There’s something about the sad triple-decker shit sandwich of the lack of sports, Tom Brady’s #Barxit and the state of the world that has me and the guys I grew up with taking a lot of nostalgia trips. Last week I met in a parking lot for social distance beers with five friends and we talked a lot about Larry Bird. More than is probably good for our mental health.
Maybe it’s got to do with watching “The Last Dance” or maybe it’s just longing for a simpler time. Or it could just be that those of us who lived through the Bird era know how unique and special it was and how lucky we were to witness it. A while back, long before the world went sideways on us all, I was golfing with my our buddy Cliffy, just walking the course, talking about whatever. And out of nowhere he said, unprompted, “I loved watching Bird so much.” No context or further explanation was necessary. I knew exactly what he was feeling. And we spent the rest of the round remembering where we were when he hit which game-winner, made which pass, that night he hit two buzzer beaters in the same game.
And as fate would have it another friend sent me this last night. I could spend the rest of today down the rabbit hole of these highlight YouTubes. But if you only have time for one, let it be this one. And look for my favorite play of Bird’s that didn’t count: When he was going out of bounds baseline and shot the ball up over the backboard and swished it. Which by rule isn’t a basket. I’ve attempted hundreds of these shots in my life, and my shooting percentage is about .002, and he hit it without thinking about it because he’s not of this Earth. These were truly the best of times.