The Days of future present

By Sam Rubenstein

The future is here.

Holly will have more specifics in the Post Up weekend edition, but the major theme of the NBA season right now is a balance of power shift from one generation to the next, the old to the young.

I put together a scientifically precise list, separating fading familiar superstars of the recent past from the youth that has claimed the league in the early ’07 season. Players on the BAD list aren’t necessarily “Finished, done, stop embarrassing yourself grandpa.” They have been slowed by injury, age, or underachieving with help from that grand NBA regular season tradition of “pacing themselves.” The young gunners that are on the GOOD list are self-explanatory. I don’t have a specific age-limit cut off here. I gave my brother the Stephen Colbert book I am America, and so can you! for ‘Nukkah, and after usurping it for a few hours, I learned what facts and numbers and figures really are. You’ll have to read the book yourself to be able to understand. It gets my highest possible recommendation.

Onto the lists…

BAD year


Ben Wallace

Dirk Nowitzki

Jermaine O’Neal

Elton Brand

The Knicks

Ron Artest

Vince Carter

Tim Duncan

GOOD year

Josh Smith

Gerald Wallace


Caron Butler

Josh Howard

Dwight Howard

Chris Kaman

Al Jefferson

Michael Redd

Chris Paul

Tyson Chandler

LaMarcus Aldridge

Brandon Roy

Manu Ginobili

Deron Williams

Carlos Boozer

The obvious exceptions to the rule are Iverson and KG, who are unaffected by age. Don’t get all weepy and sentimental for the geezers being put out to pasture, it’s a young man’s world. If I may entertain with a metaphor…

On Friday I finally bought a long overdue XBOX 360. I’d grown attached to the PS2 I bought in 2002. It brought me much joy, thousands (millions?) of hours of fun and frustration, education, time wasting, life wasting, life-affirming, and so on. But it’s day has come and gone. I’ve got an XBOX 360 on a 38 inch HDTV now. I feel like a caveman that just invented a wheel made out of fire.

Of course, I have left other NBA players off the lists because I don’t know what to make of them. Kobe, for example. Is he having a great, unselfish year? Is he finally embracing the idea of pacing himself in the regular season? Not 100% healthy? I don’t know. Is Jason Kidd having one of his best seasons or a horrible one? It’s different every day.

So enjoy the youthful domination of the NBA. I would use the phrase “The Takeover”, but it was coined by Jay-Z, who is like 38 years old himself. The kids are doing it. The 2007 NBA is… wait for it…

wait for it…