If you’re elderphobic, close your eyes. If you have
a Tim Hardaway type fear of oldster sports news, walk away. If the
heavy smell of Ben-Gay or Grecian Formula makes you gag, hold your
nose. Because once a year we bring you the latest in geezer NBA items
and this past All-Star weekend was laden with senectitude.
Scottie Pippen is looking to un-retire. At the
age of 41, which is like 82 in NBA basketball years, Scottie wants a
seventh ring and thinks he can help a contender. This is a guy who
hasn’t played since Oct 5, 2004 but has been working out in Ft.
Lauderdale which is understandable because that’s where retirees go.
Also understandable, when you’re talking about retirees, Scottie wants
to only play for a warm weather team. Dwyane Wade is excited about the
possibility Pippen might play for the Miami Heat, because he has an old
video game he wants Scottie to autograph.
During NBA All-Star weekend, there was a challenge
race for charity between a 43 year old ex-NBA all-star, Charles
Barkley, and a 67 year old current NBA referee, Dick Bavetta. The race
was 3 ½ times up and down the court. Here’s a few quotes leading
up to the race:
“Try three times, I’m only 160 pounds.” This was
when Dick was asked if Barkley might be twice his size.
“He’s old enough to have parted the Red Sea with
Moses.” We don’t think that was a very nice thing for Barkley to say
but still it may have been nicer than “He keeled over while racing the
Chuckster” commenting on what Bavetta’s tombstone might read.
As it turned out Barkley won, edging out Bavetta who
dived for the finish line as Barkley was falling over the half-court
line backwards. Had this been a race of moderate distance we think the
guy who runs up and down the court for 48 minutes per game with no
substitutions and has done so for 32 years would have easily won.
Expect the AARP to file a protest.
If you watched the NBA All-Star game you may have
seen this final bit of geezerhood: Red Auerbach brought in to do the “I
Love This Game” ads. In the ads Red is jumping around, dispensing tips
to Kobe Bryant, LeBron James and others. Nobody can speak of the
fundamentals of the game like Red. Nobody knows the game of basketball
like Red Auerbach. We can appreciate that.
Now, while we can also appreciate a 67- year-old veteran referee
running a race for charity and a hall-of-famer like Scottie Pippen
coming out of retirement, it’s nothing like a dead guy coming back to
do lively TV ads. And we must say, for a guy like Red Auerbach who’s
been dead since October he’s looking pretty good. This is a good lesson
because we always tell our fellow geezers “Keep plugging because
someday they’ll recognize you.”
Geezerhood in the NBA is strong. Geezerhood is alive… er… well, almost.