Monday, March 3, 2014

NBA Jams 2014...the unsportiest girl ever goes to a basketball game

Last week, I did something I never knew I had the desire to do. When visiting my brother in LA, he took us to my first NBA game. In the spirit of adventure, I decided to have an open mind and quell my inner bias against the sport.  [Tangent: Although I don't keep up with sports, I like to watch them live generally...but the grating sneaker squeak associated with this particular sport always bugged me. Also there was too much scoring! Hasn't it kind of lost the thrill by the 50th basket? ] Let me preface this my saying I know little to nothing about B-Ball [Tangent: Is that what the cool kids are calling it? Oh, it's not 1992? Heard.] 

me and my mom looking stoked about sports.

What I know of the sport was absorbed from having older brothers and thus  playing A LOT of NBA Jams '95 when I was in middle school. [Tangent: Unfortunately, in actual non-Sega Genesis world, the ball doesn't start on fire after making three consecutive baskets and you can't use a cheat code to sub in Bill Clinton. Damn.]

That's about the extent of my education... other than that time I was recruited to play wheelchair basketball with a lot of able-bodied people in borrowed wheelchairs. Despite my experience with the wheelchair aspect, my lack of experience in basketball made me the team's weak link. [Tangent:Wait, that's not 100% true...I have a little more experience than I am accrediting myself. I did play the table-top Hot Shots basketball game at my friends house as a kid, and I have seen the full-court scenes in Teen Wolf and the movie version of Buffy the Vampire Slaver more times than I can count. ]

But the whole thing is pretty basic. Don't travel. Keep Dribbling. Don't knock people over. Put ball in basket. Lather. Rinse. Repeat. PLUS IT'S ACTUALLY REALLY FUN! Here were the main takeaways from the game we went to (Spurs vs. Clippers).

1. I got to go to the Staples Center
This was pretty cool because the venue is insane. The exterior and the LA Live ballyhoo across the street makes you feel like you are in the middle of Times Square. In a word- overstimulation.  [Tangent: Regretfully, I took only one blurry picture of the madness that was the exterior, and I won't even humiliate myself and my photog skills by posting it.] But I will say, because it is such a popular venue, their accessibility and ability to get thousands in and out in a timely fashion was impressive. And it reminded me a little of home in that there were street performers surrounding the venue...but instead of the Nashville main stays like buskers with six strings, there was an 8 year old in a sparkly suit doing spot-on dance moves to the extended Michael Jackson catalog. [Tangent: If you haven't seen a second grader grab his junk to PYT, you are not livin', my friend.]

2. The Clippers logo/warm-up uniforms
Because I am kind of a design/typography nerd, my face turned into the emoji with giant heart eyes when I saw their adorable throwback logo and vintagey warm ups.

 See, how cute are they?! [Tangent: I masculine and intimidating...I guess.] Since the game, I may or may not have googled how to get my own set of these. You can never go wrong with red white and blue [Tangent: That may have been the cheesiest thing I have ever typed. Oh well, it stays.]

3. Blake Griffin
Perhaps I am the only American who hasn't heard of this dude, but once I realized that he wasn't Kris Humphries, I decided he was going to be my favorite player. [Tangent: First off maybe they don't look exactly alike, but I need a new glasses RX. Also, don't mistake me knowing the name of another player as me knowing a lot about the sport...Humphries was married to a Kardashian for 5 that's what I associate him with. ]

This was perhaps the greatest moment of all. Prior to the game, I grilled my brother on the important what celebrities were Clipper fans. [Tangent: From pop culture, I know a Laker game means celebs like Leo Dicaprio and Spike Lee are courtside, so I could only imagine the cavalcade of stars lined up for Clipper tix.] The only ones he could think of were Billy Crystal and Penny Marshall. [Tangent: Despite the fact that I basically have the screenplay to A League of Their Own committed to memory, they are maybe some of the least glam celebrities I could imagine.]
I had to find it online because I was too excited to think about documenting it!
See...those are the kinds of things I notice. So what if we lost, I had a good time. I leave you with some Garfunkel and Oates.


  1. Because I wanted to post a photo, and it seemed relevant.

  2. i to know almost nothing about sports, but occasionally going to a live one is fun, like once every other year.
    i'm super bummed i didn't know the clinton cheat code for nba jams! i always picked the timberwolves because i loved the doggy on their uniform. haha!

  3. I agree. I enjoy them live because it is more about the atmosphere and the experience. Watching them on TV just makes me really bored.

    on the NBA jams team picking topic, i love that rationale. I always picked the bulls...well because they were the only team I really knew of. I think I played the timberwolves a lot though bc they were easy to beat.

  4. I know even less than you about basketball because I was terrible even worse at video games as well... Next time you are in LA, let us know (Rae and Travis have already vetted us and I think they'll tell you that we're relatively harmless)!!! I could have Kimmie puppet waiting (okay maybe that makes me sound a little weird).

  5. Oh it was dumb. Very dumb. But given your interest in 80s/90s pop culture nostalgia, I thought it fitting with this post.

  6. I KNOW! I actually thought "I should have emailed Mr. TIny to plan a Tiny and Mary day o' fun!" but I was there with my family and our schedule was pretty much jam packed with stuff before we got there...but since I have family in Monrovia, I am trying to get out there more. Next time (late this year/early next) I am bringing my fella, so hopefully we can break away and you can show me cool stuff I haven't seen...and/or have a puppet making party....and yes, Rae said she had so much fun with you guys and I am super jealous.

  7. I know...hence my embarassment....even though it's terrible (or maybe because it is), it seems like something I should have seen.

  8. I looooved this movie as a kid. As an adult its insidious marketing at its finest (Michael Jordan was trying to sell his sneakers to a younger audience using Looney Tunes further established him as kid friendly. So Calculating...) but still a tad entertaining at least for how horrible it is? 'Twas such a huge hit with my friends at the time, I was in 4th grade, perfect audience for it.

  9. Yeah. I think I just missed the cut-off. I think I was in 8th grade, and that's when you are trying to prove to people that you are cooler than you really are. Don't get it twisted though...I knew all the words to every song on the soundtrack.

  10. I know WAY more names of NBA players in '95, or whatever year it was that NBA Jam came out, than I know current players. And I still get that 3-shots-in-a-row image in my head whenever I hear that somebody's "on fire"! Don't remember the Bill Clinton cheat code.... But I do remember playing with a neighbor kid named Clinton Billon, and I always thought that was funny. :)

    Last time I went to an actual sporting event--a Seattle Mariners game--there was a group of ladies wearing "Go Sports!" tshirts, and I really wanted to be their friend. :)


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