I’m a 39-year-old father with a tough job, a mortgage, and a bad back.

These days, I tend to look longingly at anything that is still relatively current but manages to remind me of my youth. That’s why I love things like the fact that (1) Duran Duran is still touring, (2) Randy Johnson is still pitching, and (3) denim shorts are back in style.

For any men around my age, watching NBA basketball over the past 20 years has been somewhat of a letdown. Nothing can compare to the classic 80’s battles between Larry Bird’s Celtics and Magic Johnson’s Lakers. It was not only the true birth of the NBA as a mainstream televised sport, it was also the grand “heyday” that I remember.

Today, my fellow dad Danny waxed the light nostalgic over those old games and what they meant to him. He also talked about how excited he was to watch those two storied franchises go at it tonight in their first championship match-up since 1987.

It reminded me of what Chuck Klosterman wrote a few years ago:

As I have grown older, it’s become clear that the Lakers-Celtics rivalry represents absolutely everything: race, religion, politics, mathematics, the reason I’m still not married, the Challenger explosion, Man vs. Beast, and everything else. There is no relationship that isn’t a Lakers-Celtics relationship.

Back then, times were a little different. Being either a Celtic fan or a Laker fan said something about you. Lakers fans were Hollywood. Celtics fans were salt-of-the-earth tough guys. Today, as we’ve entered a time where we’re less separated by our geography, all of that seems to matter much less.

Personally I can’t wait to sit down tonight and watch the NBA finals. I haven’t watched any of the Finals games over the past several years. And although the players may have changed, there will be a big part of me sitting on the couch and enjoying these games solely because it will take me back to my youth.

Will it take you back too?

FYI…Blogger Blowtorch had a recent interview with Klosterman over the coming series. Check it out. It’s hilarious.