"'Remember when' is the lowest form of conversation." -- Tony Soprano
Tony was right, you never want to be "remember when" guy, and I try my best not to be. But the fact of the matter is, for many of us, what happened between the ages of 16 and 28 constitute the "good times." High school, maybe college, maybe a little bit of money in your pocket for the first time. Like I said, good times. (All the more amazing that many of us voluntarily torpedo those good times with things like marriage and mortgages. But I digress...)
So I try to avoid being "remember when/age 16 to 28 rocked" guy; except when it comes the most important things...like basketball videos!
Today is Larry Bird's 54th birthday. I realize that most of you kids out there probably see Larry Bird footage and are amazed that he was able to stay in the league for as long as he did (let alone garner All-Star honors year after year) because none of the highlights include him hanging on the rim or dry humping dude's shoulder on a putback dunk, but back in the day, he was legit.
(Side bar: It's probably a good thing that Bird was in college about a decade before the Coach K Era hit its stride at Duke, otherwise he'd have probably been a Dukie the same time as Christian Laettner and my head would have exploded.)
Anyway, in honor of Larry Bird's 54th, here are a collection of videos from the first volume of the NBA Superstars series. These videos should come with a warning label about an excess of mullets, Members Only gear, and one-hit wonders.
Positively 80's, enjoy....
LARRY BIRD Song: "Small Town" by John Cougar Mellencamp Signature Bird moment in video: (1:08) I believe from the '86 Finals against the Rockets, Bird takes a jump shot, immediately knows that it's off to the right and, as if the rim were passing the ball to him, all in one motion grabs the rebound and flips it back into the hoop with his left hand. Makes it look easy.
CHARLES BARKLEY Song: "The Warrior" by Scandal Signature Barkley moment in video: (1:03) Barkley dunks on a random Trail Blazer who falls on his back, and when the ball comes back up to Charles he kindly passes it to the prone Blazer so he can inbound the ball. Just look.
MICHAEL JORDAN Song: "Take My Breath Away" by Berlin Signature Jordan moment in video: (1:32) The Jordan breakaway cradle dunk, re-living the dunk that put him on the map when he was in college.
HAKEEM OLAJUWON Song: "How Ya Like Me Now" by Kool Moe Dee Signature Dream moment in video: (1:12) Dream switches to his left hand in mid-air on the run for a bank shot while getting fouled. A seven-footer making this move should be genetically impossible. And this is pre-Mecca Dream when he was still angry. (Underrated subplot to this video: `80's Dream acting like he's laying down beats in the studio. Can you imagine Dream in a million years getting jiggy with it now?)
MAGIC JOHNSON Song: "Control" by Janet Jackson Signature Magic moment in video: (1:36) Sick, sick lookaway pass to, I think, Billy Thompson getting Thompson one of the few buckets he got as an NBA player.
DOMINIQUE WILKINS Song: "Looking Glass" by Yanni Signature 'Nique moment in video: (1:47) Missed shot and about five sets of hands go up after the ball. Nique's hands go about a foot higher than everyone else's and he jams home the offensive rebound with some serious force.
ISIAH THOMAS Song: "The Right Stuff" by Vanessa Williams Signature Isiah moment in video: (0:59) Isiah tracks down a loose ball, dribbles at about 200 miles per hour through traffic and hits a pull-up jumper from ten feet away. Classic Isiah.
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JULIUS ERVING Song: "The Greatest Love Of All" by Whitney Houston Signature Doc moment in video: (1:47) Doc goes across the lane against the Lakers and from about eight feet out, picks the ball up with one gargantuan hand and flips a bank shot in from behind his head on the run without breaking stride.
Listen to Sean Pendergast on 1560 The Game from 3-7 p.m. on the "Sean & John Show" and follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/SeanCablinasian.