The NBA Draft makes me feel OLD

For 60 young men, tonight will be the culmination of a life of hard work and practice — a dream come true. For me? For me the 70th NBA Draft will be another night I look at the T.V and think “shit, these guys are younger than I am.”

For those of you who aren’t huge basketball fans, most of the top 20 players selected will be between 19–20 years old. The projected #1 overall pick, Markelle Fultz, was born in 1998! That’s like, 2 years before 2000!

Markelle preparing to fly a WWII B-52 Bomber.

These guys who are younger than me are about to make millions of dollars. Then there’s me, sitting on my couch watching them put hats on, while listening to even older men commentate about these young men putting their hats on.

Sometimes the hats don’t even stay on.

It’s a sick tornado of underachievement and overachievement. It’s also the precise moment where I am most aware of my own mortality. There are other moments where I should have been more aware of it— my 70mph car crash, to name one. And yet the NBA Draft is consistently the time I look at myself in the mirror and think “aw shit.”

If ever you’ve been a young Jewish boy, then you know the pain of realizing you’ll never amount to much in the world of sports. There are exceptions, sure…like Julian Edelman and…Amar’e Stoudemire (who converted). Or Albert Einstein, for you nerds (losers). But at the end of the day, the chances of a “me” being drafted anywhere — aside for the Israeli Army—are pretty tiny. So I instead choose to stare at the T.V, watch other people do awesome shit, and conclude that they “made it” way faster than I did.

The thing is…being forced to confront my own transience every June is actually a nice experience. It’s important to remind myself that I am wayyyy behind on accomplishing stuff I want to accomplish. In this way, sitting on the couch and watching ESPN has become the heart of my entire life philosophy: “playing-catch-up” is what gets me to live larger. I don’t want to put the hat on just yet. For a boy who always did his work on time, slight procrastination has become my M.O.

I’m comfortable to sit on the couch, watch the draft, and push myself for another year. Come next summer, when I need a little more motivation, I’ll tune in again.

Later that night, Ari Glasgow was drafted with the 3rd overall pick by the Boston Celtics.

He went on to have a hall of fame career, before being tragically run over by a monster truck on the court during the Celtics final home game of the 2024 season.