I’ve heard a lot of people refer to their 23rd birthday as the beginning of their “Jordan Year.” You know, that number MJ wore. That might actually just be specific to North Carolina, but I think it’s actually kind of cool and mildly funny. For the first time, I recently saw someone on Facebook refer to the “Pippen Year,” which of course is 33.
I wonder if other parts of the country do this and regionalize it based on local sports stars. Perhaps Clevelanders call it the “LeBron Year” instead. That sounds ridiculous to me, but to each his own.
So this got me thinking: if I were going to name different years of life after athletes, who would I use? For this exercise, I’m going to stick with the NBA theme. I’ve listed a few years here.
How old are you, and what do you want to call it?
1 – D Rose Year. There’s a decent chance you get hurt repeatedly.
3 – Iverson Year. Everyone is selfish at this age. You might show promise as a developing human, but you still think everything’s about you.
8 – Kobe Year. This is the year you spend as a third grader jacking up shot after shot on the playground, probably with a ton of bricks and contested fadeaways. But that one time you knock it down while yelling, “KOBE!” makes everything worth it.
11 – Sabonis/Schrempf Year. One of the best years of your life, and you don’t even know it. You should be so honored to be compared to these legends.
12 – Dwight Year. Oh, the preteen years. One day you’re pretty cool like Detlef Schrempf, and the next day, no one likes you. Just like Dwight’s career post-Orlando.
13 – Harden Year. Being a teen and entering high school is important. Don’t flop.
15 – Carter Year. I’m actually not sure there’s a great comparison here. Vince Carter was once the most exciting player in the NBA, and freshman/sophomore year of high school isn’t exciting in the least. But Carter is great, so he gets his own year.
20 – Allan Houston Year. Shots, shots, shots, shots, shots, shots, shots, shots, shots, shots, shots, shots, shots, shots, shots. EVERYBODY.
21 – Duncan Year. I’m currently living the most consistent, ageless year of my life. Never end.
23 – Jordan Year.
30 – Rasheed Year. How did you get to be 30? That was fast. You can get a little mad. It’s OK. Just get a little angry, take the tech and move on.
31 – Reggie Year. This isn’t a great comparison because unlike Reggie Miller, most 31 year olds know what a pun is.
32 – Magic Year. I’m not there yet, but I’m not sure being 32 really feels like magic. This could be a misnomer.
33 – Pippen Year. (Sorry Kareem, Bird and Ewing.)
34 – Shaq Year. You go from Pippen to Shaq in one year. Not exactly a graceful transition going from a smooth small forward to a massive 300-pound center, but hey, the 30s can be a rough time for some people.
42 – Worthy Year. BIG GAME JAMES. You’ll be a solid contributor in whatever you do this year. People might forget because you might be overshadowed, but you’re still pretty useful at 42.
50 – Robinson Year. This could the the peak of your life. Think of a way to leave on top. The Admiral did and it worked out swimmingly.
55 – Mutumbo Year. Oh no, you’re getting old. No, no, no. (wags finger)
91 – Rodman Year. People this old often go crazy. Rodman epitomized crazy.
92 – DeShawn Stevenson Year. Remember what I said about crazy?
ANDREW TIE | @Andrew_Tie
Andrew Tie is a senior journalism major at UNC-Chapel Hill. He is a 2015 Dat Winning fellow.