I think I have mentioned this here before, but from 2002-2005, I lived in a sleepy little upstate New York town called Glens Falls.
It’s a small burg about 45 miles past Albany on the New York State Thruway, and its famous natives include wrestler “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan and recent college basketball sensation Jimmer Fredette (now in the NBA).
I enjoyed my time there immensely, loved the newspaper I worked out, and made great friends, some of whom I saw this weekend on the wife and I’s annual summer trip up to Saratoga Springs (we usually go during horse racing season in mid-August, but as she’ll be 8 1/2 months pregnant then, seemed wise to move it up a bit).
Glens Falls, though, was always pretty run-down when I lived there. The population base had shrunk drastically since the 1980s, most of the downtown stores were either empty or dilapidated, and there really wasn’t much to do if you were a 20-something looking for fun (which I was).
In short, the town was pretty much dead, and figured to remain that way for the foreseeable future.
Only … it has come dramatically back to life. I was literally walking around with my mouth open this weekend, seeing the incredible turnaround. The public library (above) used to be a tiny afterthought of a building; now it holds its own with any university library I’ve seen.
Instead of the dark and depressing empty storefronts downtown, there are new restaurants, clubs and businesses, signs of a thriving city.
It was amazing. It was unrecognizable from what it was eight years ago. And it gave me a little bit of hope that with some strong local leadership, incentives for businesses, and local ingenuity, plenty of other struggling small towns can do the same.
You think you know a place… I kept thinking this weekend that I almost wish I lived there now, and where was all this when I was looking for love?
**So let me make sure I have this Jason Kidd situation straight, before I proclaim him the biggest horse’s ass in New York coaching circles since Mike Keenan:
He finished a Hall of Fame NBA career with the Knicks in 2013, and despite having zero coaching experience, he schmoozes Brooklyn Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov and GM Billy King to hire him as head coach of a loaded Nets team.
He then gets off to a hideous 10-21 start, looks more lost than a virgin in a whorehouse, and somehow avoids getting fired, rights the ship and guides his team to a second-round playoff loss, barely meeting preseason expectations.
Then, when any sane person would be trying to get better as a coach and thanking their lucky stars they have an owner who loves him, he goes to that owner, DEMANDS to be placed completely in charge of basketball operations, and knowing that he’ll get turned down (firmly), secretly starts negotiating with Milwaukee, and any day now will be named their GM/coach/major domo?
Yep, that’s apparently about right. What an utter and complete jackass, and disgrace, Kidd is.
I will always be grateful to him for getting my long-suffering Nets to the NBA Finals in 2002 and ’03, but that was a long time ago. This drunk-driving, ego-tripping fool should be put on the No. 4 train out of Brooklyn and on the first flight to Milwaukee.
Enjoy the winters in Wisconsin, Jason. And it’ll be a cold day in hell before Nets fans ever stop cursing your name.
**Finally today, this is Rachael Lust. She does some insane things with a hula hoop. I know, I know, you can’t always trust what you see on YouTube. But fast forward to the 1-minute mark and tell me you’re not impressed.
She should definitely be hired for birthday parties and bar mitzvahs.