New Yahk City
Old man Taj Gibson has discovered the fountain of youth: Bodega bacon, egg, and cheeses
As an (imperfect) fan of the New York Knicks, a (medium) fan of Taj Gibson, and a (massive) fan of New York City bodegas, this little snippet of interview featuring Gibson on MSG hit me right in the sweet spot. When the 36-year-old was asked where he found the so-called "fountain of youth" on Wednesday night, he hemmed and hawed for a moment before revealing his big secret:
You may think this is a joke, but Gibson is 100 percent correct about the restorative qualities of bodega food. Take it from someone who lived in Brooklyn for five years in his mid-20s, had limitless energy, and now lives in North Carolina dragging his tired decaying carcass from one miserable Bruegger's to the next—there's real magic in the bodega. It's also heartening that Gibson identified the absolute best thing about NYC bodegas, particularly if you're not a cat person. (The cats are fine, don't tweet at me.)
In terms of bodega food, these are the big three:
3. Giant stuffed subs of any kind late at night
2. Deli pickles, whenever, unsliced unless you're a coward
1. Bacon, egg, and cheese bagels, in the morning. Possibly two, if you don't feel like eating lunch that day.
Gibson didn't actually specify the bagel part, but that's implied—any other bread product would be practically heretical. In this case, I'm leaning plain bagel. Anywhere else in the world, you go with an everything bagel, but in the city you have to let that special New York water do its work and let the bagel stand alone.
Gibson scored 21 points and grabbed nine boards in the Knicks preseason win over the Pistons on Sunday. The Knicks are now 3-0, which means they'll likely get to around 70 wins this season, starting with a blowout against the Celtics in the season-opener next Wednesday, and improve on last season's thrilling regular season run by either winning a championship or taking the rejuvenated Warriors to seven games while Julius Randle wins MVP. I am not delusional.
As for old guys, Gibson is actually eighth on the active list, behind the entire roster of the Los Angeles Lakers, and Miami's 41-year-old Udonis Haslem. Considering that someone named Nat Hickey played when he was 45, and Vince Carter almost made it to 44, it's entirely possible that Gibson still has a near-decade left on his old bones. It doesn't hurt that he was 24 when he was drafted, and the true NBA mileage on his legs is a lot less than most 36-year-olds. The most important thing, though, is to keep scarfing down those bacon, egg, and cheese bagels. Trust in the bodega magic, and good things will follow.