I know this is a basketball site devoted particularly to the San Antonio Spurs, but I figured that the news of Prince dying today at the young age of 57 was too sad to not address in some way.
I attended a Golden State Warriors/Oklahoma City Thunder game about a month ago in Oakland and got to see Prince sitting courtside with the aura of coolness that only he could convey.
Sitting with Warriors’ owner Joe Lacob, he was sporting a pimp cane, mirrored sunglasses, and huge afro to compliment the stoic grin on his face of someone quietly amused with the idea of watching adults play a game for a living, knowing full well that all eyes were drifting towards him every time there was a stoppage in play, just so fans at the arena could soak in his presence.
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Surely he could relate to the artistry of athletics, because while athletes entertain with kinesthetic poetry, Prince and musicians like him inspire the same emotional connectedness albeit through a different medium.
He didn’t look sick, and from what I heard the concert he performed the very next day at Oracle Arena was spectacular. On the way out of the stadium, we received a free copy of his newest CD. I never opened it. I’m not completely sure why, other than the fact that there was no urgency attached to it. The album would be on my shelf for the foreseeable future without perishing, its existence attached to my convenience.
Humans aren’t like that, however, and Prince will no longer be around to inspire us at our own convenience. His music may live on, but death always has a way of unearthing a usually dormant reality of the human condition that life is finite, and that we should cherish what it means to exist and love and laugh while we still can.
Prince’s death has shaken me, not just due to the randomness of it but that he is truly a fantastic, once-in-a-generation artist. I didn’t grow up with Prince’s music the way Generation X did, and I urge fellow people my age to use this unfortunate opportunity to discover this man’s artistry if you’re relatively unfamiliar with his work. Listening to his music is a spiritual experience in and of itself.
He’s the epitome of coolness, and I think I speak for everyone when I express how deeply heartbreaking this news is. R.I.P. Prince Rogers Nelson.