Old Blog Archive

What basketball does better than music

I’m not a huge sports fan. But something that consistently happens is there being a week or so where I become momentarily really into a team that’s going on an entertaining run of games. Being interested in the story of the team usually reveals things like learning that the old man with the clipboard (who’s usually not much shorter than the players) was also an all-star player himself in his younger days. I find this fascinating. Most of these guys, Pat Riley, Phil Jackson, etc. have plenty of cash. So my logic points to them actually doing it because they enjoy it! What a great system! Old dudes (who are experts) helping the next generation of tall millionaires.

So when I correlate that which I know little about (sports) to what’s more my speed (music), it seems like we’re somehow missing this stage. If we say that the equivalent of the NBA coach in the music world is the producer, than there is our hole. Sure, there are scores of successful record producers who had their own careers as artists, but to the level of a Larry Bird? I’m not so sure. If we’re talking that tier of athlete becoming a coach, than in the music world we’d be talking about David Bowie producing new up-and-comers. I’ve thought this before, “Why isn’t Dylan producing some young songwriter that he likes?”, usually chalking it up to being about money. But we all know Dylan and Bowie are probably doing just fine off the royalties from their heyday.

So why don’t we see any effort from these older successful artists in helping produce younger artists? My first guess is that music is more of a life-long endeavor than playing 10-years of pro sports is. But that said, I feel like there’s a whole generation of artists who were successful now just sitting on their asses. I’m sure savvier people than me will be able to list exceptions, but on a macro-level, this seems to be how it is.

Paul Simon Selling BooksPat Riley helping one of his players