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By Stan Silliman
       
NBA All-Star Weekend Geezer   

   Warning! Geezer alert!

    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.
NBA All-Star Weekend Geezer by Stan Silliman
    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.


     
    
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