With the NBA season underway, I thought that it would be a good time to raise a topic that Cary had recently suggested. The question is: Do you ever imagine yourself as a pro basketball player, and if so, who do you imagine yourself as?
Nowadays, I don't really ever imagine myself as anyone else, but I often imagine that I am a better version of myself. The weather has been getting "bad" here in Berkeley of late, so there have been quite a few nights of lonely foul shooting at Ohlone Park. The imagination runs wild. Jeff can dunk! Jeff is breaking ankles! Jeff pins that weak shit against the glass!
When I was a teenager, there were two pro basketball players that I liked to think of myself as. The first was John Stockton. Being small, I had to learn to play PG, and soon fell in love with passing. Stockton was an obvious role model at that time. NBA highlight shows would play reel after reel of "STOCKTON TO MALONE!" and I liked to think of myself finding all those tiny passing lanes and fooling all the big guys with my lookaways.
However, PG is not my natural position. My natural position is center. When I first started playing, I had no handle and no range, but I could jump really high and had good timing, so I got lots of rebounds and blocked a ton of shots for someone my size. In pickup games, I'd go down low and pretend that I was Patrick Ewing. I remember seeing tape of that Georgetown game where Ewing goaltended all those shots and thinking that it was so cool, so intimidating, that blocking shots became my favorite thing in basketball. And believe me, when a little skinny asian kid blocks your shot, you're gonna hear about it.
I even taught my baby sister a bunch of big man trash talk. I'd take her to the park when I had to babysit, and she became a sort of mascot there. During shootarounds, I'd bring her onto the court and hold the ball in front of her. I taught her to slap the ball out of my hands and say "Get outta my house!" or simply "Ewing!" in her squeaky little voice. So cute. Actually, the cutest thing was when she would say "money" as she shot the ball, it went about two feet in the air, and rolled to the sideline.
Ok Setshotters, who are your NBA role models? Anyone who says Kobe Bryant gets a free trip to Guantanamo Bay.