10/19/10 9:49 am EST
This is why Philadelphia area resident (And we asume frequent Philadunkia.com visitor) M. Night Shyamalan is a tragic figure. The putridity of his last three movies has overwhelmed remembrance of the legitimately good, maybe great, stuff he did earlier in his career. He’s an idiot, we now say reflexively, dismissively, as though he were never anything but.
It’s like the way a painful breakup renders you not just unwilling, but in some ways unable to fondly remember the better times: the canoe trip, trying to put together a desk, or that time you rented Signs. Post-facto, when you stumble into one of these memories you meant to stash in some out of the way hippocampal groove, rather than enjoy it you mine it for signs of dysfunction, the fall that’s to come. This mining distorts the memory and in doing so not only robs a piece of personal history of it’s proper due, but actually rewrites that history. This is how Lady in the Water, by the sheer gravity of its terribleness, has ruined Unbreakable.
And it’s how Elton Brand’s last two seasons, by the sheer gravity of their terribleness, have started to ruin Elton Brand.
This is a bummer not just because he’s a nice guy who’s fallen on hard times (Ok, he’s made well over $100 million to play sports, not that hard), but because his first eight years of professional basketball were extraordinary. And regardless of how the story ends, they deserve to be remembered accordingly.
These were my thoughts Saturday at Converse’s launch party for Brand’s new EB3 signature basketball shoe (available exclusively at JCPenney!) where I was waiting my turn to get at his ear. When I got it I asked him about his fall from the top, what he’s doing to get back, and what’s happening with Evan Turner. After we went our separate ways, he gave 100 pairs of his sneakers away to some inner-city kids who were waiting on the court downstairs. Like I said, he’s a nice guy.
Q and A after the J.