Bryan Joiner

Why then I

Pain, and the Basketball Hall of Fame

Some serious—and I mean serious—back pain this morning. I think I pulled a muscle.

I just joined a gym and started lifting again, only I only lift extremely light weights because I don’t want to be lifting at all. I want to be doing yoga, but I don’t know the first clue about how to choose one kind or find a teacher. I am being a baby about it, I know, but I thought doing the light lifting would help in the meantime. Holy sh*t, I was wrong. I can barely sit up. Feels like someone is corkscrewing into the lower-right of my back.

Ryan said I need to have more posts with Barack Obama in the tags, so his tag gets bigger than A-Rod’s. Fair enough. I’m not sure how what I’m about to say fits with Obama, but I’ll see if I can connect them.

Today’s [insert series of intellectually disparaging adjectives] column to the contrary, I like Bill Simmons. I even bought his book, The Book of Basketball, and I’m enjoying it. It’s less a history of basketball than one man’s history of basketball, designed to start and sustain arguments between two people or the reader and the writer (Basically, it’s a 600-page blog post). It’s pretty good, and I just got to the part where he wants to move the Basketball Hall of Fame and change its induction policy. I agree with both parts. It’s in Springfield, MA, now, and I’ve driven by it plenty of times but never had the desire to go. Not a good sign.

He says move it to Indiana, the home of basketball. At first, I thought it was ridiculous, and thought it should be in Manhattan. I don’t think that’s an inherently NY-centric view. Put it here, in the city with the “World’s Most Famous Arena,” make it a tourist attraction, and people will come.

Then I thought about it some more, and came up with a better idea. If we’re going to blow it up and move it, why not make it its own tourist attraction?

That’s what the Baseball Hall of Fame is, but that’s its own thing. No one’s going to go to Indiana just to see the basketball Hall of Fame. Basketball simply doesn’t draw on its past the way baseball does, so there’s no reason to think that people will go to Indiana just to be in Indiana, the way people flock to upstate New York just to go there. No: there needs to be another draw.

So here’s what I was thinking. Put it in Indiana if you want. Or Chicago. Or Vegas, ideally, but that ain’t going to happen. But make it a destination by making the HOF only part of the draw. Put it next to a golf course. Better yet, have dozens of open basketball courts, like the US Tennis Center has tennis courts. Have open play available for visitors who otherwise have put their balling days behind them. Use the courts to play High School championships and for summer camps. Put restaurants, bars, and hotels on campus. Make it a both a bachelor party and family destination where the groups can split up. “What are you doing today?” “Oh, I’m going to hit the pool and play in the 3 p.m. pickup game.” “Nice. I’m going to check out the Celtics exhibit.” “I saw it yesterday, and it’s awesome.” Etc.

I’d put $500 on it for a weekend, wherever that was. You know who else would? President Obama.

There you go.

Stephen Curry

I like Stephen Curry as much as I’ve like any basketball player in years. His near-run to the Final Four two years ago was the single greatest virtuoso performance I’ve seen in college hoops since Dwyane Wade put it in Kentucky’s *** (phrase trademark M.A.) a while back, the difference being that even then Dwyane looked like a baller, whereas Steph looks like a 12-year-old who wandered onto the court at recess.

Curry’s on the Golden State Warriors now, a team that would be perfect for him if it wasn’t falling apart at the seams. They play a high-tempo, defense-lite style, which is good for the guy who’s automatically got one of the top five prettiest shots in the League. (Seriously, Google this man-child.) The good part is that the Warriors just traded Stephen Jackson, a malcontent who had no real value other than to sabotage the career of one of the NBA’s most marketable future stars before it even got going. Now Curry’s starting, and he can learn his NBA point guard role on the fly. The bad part is that he plays on the West Coast, and I’m here. He came one pick away from going to the Knicks, which would have eventually had bittersweet results for this old-minted Celtics fan. Then again, everything the Knicks touch goes to shit these days, so maybe everyone wins.

The question is, do I shell out for NBA League Pass online? I would go for the $100 “Follow 7 teams” version. I’d go with some combination of Warriors, OKC, and Celtics (definite) and Lakers, Spurs, Rockets, Suns, Blazers, Cavs and Bucks (possible). The Bucks only get on there because of Brandon Jennings, but they do get on there. Ben gets this in Seattle and chose the Blazers and, in the most dickish move imaginable, the Blazers are blacked out in the former Sonics town because it’s now their “home market.” Wrap your head around that one.

Still, might not be a political liability big enough to keep me from my Steph. Thoughts?

SHOCKINGLY QUICK UPDATE: My cousin gave me his account of the same problem, leaving out no information, and how it would pass. I’ll get over it. Word.