Cool, right? No. It’s monumental. A picture of the players is “the single most significant basketball portrait taken in the 21st century." Scoop Jackson has a lot of hyperbole passed off as profound…ness in his latest column for Page 2. Look, I just don’t get Scoop. Everything he writes has this air of “how can I make this sound a hundred times more meaningful than it is” around it. I’ll just give you some passages and let you decide. You can read the whole thing here. I read this on Friday and originally wasn't going to comment, but a reader e-mail made me re-read the column and it's not the story that I feel the need to post about. It's the drama that Scoop writes with.
You’re looking at the single most significant basketball portrait taken in the 21st century. No one believed anyone could gather this many talents and temperaments so very early on a summer evening but it all happened like magic, and the world will one day be smitten with this picture.
See what I’m saying. “Most significant” “No one believed”…. I mean..why is it that hard to believe? Cool? Yes, absolutely…but “the world” will not be smitten with the picture, ever. Scoop likens it to a picture taken in 1958 featuring a collection of the greatest and most well known jazz musicians of the day.
The court? The Apollo Theater of basketball: Rucker Park. Harlem, no doubt.
No doubt, yo.
Sadly, the game of basketball has lost its purity. Corrupted by greed and exploitation, pride replaced by purpose, basketball -- particularly at the high-stakes high school level -- is no longer a game played simply for the sake of playing a game.
Um, okay. That’s why I play it?! Oh okay, at the high school level. It's so corrupted. In every high school, in every size school. Sure.
And if the Elite 24 hadn't been created, none of these players would get to experience this feeling of freedom on a basketball court ever again.
Not ever? Or ever ever ever? Not after they retired? Not just messing around on a sunny afternoon with their friends? Not playing with their kids and teaching them the game?
Look at Noel Johnson, and his innocent face. Look for the game in his eyes. Because Noel is the son of one of NYC's playground sons.
I saw rugby in his eyes? Does that count?
He has a connection to this NYC playground that he inherited the second he was born. This game birthed him.
This game birthed him? Man, that is corny.
As the legendary David Ladson of the Bronx, aka "The Human Playground," once said, "There's a difference between having a hoop on your back and doing nothing and having a hoop on your back and doing something." Peep the metaphor. Everyone in this photo has a hoop on their back. They know it, we know it.
That doesn't make any sense. Also, peep the metaphor?
Stop trying to seem so fucking profound.