Friday, May 30, 2008

Jemele Hill Was One Perceptive 3 year Old

So maybe I’m just being an asshole and picking on Jemele Hill here – hey it’s what I do best. In this interview with Hoops Addict, which was linked on Deadspin - there is the following Q & A:

Mobley: One of my earliest basketball memories is Julius Erving cupping the ball, and gracefully dunking over Michael Cooper. What is your earliest basketball memory?

Hill: I’d probably say Bird v. Magic in the NCAA title game. I sensed it was very important, but it wasn’t until a couple years later that I understood why. We were looking at the future of the NBA.

I thought Jemele was about 30 – I didn’t look long but the first Google hit put her age at 30 in an interview written in July ’06. So let’s say 32. She graduated from Michigan St. in ’97, so that would hang together.

So, in March of 1979, Jemele Hill was probably 3 ½ or so. Educated guess.

Some early sports memories that I have would be watching some of the 1985 World Series – though I don’t remember watching a single play. I remember watching Mike Tyson knock out Trevor Berbeck live in 1986 at a friends house. I remember watching the baseball All-Star Game in 1984 at that same friend’s house and his older brother telling us to tell him if Rickey Henderson got on base. I remember watching the 1984 Summer Olympics – boxing - when I was on vacation visiting my grandparents. I was 6.

The first pro-sports event I ever went to was the Red Sox home-opener in 1986. I missed the day at school. The Red Sox lost to the Royals and I won a dollar because I bet the Royals would win – I figured they were like guaranteed because they were the reigning World Series champs. Marty Barrett hit a homerun into the net. I sat on the third base side.

Now – Jemele’s from Michigan so I’m sure the game was huge deal in her area. Like Flutie-mania in the Boston area in 1984 – I remember specifically getting a promotional Flutie poster at McDonalds. I of course recall Squish the Fish and Bury the Bears t-shirts in early 1986 during the Patriots march towards getting slaughtered in the Super Bowl. But I don’t remember the Celtics winning the ’81 title – because I was 3, and that’s damn near impossible.

I remember December 29, 1991 is Shawn Kemp day at an Elementary school playground in Massachusetts. I remember making predictions on who would win game 7 of the 1993 Western Conference finals and my friend predicting “Sonics by 3 in overtime” before the game and nailing it. I remember more random stuff about the NBA from 1988-1998 than I care to.

I have a pretty good memory for random sports stuff. The way it often works is you remember stupid, random items. I don’t remember shit from when I was 3. Jemele Hill? She remembers the turning point of modern basketball. I’m not trying to pick on her, maybe I’m just jealous – or impressed. I have a 3 year old nephew and he probably won’t remember the Pats blowing the Super Bowl and a chance at 19-0. Or maybe he will?

Speaking of remembering….remember this post, about Jemele changing her pick for MVP from Chris Paul to Kobe Bryant?

Mobley: Did you vote for MVP? If so, who did you vote for and why? If not, who would you have voted for?

Hill: I didn’t have a MVP vote, but if I did, I probably would have voted for Chris Paul. That’s a painful admission because I’ve been beating the Kobe for MVP drum for the last two seasons. Kobe taking Smush Parker, Kwame Brown, Chris Mihm, etc., to the playoffs was a lot more impressive than what he did this year. Chris Paul had one of the best seasons any point guard has ever had. He turned around a franchise and they nearly finished with the top seed in the West. How he elevated the games of the players around him was remarkable.

At least that's more in line with her passionate column supporting Paul.......that she contradicted a short time later.


matt said...

You're clearly just a Jemele hater who refuses to give her any credit.

Consider this sentence: "I sensed it was very important, but it wasn’t until a couple years later that I understood why." This is an admission that at 3 1/2 years old she knew what she was watching was monumental, but that she lacked the intellectual ability to truly understand what it meant.

It wasn't until she was like 6, when her cognitive & rational abilities had developed a bit more, and with the accumulated wisdom of those extra years, that she was able to put it all together & truly understand the Magic/Bird showdown in the full context of the history of basketball and its likely impact on the future of the game.

Jeff said...

Yeah - maybe that's why I remember Bucky Dent hitting the homerun when I was 1, but then when I was 3 I learned what a homerun was, then at 7 I learned the respective histories of the two teams and I realized that it was a pretty big deal.

I don't hate her, I just disagree with her a lot. I'm already prepping myself for another round of Jordan / Bryant debates. I'm sure she is too!