Young guns


This past weekend I spent a considerable amount of time watching sports. While this is nothing out of the ordinary for me, I did have a realization that hasn’t crossed my mind much during my 20 years of life. That realization was that I am getting old. Not old in the sense of “It’s time to settle down and have a family” or “I need to start saving for retirement” but in the sense that the new wave of dope athletes are all younger than me.

Take for instance, the NBA’s All-Star Weekend in Toronto. In the Rising Stars Challenge on Friday night, players like Kristaps Porzingis, Devin Booker, and D’Angelo Russell all had great games. While this was not a surprise, given that those guys are professionals who get paid to play basketball, and the Rising Stars Challenge is an exhibition in which defense is largely ignored, I was surprised to learn that all three of those dudes are younger than me.

While trying to process all that information the next day, I watched as college hoopers Devonte Graham and Grayson Allen carried their teams to exciting wins over conference rivals. When watching Graham drop 27 points for the Kansas Jayhawks, I heard the announcers mention that he was a sophomore, placing him one year behind me in school. After Allen hit his game-winning shot to lift the Duke Blue Devils over the Virginia Cavaliers, I did a quick Google of him. Yup, turns out he’s a few months younger than me too.

The quarter-life crisis continued on Saturday night when Karl-Anthony Towns, another 1995 baby, won the Skills Competition. The whole ordeal led to the inevitable thought of, “These guys are my age and participating in All-Star Weekend. They probably even get to hang out with Drake in Toronto. What am I doing with my life?”

Of course, my life is pretty good. I get to attend this wonderful school and get the full college experience that many young NBA players don’t get. But then, as soon as I was feeling better, Zach LaVine and Aaron Gordon had their instant-classic Dunk Contest showdown. Both of them graduated high school in 2013, the same year that I did. LaVine is even from the same county as me. So I guess the saving grace here is that I am probably a better writer than any NBA player, even if my future salaries likely won’t match up with theirs.