Argentinian blog Negro&White invited me to write something about “The Dream Team” documentary that airs tonight on NBATV. (in spanish)
Miami Heat + Hanson = What could possibly go wrong?
Watching NBA in Argentina during the late 80’s / early 90’s wasn’t easy. No Internet, no satellite tv, no NBATV, no nothing. A couple of TV Networks aired one game per week and that was all. At some point in the 90’s there was also a TV show called “La Magia de la NBA” hosted by the great Adrián Paenza and it was pretty cool, sadly I can’t find any clips online. The other option was magazines, and we had 2 great basketball magazines, “Encestando” and “Sólo Básquet”. My dad, a basketball journalist, worked for “Sólo Básquet” and around 1996 he became Editor in Chief of the magazine. Thanks to him I got to love basketball and I will always be in debt with him because of that.
So, as I was telling, it was difficult to catch live NBA games, though I saw a lot of them, even staying up late to catch at least the first half of a match before my mom told me in not so good manners to turn the tv off. My main source of NBA knowledge came from magazines, specially my dad’s. That way I got to know and become a fan of lots of players and the whole NBA world, but one franchise and one player won my heart. The Los Angeles Lakers and Magic Johnson. I was just a toddler and I tried to follow each Lakers game, Magic’s numbers and whatever info I could get. I also loved Michael Jordan but there was always something else in Magic’s game that caught my attention.
I still remember how sad I was when I learned that Magic was retiring because of the HIV. I was 4 years old, obviously had to ask my parents to explain what HIV was and why my favorite player ever had to stop playing. Saddest NBA moment ever.
Anyway, in 1997 I was 9 years old and I got to meet Magic and this is how the story goes…
As I told you, my dad became the Editor in Chief of “Sólo Básquet” and thanks to that I sometimes got to join him for basketball events, games and stuff. During 1996/1997 Magic was touring the world with his team “Magic Johnson All-Stars”, playing friendly matches, giving youth basketball clinics and just delivering general awesomeness. In January 1997 Magic came to Argentina and showed up in a couple of cities of the atlantic coast. My dad covered the events for his magazine and took me and the whole family to the city of Mar del Plata to see Magic’s exhibition game to be played on January 29th at the “Polideportivo Islas Malvinas” arena. I remember that the event organizers also brought the Phoenix Suns’ “Gorilla” and “Rocky”, the mascot from the Denver Nuggets (and they gave an amazing show at the game!).
The morning before the game Magic gave a press conference in his hotel and my dad took me with him. I was so freaking excited! I wore my Magic Johnson #32 Lakers jersey and I think I put on a Lakers cap too, super fan.
We got there, dad left me sitting in the back of the room and went on to do his work. I saw Magic sitting meters away from me and my brain exploded. By that time I already knew a little bit of english so I was able to follow what Magic was saying to reporters.
At the end of the conference I walked to the aisle where Magic was about to pass surrounded by collaborators and reporters and just stood there waiting to see him closer. And then, Magic happens. When he was passing by me, he sees me, stops, everyone stops around him, walks towards me smiling, grabs my jersey and says “Hey man, that’s my jersey, give it to me!” I haven’t been more shocked in my entire life. I laughed and said “No Magic, it’s mine!”, he laughed too, gave me a high five (the best high five of my life) and went away.
Later that night we went to the game and I can say I saw Magic playing live, not in the NBA or the Dream Team (that luckily my father was able to witness in Portland 1992), but anyway, I saw him playing and, even better, I got to exchange a couple of words with him. My favorite NBA memory.
I’ve been wanting to have a new space to write about the NBA for a long time. Back in 2008 I opened a blog oddly called “NBA Hablada en Español” where I tried to post about fun NBA topics in spanish but it never took off and though I had some milestones (like having Fabricio Oberto and Brian Cardinal answering some questions) I got bored and I abandoned it.
So, I must warn you, you won’t find game recaps here or general stuff that you can read elsewhere. No. You’ll find fun stuff, gif’s, jokes, random NBA awesomeness and ocasional opinions on matters that no one other than me cares about.
I have to thank Wally Szczerbiak (always the same doubt after writing his freaking last name) for his rant against KG that fired up the name of this tiny tumblr blog. And, Wally, two things: one, you deleted the original tweet but the Internetz never forgets! two, WTF with sucking KG’s balls like this now? Just live up to your words fella. Though I’m wondering if KG threatened to kill you or you just got scared by this (check the 00:24) .
Anyway, welcome aboard!