m super old and grumpy, blah blah blah, it’s crazy how old and grumpy I am.”
Robertson and Gossage aren’t alone on these thoughts which stray far from just the sporting world. After all, every parent thinks their children’s choice in music is garbage and their taste in clothing is ludicrous and their movies are eye roll worthy. And times have changed a lot since Gossage and Robertson were just kids playing ball undoubtedly to some eye rolling from their elders. It’s called progress. And in most cases, it’s a good thing. When Oscar Robertson began his NBA career in 1960, black people in this country couldn’t vote, people didn’t have microwaves in their homes and the DVR was 40 years away which meant everyone was a slave to standard cable programming which I hear was less than stellar “back in the day.”
And yes, Goose Gossage, baseball has changed, we know much more about the game now than we did even 10 years ago; how to build a team; how runs are produced; and how to determine value in players. Advanced statistics aren’t ruining the game just like cell phones, microwaves and DVRs aren’t ruining the world. And Goose, if you played on a team today which didn’t subscribe to the sabermetric era, I imagine you would be even angrier as loss after loss piled up.
So why don’t you two and the rest of the bitter old guy club go home, put on a record, light up a cigarette which you probably still think isn’t bad for you and then write a handwritten letter to each other about how old and grumpy you both are.
Meanwhile, the rest of us will be snapchatting each other, watching Steph defy physics and Bryce Harper make baseball fun again, while we microwave nachos, gps our way to any place in the world and google videos of people being hilariously old and grumpy. Enjoy your remaining years.