Dan Devine of Yahoo Sports did a fun thing during media availability before Friday’s Rising Stars Challenge: he went around and asked these young whippersnappers to describe their first big NBA memory. An important takeaway: My God, I am so old. Here is Dennis Smith Jr., who competed in Saturday’s dunk contest, describing his earliest NBA memory:
“My earliest NBA moment — and I ain’t sure if it was this game or not — but the Lakers were playing the Wizards,” said the Dallas Mavericks point guard and alleged “highway robbery” victim. “I was just watching, and it might have been the game Gilbert [Arenas] had 60.”
Gilbert Arenas went for 60 against the Lakers in December 2006. I was already on like my fourth car by then. My Wizards fandom had already bloomed and curdled multiple times. Holy shit, I was already married.
For Los Angeles Lakers forward Brandon Ingram, the NBA snapped into focus when, a few months shy of his sixth birthday, he saw a high school kid go No. 1 overall.
“Seeing LeBron James getting drafted out of high school,” Ingram said.
Oh hell no. Hell no. This isn’t right. Oh god.
Hey, while I am over here sobbing into a pillow about the merciless passage of time, you should give it a read. Their youth isn’t the only troubling revelation: a startling number of these players grew up idolizing Kobe Bryant. This is terrible!