Pablo Prigioni is so old he remembers when joke books full of zingers like this one were popular. At age 35, he’s set to be the oldest rookie in NBA history, which means he probably does remember a series of books that were released in the early-to-mid 1990′s, assuming they were available in Argentina, which, OK, might be a stretch. Nonetheless, he’s old for a rookie and old for the NBA, as he’ll instantly be one of the 20 oldest players in the league once he plays a minute. In a summer that saw them acquire Jason Kidd, Marcus Camby and Kurt Thomas, adding a 35-year-old rookie is just super Knicks-y.
Coming with that advanced age is an appreciation for the finer things in life, the kind of things you just don’t “get” when you’re a 20-something hotshot intent on setting the NBA on fire. No, we’re talking fancy things like the fleet of antique cars and an old typewriter that Prigioni collects and rebuilds, as was recently revealed in an ESPN article detailing the Argentineans particular preferences. Those kind of things, where you need a little perspective to be able to understand the nuances of such fine engineering.
However, as we also learned from ESPN, there’s one specific, distinguished piece that’s missing from Prigioni’s formidable collection.
Speaking of bigger, he said his dream car is the “Eleanor.” It was the 1973 Ford Mustang Mach 1 featured in the 2000 feature film, “Gone in 60 Seconds,” starring Nicolas Cage.
“It’s wonderful,” he said.
Prigioni usually uses different car websites, magazines and TV shows — his favorite is “Overhaulin’” — to discover new cars he wants to buy. But he thinks coming to New York City will give him an easier time to find that rare Ford Falcon. He’s also hoping that he gets to meet his idol, Chip Foose star of “Overhaulin’.”
“Maybe I’m a lucky guy and living there I can meet Chip, and he can give me some good ideas,” said Prigioni, who plans to live in White Plains, near the Knicks’ training facility. “And maybe one day, I’ll buy my ‘Eleanor.’”
This is so, so great. Not only is it very funny that a car collector gets his ideas from Nicolas Cage movies — and don’t get me wrong, such a thing is one of the funniest of things — but the line “And maybe one day, I’ll buy my ‘Eleanor’” just kills me. It’s like he is actually embodying the spirit of Cage’s character without stooping to stealing cars. He’s the white hat Memphis Raines.
But hey, dream big, man. If coming to America and playing in the world’s best basketball league means you’ll be able to score an “Eleanor” without having to pull a complicated heist that’s being staked out by Delroy Lindo, then you should totally do it. I mean, sure, he could just get one off eBay, but what’s the fun in that? Plus, if he were to get it online, I bet Angelina Jolie wouldn’t be impressed. And really, that’s the whole point.