NBA Draft 2013: A Wizard Man in Brooklyn
[Editor's Note: This is the TAI debut of Logan K. Young (@LoganKYoung), a Wizards fan hailing from South Carolina who's spent time living in the D.C. area, and who now lives in Brooklyn, NY, where he composes pixels about classical music as editor-in-chief for Classicalite.com, amongst other Internet endeavors. Logan attended the NBA Draft as a Barclays Center spectator last Thursday and reports on his experience from the fray. —Kyle W.]
“See me walking down Fifth Avenue . . . I take it everywhere I walk.”
—Sting (via trade with Quentin Crisp)
When I was in Washington, D.C., I spake as a Wizards’ fan. I understood as a Wizards’ fan. And I most definitely thought like a Wizards’ fan.
Why else would I play Linnæus for every last one of John Wall’s 47 vs. Memphis? Why else, save Bradley Beal, would I pay $60 for a single Papa John’s pie? And for what other reason did I even entertain the making of an offer on Gilbert Arenas’ Grotto?
Great Falls, indeed.
Because, while the feeling wasn’t ever truly reciprocated, I loved Ernie Grunfeld’s Washington Wizards. (No Shlomo.) Given his taking of Otto Porter at the three spot, Arsalan Kazemi come fifty-fourth (from the Knicks, no less), I still very much do.
As for what Grunfeld did later to the first Iranian drafted into the NBA, as in most relations with Kazemi’s country, I don’t get it. Regardless, as I told my @-hole brother out in Los Angeles, I liked Rice the Younger more for Brooklyn, the team Doc Rivers was taking over (himself bartered for an unprotected 2015 first-round pick).
— LOGAN K. YOUNG (@logankyoung) June 28, 2013
Recently, though, I, myself, moved to New York. Brooklyn, actually. As if per the childish cribbing of Corinthians in my lede, I settled down amongst the strollers in a sleepy little spot called Park Slope.
Alas, having packed away all things Wall, Beal and Nenê (OK, maybe not Nenê), not only was I now “that guy,” worse yet, I was a man without his team.
Luckily, unlike Nabokov, I don’t bend sinister.
While I do live a mere two R stops down from the cold, perfumed steel that was the Barclays’ eminent domain, neither P.J. nor metroPCS nor HOVA could ever replace Wale or TAI or the Chinatown Fuddruckers in my heart o’ hearts.
To wit, as I strolled up Fifth Ave. to witness the last drafting of the Stern administration—born in 1984, he’s the only real despot I’ve known—I found myself caring not for who’s talking Nerlens now, too.
“The discussion on the sports press is discourse on a discourse about watching others’ sport as discourse,” wrote Umberto Eco in Sports Chatter. “Sport raised to the nth power.”
Moreover, with 59 ballers enumerated in State Farm’s “BIG Starts Here” booklet, theoretically, there were 1.3868312e+80 (i.e. 59!) different ways the 2013 draft order could have sorted out.
[N.B. Lest you feel dumb Re: Anthony Bennett going No. 1, only one of the aforesaid myriad, itself, was right.]
But again, as I turned onto the corner of Atlantic and Flatbush, all I knew, all I really understood, was that I was a mortal in desperate need of a Wiz.
Sure. I had been to Ellerbe Becket’s place once before. Of course, denouncing both the tyranny of TicketNation and the ’round-the-block line at Modell’s Sporting Goods, it wasn’t for a Nets game proper.
No, I had suffered the Barclays a priori only for that one, true Springsteen … Bob Seger.
So, if I were willing to go through that hell again, suffice it to say I must’ve been bloody homesick.
Once inside, I passed the time the only way a nü-New Yorker can—by snapping pics of people passed and tr0lling the NBA’s not-quite-sentient SMS.Lucky once more, firmly ensconced in the roar of the greasepaint splattered o’er David Stern, my Wizzies didn’t tarry too long.
Honestly, as I duly confessed to Kyle, my first idea for this essay was some kind of late SI Thompson-esque thing on the draught’s spectacle totale. But aside from its innate triteness, ultimately, such copy proved waaay too pricey; a Bloomberg Bud is nearly twice the price (and 1/2 the size, natch) of what the District used to charge me at Verizon.
Furthermore, I’d hasten to dub any scribbling wherein Stern’s conducting a “review,” as that might imply there’s any A-R-T left in his artificial Schwanengesang.
Twitter proved firsties anyways for anything so outlandish. I mean, Spike Lee, c’mon now.
In the end, all I care to express is how lonely it gets sometimes up here sans the Wiz. (And, if necessary, what an eleventh-hour Vesely pawning would portend for all the Facebook friends I left behind.)
Everyone tells me to be patient, to remain steadfast. All trees grow, eventually, in Brooklyn, or so they claim.
Well, I’ve yet to make it over to Prospect Park, but I can’t imagine it’s any more verdant, its blues any mo’ better than Rock Creek back home.
Who knows? Now that KG, Pierce and Miles Plumlee’s baby bro are Brooklyn-bound as well, maybe one fine day, along the Gowanus, perhaps, I’ll forget all about the Wizards—learn to love the bombed-out Barclays.
Then and only then will Wall and Beal and Nenê—dear, sweet Nenê—cease to be anything more than some bodies that I used to know.
Attendant Andray asides aside, No. 3 Otto Porter or bust.