Matt Steinmetz of CSN Bay Area recently reported that a charity game is being put together by the Golden State Warriors on October 29th in San Jose. I’m the last person to call an offseason charity game with NBA players ‘news’. I find them about as entertaining as the old And One Streetball circuit. You remember, the games where guys literally got out of the way so that the man with the ball could ‘put on a show’? I’m an old school basketball guy, I like real competition. I get as excited for a 75-72 game as I do for a contest in the 120′s. The New York Knicks-Miami Heat rivalry of the 1990′s is one of my all-time favorite matchups. This current bay area charity game in question, though, isn’t your run-of-the-mill exhibition. It will pit players from the current Warrior squad against those of the playoff run back in 2007 (guys who are still very much in the league). This might just be the coolest idea since, well, blogging (Dan Gilbert, my name is Martin and I’m a “bloggissist“). Forget simulating these classic matchups on your game console, now you can watch them live and in person.
The matchups in this particular Warrior ‘throwback’ game will be sssssimilating! (as Gary Payton would say). Who is gonna chase Stephen Curry off screens, Baron Davis? Which small guard will Stephen Jackson abuse in the post first?? And which team will Monta Ellis and Andris Biedrins play for??? This could be a problem, as they’re both holdovers from that great playoff run. I’m sure the 2007 squad doesn’t want this version of Andris. Heck, the current Warriors don’t even want him…..How about coaching? Will they fly Don Nelson over from Hawaii to man the sideline? The guy barely wanted to get on a plane to interview for the Minnesota Timberwolves job last month. I heard that he tried to use NBATV‘s Arena Link but Rick Kamla wouldn’t allow it. Okay, on a serious note, there are a lot of wrinkles still to be worked out here but the idea is hot. These ‘throwback’ charity games could be one of the new fads in the NBA…like pregame routines at the scorer’s table or making fun of Lebron.
Why should we stop with just the Golden State Warriors? Let’s get the aforementioned thuggish Miami Heat to face the current all-hype team. I think Tim Hardaway still has got that killa’ crossover. Good luck guarding that move, Mario Chalmers. Oh, and you know that if you took a poll today 7 out of 10 people would still take Alonzo Mourning over Chris Bosh in a head-to-head matchup. Everytime I see Mourning at American Airlines Arena he’s bursting out of that designer suit…the dude could probably dominate the lane in his 60′s like Wilt Chamberlain always claimed he could. How about the Knicks of the 90′s playing the current defense-less D’Antoni boys? This one would definitely be lopsided…I just don’t know which side would win. The current Knicks will run-n-gun all night while the old school squad, when they eventually get downcourt, would punish Amare Stoudemire and crew inside and on the boards…this one’s a tough call. One this is for sure, Jeff Van Gundy is in the same shape as he was back then. I wonder if he can still pull off that ankle-bearclaw move like he did to ‘Zo’ back in the day?
We could even take this idea further. How about the Boston Celtics of the 60′s/70′s taking on a more recent version. No, not today’s squad. I think that this group of veteran stars led by Rajon Rondo would be too good for the Celtic legends. To face them, let’s send out the lottery team that almost ran Doc Rivers out of coaching. I’d love to see Ricky Davis talkin’ trash w/ John Havlicek. You know Ricky thinks he’s 10 times the player ‘Hondo’ ever was. Does anyone know if Wally Szczerbiak can still even run anymore? He wasn’t exactly the most agile guy ever. Could Sebastian Telfair run the offense with ‘Satch’ Sanders hounding him on defense? Would Gerald Green be able to dunk over Bill Russell at age 77??? even these days Gerald, it ain’t no cupcake…..One thing’s for sure, Tommy Heinsohn would gloat no matter who won the game.
Okay, so maybe this new kind of charity game wouldn’t work with every era, guess that’s why we have NBA 2k12…but it definitely is an exciting idea. I will seriously consider jumping on a flight to San Jose to watch this Warriors exhibition game. I just hope that GM Larry Riley schedules this one for Thanksgiving weekend, so I can visit family up there…..haven’t seen them since 2007 either.