Charles Oakley said a lot of provocative things in his one-hour media session at K1X on Saturday, most of which have already been printed elsewhere. (IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m sure youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve already heard his take on the current-day Knicks, AmarÃ¢â‚¬â„¢e Stoudemire and Isiah Thomas.) Transcribing an hour of Oak was a bear, but I enjoyed every minute of it, and I wanted to share some more of his comments after the jump, along with my take, after the jump.
The narrative after Charles OakleyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s tour de force at the K1X store in Soho on Saturday was that heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a loose cannon, not afraid to speak his mind because, well, who messes with Oak? I was there for Dime Magazine, and that was the angle we took. It pretty much had to be.
If you paid close attention, though, there was one topic Oak wouldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t talk about even when prodded: the NBA lockout. Logically, thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s because itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s the one thing he thought he might actually get fined for speaking his mind about.
But there was also a hint of underlying sadness Ã¢â‚¬â€œ perhaps Oakley couldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t talk about the lockout, but it also seemed as if he simply didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t want to, since it didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t come close to representing the ideals he always applied to his chosen profession.
A couple of basketball lockout notes this week. So yeah, IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m just like everyone else.
I make a living in baseball, and though IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m not crazy about everything the sport does, the power brokers behind the game have been able to learn from their mistakes for the sake of the big picture. The labor situation in baseball is about as good as itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s ever been, resulting in business as usual, even during a recession. They have a good thing going Ã¢â‚¬â€œ no need to trip over their own feet.
The NFL gets it, too. Both sides were looking pretty bad for a while during the spring and summer, but when it came down to it, they knew they couldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t miss any regular-season games. You barely even hear their lockout referenced now. They realized they had a good thing going, and worked things out during the window they had to not mess everything up.
Conversely, everyone involved with the NBA lockout can only be described as clueless for letting things get to this point.
IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve started doing some writing for Dime Magazine — itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s really sort of a full-circle kind of thing, since they were the first publication that ever let me write anything way back almost a decade ago. I lost touch with them for a while while I pursued some other things, but I always enjoyed checking in to see how they were evolving, and IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m excited to have recently gotten back in touch.
The post below is the second piece I wrote for Dime; this one was the first. (I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t plan to write about Michael Jordan in every post, itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s just how itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s worked out so far.) Check out their web site, they have great content every single day. And IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m excited, as always, to broaden my horizons a bit.
The thing people donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t get about sneaker collectors is that itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s often not about the sneakers themselves, but rather the stories behind them. You always remember your first pair of Jordans in eighth grade, or the sneakers you started college in, or the pair you got to celebrate getting a job you really wanted.
I think the best way to ponder our own inevitable passage into physical decline is to watch it happen to those who would seem invincible to such mortal constraints Ã¢â‚¬â€œ and observe how they handle it.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Let me get this straight,Ã¢â‚¬Â my fiancÃƒÂ© said to me back in June as I sat enrapt with NBA TVÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s airing of the 2003 NBA Draft. Ã¢â‚¬Å“YouÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re really into this, watching old drafts?Ã¢â‚¬Â
She lasted until around when Chris Bosh went at No. 4 before she bailed to the other room and turned on some reality show with Lamar Odom and whichever Kardashian he married.
Honestly, I couldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t really blame her, but thereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s just something about the NBA Draft IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve always loved, dating way back to high school.
I have what one might consider to be an extensive sports jersey collection, one I continue to cultivate despite the fact that I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t have nearly as much occasion to wear them as I used to when I was a few years younger.
Though I work at a sports website, IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve attempted in recent years to clean up my act a bit. Inspired by Jay-Z eschewing jerseys, I made a begrudging stop at the Jackson, N.J., Polo outlet the day after my 30th birthday. And even when not at work, IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve taken to wearing shirts with buttons, but minus some other guyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s name emblazoned on the back.
Yet still, wearing a fresh, hard-to-find jersey has never lost that high school cool factor to me, especially during the summer.
I brought with me from my younger years the thrill of the chase for the almighty holy grail. IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m speaking of that moment I stumble across a Mark McGwire 1999 Home Run Derby jersey on eBay, something like that, where I never knew it existed but now have to have it. (I did get the McGwire jersey, though IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m unsure if IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve ever worn it.)
My most recent grail? an Ohio State jersey with the LeBron James logo on the chest in place of the Nike swoosh.
I loved that campaign. It encapsulated everything I wanted LeBron James to be.
With all the hysteria about the Jordan Cool Grey XI re-release the past couple days, some people were thrown back to when they first released in 2001, especially with things once again becoming pretty tense out there at those late-night campouts at the mall.
But some people were thrown back even farther. My friend Kevin, who runs the excellent music blog somuchsilence.com, told me yesterday that he still has his first Air Jordans, given to him in 1985 — which happen to be the first Air Jordans, period.
He sent me some pictures, which IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢d like to share. Consider it a small Christmas gift.
Since LeBron JamesÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ reputation went straight to hell in the court of public opinion in early July, IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve pondered how you can possibly market someone whose Q rating dropped like a stone following Ã¢â‚¬Å“The Decision.Ã¢â‚¬Â
As it turns out, Nike and ad agency Wieden+Kennedy knew exactly how to go about doing it.