Thank you for taking a break from listening to the 20/20 Experience to read this sentence and maybe the ones after it.
I’m at the Staples Center for the first time ever because of the cool generosity of my girlfriend and her parents. I’m here for a Clippers-Knicks game and they’re playing on St. Patty’s Day.
They’re Clippers fans from way back and God/David Stern has rewarded their faithfulness to the tune of entertaining and competitive basketball for the last few seasons.
A main ingredient to that entertainment and competitiveness has been Blake Griffin. This was the case on March 17th because dude did this.
That dunk brought Staples out of their chairs. Even Knick fans jumped. It was the violence of it all. Just a wrist breaker. It wasn’t surprising. You could see it coming. It was a three on one break and, with Blake in the mix, you don’t think for a second it’s not ending in something that people won’t still be searching for on YouTube five months later. It’s how hard it was and how high he was. It was in the stars. All of Staples could see it. I was standing before the lob even happened.
There were four people sitting in the row behind us. I’ll get to them, because they are important. They are also funny. Like all great ones, they don’t know that they’re funny, but they so are. First, though, I’ve got to tell you about where I am and what I’m seeing because it’s necessary and I had fun and I’m self involved and selfish and I’ll enjoy reliving it.
We’re in box seats. Not a suite or anything, but still. Very nice seats. We’re about halfway up and we can see everything. Great sight lines, someone who isn’t me would say. Our section has its own waitress. Her name is Theresa and she will be helping us today. If we need anything just ask. She has one of those fancy credit card swiper things that attach to an iPhone and she brings people beer and popcorn and other items from the concession stand.
In front of us we have your standard group of Cool Guys. Shiny jackets and super fixed hair and flat bill snap-back hats and watches with faces the size of a fat baby’s fist. They’re just sort of at both extremes about everything. Something’s either not in the vicinity of being a big deal and you’re stupid for thinking it was, or it’s a bigger deal than the moon landing would be to you if you were the one that landed on it. They’re awesome at being awful.
They’re not super important, though. The important stuff is behind me. There’s four girls and they are CELEBRATING St. Patty’s Day. They’re treating the day like it’s all of their 21st Birthday Parties. Like all four of them just found out that they all got proposed to by Ryan Lochte and his three clones.
I don’t really notice them until halfway through the second quarter when one of them asks Theresa for “a BBQ brisket sandwich and a vitamin water”, which go together like Bill Cosby and sweaters with one color and no designs.
They’re talking about Rachel and how she sucks when she’s around her boyfriend and they don’t know why she’s even with him because one of them talked to him and, seriously, all he wants to do is just bartend forever. He has, like, no goals. Heavy sigh from one of them. They treat the news like he killed all of their mothers.
They talk about Grant Hill and how he’s so old. The video board at Staples is playing Suit & Tie and showing different people dancing. They show someone with weird hair doing the cabbage patch in an old, turquoise Grant Hill Pistons jersey. One of them says they used to have one just like it. They talk about Kurt Thomas and how he’s really old. They talk about JR Smith shooting a lot and Iman Shumpert’s House Party level high top fade. They point out Khloe Kardashian walking out of the tunnel back to her seat. They don’t like the Chris Paul jersey dress the PA announcer is wearing while she interviews people in between timeouts. They also don’t understand why she would ever wear heels on a basketball court. Good points, all.
The Blake dunk above is their last straw. They agree he’s so high and oh my gosh look at that replay you guys it’s the highest that one of the girls in particular has ever seen anyone jump. Seriously. Oh, and another vitamin water please.
Despite my dickish tone, though, they know what they’re talking about. I even heard one of them say the words “Zach” and “Lowe” consecutively so, I mean, do with that what you will.
In the aftermath of the dunk, one of them claims she’s going to buy a Blake Griffin jersey after the game. A white one. Red doesn’t look good on her.
All of them live in West Hollywood. One of their husbands eats cookies too much.
When the game’s over and the Clippers have triumphed over the mighty Geezers, I head up the stairs to start the walk to the parking garage. As I leave, I look back. I’ve only heard them up till this point. It’s rude to stare and I was in a strange position where I wouldn’t have felt comfortable turning around and looking at them. But now I see. I see all the green. Green beads and green shirts and green cardigans and calf high boots with heels. Sunglasses with four leaf clover frames. They are the party.
Up and out of Staples we go and the four of them, who probably know more about ball than I ever could hope to, will go have fun and that’s really all that matters so I’ll go stick my head in a toilet.
Don’t hold the wall.