It’s been 16 years since Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett first made the All-Star Game. Back in ’97, Garnett was in his third season removed from high school and Duncan was a rookie, playing alongside “The Admiral” David Robinson. There wasn’t much doubt that each would win a ring in their careers.
As the 2013 All-Star game approaches, we decided to lounge back in a pair of JNCO jeans and fire up the Nintendo 64 as we reminisce about the year these two giants of the game first became All-Stars.
As the ’90s crawled to a close, we saw President Bill Clinton inaugurated for his second term in the White House. He then banned research into human cloning after Scottish scientists cloned a sheep named Dolly. We wish Bubba hadn’t done that, ’cause maybe then EVERY team in the NBA would have LeBron. And we could all have Mila Kunis as our girlfriend.
Steve Jobs made his triumphant return to Apple. If you look in your pockets or around your dorm room, you’ll know why this is significant. The world had no idea Jobs would reinvent media, the music industry and the way we use those weird-ass emojicons to flirt with girls.
“Pokemon” stormed the U.S. and immediately separated the indoor kids from the outdoor kids at school. One episode’s special effects caused 685(!) viewers to fall into seizures.
1997 was beset with tragedy. The Notorious B.I.G. was shot and killed in Los Angeles, putting the East Coast/West Coast rap wars in full focus. Puff Daddy paid apt tribute at that year’s VMA’s with his performance of “I’ll Be Missing You”.
’97 was also the year Princess Di perished in a car crash caused by French paparazzi. Two billion people worldwide watched her funeral. Finally, we lost comedian Chris Farley to a drug overdose. His thundering slapstick comedy inspired a tradition of larger-than-life actors who we still can’t help quoting.
But with tragedy comes triumph. 1997 was the year John Elway finally won his ring, the Marlins beat the Indians at the World Series, the Red Wings swept the Flyers for the Stanley Cup, the Bulls and Michael Jordan continued their NBA dominance and Tiger Woods won The Masters after having a threesome with waitresses from Applebee’s, Chili’s and Red Lobster.*
In technology, the Toyota Prius debuted in Japan and paved the way for vegetarian dads who love to crank Radiohead at full volume. The DVD player also debuted, causing everyone to rethink their collection of hundreds of VHS tapes… and causing Hollywood studios to re-release every single movie with an additional five seconds, branded a “Special Edition.”
Oh, and NASA landed a robot on Mars in 1997, but no big deal.
Last but not least, in 1997 Andy Green broke the land speed record by traveling 763.035 mph. Ben & Jerry’s unleashed their Phish Food flavor of ice cream, which made hackeysacking stoner hippies OK with us. And the Heaven’s Gate cult committed mass suicide in San Diego, which compelled our parents to plead with us, “Just because all your friends are drinking cyanide and wearing Nike sneakers with purple cloths over their faces, it doesn’t mean YOU have to.”