Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Happy Birthday Nique! (Wish I Could Go Back)

In honor of Dominique Wilkins b-day, I've decided to share something I wrote around this time last year for Score (who I no longer write for) Happy Birthday!

Dominique Wilkins, better known as The Human Highlight Film turned 50 years old this week! Doesn’t it feel like 50 crept up on him rather quickly? Dominique turning 50 made me wonder what I really knew about him when he was in his prime. He was without a doubt my favorite player to watch growing up and that’s probably because I didn’t care about his strengths or weaknesses. I didn’t know if he could defend a pick and roll. I didn’t know if he could go left. I didn’t know if he had a great mid-range jumper. I didn’t know if he was a great passer or if he was turnover prone. I didn’t know anything other than he appeared to be able to fly, and he was entertaining. I honestly didn’t know anything, but more importantly, I didn’t care. These days there is a lot of focus on being more informed, but being informed and being a fan don’t necessarily go together. Having limitless information has taken something away from the game for me. I don’t pay attention to +/-, or PER, but I certainly watch players with a more critical eye. I long to go back to the time when I could watch a player like LeBron James and just marvel at his athleticism as opposed to wondering why his jump shot doesn’t look the same from one quarter to the next. I’d rather focus on the beauty of Allen Iverson’s ability to dominate guys who are nearly a foot taller than he is as opposed to wondering why he needs 30 shots to get 30 points. There are legitimate questions about players that should be asked and answered, but not by fans. Scouts and general managers should worry about a player’s efficiency, while fans worry about being entertained. At the end of the day that’s what sports are supposed to be about. They’re supposed to be the thing we indulge in that takes us away from our worries. Instead, they’ve given us a new list of things to worry about and that is unfortunate.

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