From the Archive: June 18, 2008
Reporters ask dumb questions. And it is especially dumb to ask athletes what something feels like. 'What does top of the world feel like, Kevin,?' she says to a newly championed Kevin Garnett.
I don't even know what this means. Does she want to know what being on top of the world feels similar to? If so, and say, for example, it feels similar to having sex and eating ice cream and being commended for a job well done, do we then have to ask what that is similar to? Either this never ends, in which case its a stupid question, or else it ends with the feeling being similar to something we're unfamiliar with, in which case it's pointless to ask, or it ends with something that we're already familiar with, in which case we're not interested. After all, the question only seems appropriate to ask because one assumes that being on top of the world is unique, a sui generis nature that none of us will ever experience, and that even many elite athletes never experience. But of course if this rare moment is unique, then we can't possibly understand what it is like by comparing it to something else, which makes it a stupid question (q.e.d.)
But the question could just mean 'can you describe the feeling of being on top of the world'. And of course he can't. What is he, a poet? Only a brilliant writer can get someone to feel things that he actually hasn't done- eating ice cream and hearing about it are two different things- and only through the gift of wordsmithing, perhaps, can an audience get a taste of the real feelings involved. And athletes, from what I gather, do autographs, not monographs.
Though maybe KG should have responded to "whats on top of the world feel like?" with "that's real fucking original. I've been getting 'how's the weather up there?' since I was 7 years old."