The Great Gatsby of WBL

First, KG: When I came into the office this morning, my editor told me that Glen Taylor was on ‘CCO this morning talking about how the trade was a complete fantasy. “The invention of some sportswriters.” I love the crazy rich. A tycoon’s self-assurance. Reality pending royal decree.

But I like the trade. I mean of course we must dutifully mourn the end of an era. The kurse of KG: McHale was never able to acquire the perfect compliment to The Big Ticket’s unique skill set, but $127 million contracts can make kismet hard to come by. Remember, we couldn’t even afford to keep Googs after paying KG’s tab. And then when some lawyer read the collective bargaining agreement’s fine print aloud to Stephon, Marbury’s ego started clawing itself out from the inside–it realized that its host would never make The Most. And while we salvaged the loss of Starbury with Terrell Brandon for a couple of years, we never had enough money to attract the top free agents, and our bitter winters scared away most midlevel exception possibilities–the 6’9″, yeomen veterans that are the difference between 50-win teams and 60-win teams. So we panicked and signed Joe Smith to a dirty deal and David Stern punished us. The death sentence. No payroll wiggle room. No draft picks. No chance in a conference with Shaq and Duncan. KG gave you 48 minutes of sweat and heart and pain every night. The richman’s Ben Wallace; a passionate grinder making more money than anybody in NBA history. He filled stat sheets with points, assists, rebounds, blocks, steals. Grind. Grind. Grind. A millstone of consistency. KG, the blackbeardedMoses, able to see the promised land but never gain entry. The Sissyphus of ‘Sota. Cut to today’s trade: now we have a 22-year-old stud on the low post in Big Al, some athleticism on the wings with Brewer and Foye, some room under the salary cap for the first time since the late 90s, and another lottery pick coming up next summer. Yes, we’re in the conference of Amare, Oden, and Durant, but who knows if any of those guys blossom into a ShaqDuncan. There is hope.

Oh, and speaking of hope: when I was a kid, growing up in WBL, I used to walk out to the island on Bald Eagle in the wintertime with my friend Matt Whitehill. Based on the Whitehills, people living on Bald Eagle were weird. Their entire house was a child’s fort. Matt had a rope hanging over his stairs on which his big brother Darby would Tarzan down to his room. They had expensive Haro BMX bikes in grade school and radio controlled boats and cars. There was adventuring. But then in 1986, when I was 10-years-old, the island was bought by some eccentric rich people. Not rope over the staircase and harobikerich, but there were rumors of a hovercraft, a hovercraft right out of G.I. Joe. But real. The islandhouse started going up. Black behind the trees. Forbidden now. Private. Later, I heard rumors of West Egg theme parties. This morning, I read about it in the Strib. All real. A boy’s imagination, for $3.5 million.

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4 Responses

  1. I would have imagined it’d go for more. The closest I’ve gotten to it is biking and driving along Bald Eagle Blvd on the south side of the lake and wondering how the heck they could live out there. I knew about the hovercraft but didn’t hear the stories about the parties. I also heard a rumor that Bruce Willis was considering buying it the first time it went up on the market.

  2. You have upper class penis envy.

  3. Why do you hate the troops?

  4. I know it’s weird getting a comment from this far back, but take a deep breath, it’ll be over in a minute…I just want to know what WBL stands for…

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