BY Stephen A. Smiff
SCARSDALE, NY— Arthur Greenspan is not happy with what he sees on the court, and has no reservations sharing how he feels.
“Oscar Robertson was right; basketball today is garbage,” said Greenspan, 63. “And now my grandson is the one that suffers.
Reacting to the recent play Golden State Warriors point guard Stephen Curry, Robertson said coaches today “do not understand the game of basketball” and said if a player today “can dunk or make a three-point shot, you’re the greatest thing since sliced bread.”
Greenspan, after watching his grandson play, had similar remarks on today’s game. His grandson, Samuel Goldberg, plays for the Purple Team in Scarsdale’s Second-Grade Boys League.
“The coach doesn’t know what he’s doing out there,” said the recently retired accountant.
“All the kids are just bunched together. My little Sammy never gets the ball, and he’s just picking his nose the hole time. A coach would never let that happen back when I played!
The 7-year-old Goldberg seemed unfazed by the comments. Known as a reserved, let-his-play-speak-for-himself kind of player, he calmly addressed his grandfather’s words while standing behind his mother and holding her hand.
“Well, I like basketball because it’s fun and I play with my friend Benny. I also like the color purple. Sometimes my grandpa comes to see me play, and then he waves to me and that’s fun. Also, we also get ice-pops sometimes, too. I also get to play with Benny. He’s my friend. Mommy can we go now. Mommy. Mommy I want to go. Mommy.”
The Purple Team is undefeated through six games. They are tied for first in the league with nine other teams, since wins and losses are not counted.
When asked how the game was played back in his day, Greenspan said there was “none of this ‘every plays the same amount’ bullshit”, and recalled good ball movement, running hook shots, team defense and only a little bit of crying.
Greenspan is not the first grandparent to compare basketball now to what it used to be, and most people within the community are tired of hearing the old criticizing the new. Greenspan’s daughter, Julie Greenspan-Goldberg, was not shy in her remarks.
“He’s just been a bit ornery since his first prostate exam. It took years for the family to convince him to finally get one. I guess that was a mistake.”
The Purple Team has three more games to go before the playoffs, where each team makes it the championship and everyone gets a trophy. When asked what he looks forward to the rest of the season, Little Sammy Goldberg said, “playing with my friend Benny”.