Back at the Jordan Classic in April, in what was either a personal highlight or lowlight — I’m still not sure which — I had an interview hijacked by none other than Drake.
I still remember like yesterday the day Darryl Strawberry left the Mets for the Dodgers. I was waiting to get a haircut in fifth grade when the news on the television at the barber shop told me Darryl had jumped ship. I melted out of my chair and sank to my knees.
Straw was my first sports love; it was as if my best friend had moved away. (That actually happened a couple years later, and I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t recall it hitting me nearly as hard as losing Darryl.)
Going through that was rough when I was 11, but it was a necessary lesson about two years into being a sports fan: Nothing lasts forever. Players leave, teams change, eras come and go. I eventually came to grips with it Ã¢â‚¬â€œ years later, I even bought a Dodgers Strawberry jersey.
Now somewhat jaded at 32, with Dan Marino and Patrick Ewing and LeBron James the Cavalier in my rearview mirror, this sort of thing honestly doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t faze me anymore. Our teams are inextricable parts of our identities, but the players on them shuttle in and out like friends from various chapters in our lives.
As such, I always just have to shake my head at peopleÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s knee-jerk reactions when a star player leaves for another team. If youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re 12, sure, itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a crushing blow. But if youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve been watching sports for any legitimate portion of time, how canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t you know by now this is the way it goes?
I never used to understood why Jay-Z was always in Ã¢â‚¬Å“best rapper aliveÃ¢â‚¬Â conversations, since I didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t think his skills were on that level. I thought that maybe it was like LilÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ Wayne, where he said it so much himself over the years that people eventually just assumed it was true.
Then on Monday, after all these years, I saw him live for the first time at Yankee Stadium, the show he co-headlined with Eminem, which I had the opportunity to write about for my day job.
To paraphrase Yuri Foreman two days before he fought there, Yankee Stadium is really big.
But Jay-Z has made himself even bigger.
With the baseball playoffs fast approaching and the football season in full swing, it still seems that LeBron James is everywhere. You have books on the market, movies on the way, heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s at the Cowboys game, heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s on the Daily Show. You canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t even open your front door without LeBron being there selling you Nikes and clapping some chalk in the air.