THE INTERNET’S BEST: AN INTERVIEW WITH THEGRANDARCHIVES

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One of the best sporting archives to grace the internet, thegrandarchives has been a constant in every sport head’s feed since the Tumblr era. Posting some of the most obscure basketball images and players known to man, thegrandarchives is the home for sports nostalgia. One of the founding fathers of the sports archive game, thegrandarchives is a must follow. For those not familiar with the greatness of thegrandarchives, We had the pleasure of interviewing them to gain some insight to the myth. Peep some of their posts and the interview below.

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Can you please explain the premise behind thegrandarchives and how this page came to life?

Everything started in 2008, both in terms of this project and the rest of my life. I had just graduated high school and was dating this girl and feeling angsty so I hopped on tumblr to express myself like every other white girl in 2008. If you dig deep enough (please don’t) you’ll see what I mean, but eventually I cut that bitch off (got cheated on), smoked a ton of weed in my bedroom closet, started going through boxes of basketball cards and old SLAM issues,  stole my mom’s HP ScanJet, and started slangin. After 10 years I transitioned to Instagram, something I should’ve done a lot sooner. Doing that allowed me to link with a lot of former players I grew up worshiping, so everything’s come full circle now. 

What squads do you support across all the major sports?

Philadelphia 76ers, Buffalo Bills, Chicago Cubs, Manchester City. Through family ties I inadvertently grew up supporting all the red, white, and blue teams. 

How would you describe thegrandarchives experience to someone who may be unfamiliar with your page?

Take your favorite sports-based IG account like Bleacher Report or Bleacher Report and subtract all the hype shit. I try to let my content speak for itself so I rarely add captions or tags unless I’m on one and get a little loose with it. Basically I’m everyone’s daddy. Really it’s just a reflection of me as a person. Everything I post holds a specific meaning to me personally. But that’s the part of it that the audience doesn’t get to understand all the time. Instead, they’re experiencing the post for themselves in ways I could never know, and I think that’s a beautiful thing. Being aware of that is what makes it so special to me now, because of the way one image can spread amongst so many people. 

You’ve just hit a game-tying 3 pointer in crunch time of a playoff game. What’s your go-to celebration? Is it Sam Cassell’s patented ‘big-balls’,  MJ ‘shrug’, a Joel Embiid aeroplane, a Gilbert Arenas ‘raise the arms before it drops’ or something else?

My balls are like planets so the Sam Cassell Big Balls dance would be appropriate, though I would take that a step further by whipping my shit out and giving the opposing team a golden shower while I yell “RAIN DANCE” and laugh hysterically. 

What’s the most likely scenario for 76ers this season? 

  • Joel Embiid and Al Horford become the new Ralph Sampson and Hakeem Olajuwon (or David Robinson and Tim Duncan)
  •  Josh Richardson, Ben Simmons and Tobias Harris fail to co-exist, leaving 6ers fans yearning for the glory days of Tony Wroten Jr
  • OR Sixers sign Alexy Shved to a 10-Day contract and he becomes the scoring punch they need off the bench (no disrespect to James Ennis)

I’m sure I feel this way because I know the Sixers far too well at this point, but I have this horrible feeling that the Embiid/Horford duo will end up looking a lot like Olajuwon/Sampson if you replace Sampson with 1982 Edition Elvin Hayes who went to Houston as a future Hall of Famer but was like 40 and running on fumes at that point. I think Horford will help Embiid more in practice than he will in the games. He has to play at least 60 games this year for that contract to really be worth it. I think the Simmons/Richardson/Harris trio will work well, but at least in this first year, I don’t think it turns out any better than the Simmons/Redick/Butler trio did last season. I think 2020-2021 is the year everything finally comes together, but 2019-2020 could end up being a repeat of last year. A lot of improvement was made this summer but Jimmy Butler won so many games by himself that it’s hard to imagine replacing that. I think Tobias Harris is absolutely a Philly Guy and was the right guy to give the money to, but I also think most Philly fans will miss Jimmy Butler by the end of the year. I miss him already. And Boban.

thegrandarchives is easily one of the most unique sports archive pages out there. Where do you source your content? And what are some of your favorite discoveries of your archiving journey?

Early on, the majority of the content came from scanning cards and magazines. About four years in I discovered the Search Tools tab on Google and started doing random image searches with a lot of filters so that the results would be limited to photos with huge dimensions. The larger the photo, the higher the quality, and I hate seeing a great photo that’s super pixelated or deep fried because the file size is like 500 x 500. It’s the little things that make the difference. Screen shots have become a lot more prevalent since I moved to Instagram. That’s my favorite medium now, because with screen shots it’s not about the image itself, it’s about what the image tells you. I could post an image of Devin Brown and if you’re really bout that life you’d know it was from the 13 in 35 game. That type of nostalgia is what it’s all about for me. 

I often look at your page and some of your contemporaries as the sports world’s equivalent to rap’s underground scene. In my mind thegrandarchives helped lay the foundation for social media crazes such as ‘NBA Twitter’. In other words, I view your page as the originator of the nostalgic NBA steez. Do you view yourself as an originator at all? And when you started the archives back in ‘08 did you ever believe you would build such a strong ‘community-like’ following?

None of this was ever planned or expected, and I’ve never done any of this for anyone other than myself. That’s what makes the reception so rewarding, because it’s really not me that made it popular, it’s everyone else, and it’s been pretty cool to see how many people out there appreciate and share my taste. I just post what I like. Everything that’s ever come after that is an added bonus. My followers play just as big of a role in this as I do. A dealer is nothing without clientele. 

Who’s more likely to make you hit the mute button on your TV when they’re on commentary. Reggie Miller or Chris Webber?

Mark Jackson.

Who’s competing in your dream Dunk Contest? You can choose anybody from any era.

There was a minor league team in my hometown that was owned by Roy Jones Jr. and played in Florida A&M’s old gym in the summers. There was a guy on that team named Tony something who had the craziest vert I’ve ever seen in my life. Throw him out there with Vince Carter, Gerald Green, John Humphries, and DJ Stephens and make them dunk 20 times each. 

Tumblr or Instagram? Which era of thegrandarchives is better?

I enjoy Instagram a lot more now, both because of the simplicity and because of the relationships it’s afforded me. The tumblr process was a lot more involved and time consuming, but that was what made it so special and personal to me. Now I can do everything I need to do on my phone. With Tumblr, I was sitting up late at night digging through magazine, working the ScanJet, buying cards at flea markets…the Tumblr era was the golden era for sure. 

Stephen A Smith or Stuart Scott?

Stuart Scott. I don’t think I ever heard Stuart Scott get heated on air or talk shit or roll his eye (my bad, Stu) at anyone. He was the real deal. And I refuse to stay off the weed so it’s really a matter of principal that I go with Stu.

Which players fill out the roster for the ‘Process’ All-Stars? (AKA The Tank Commanders)

  • PG: Ish Smith
  • SG: Pierre Jackson
  • SF: Andrei Kirilenko
  • PF: Jerami Grant
  • C: Byron Mullens
  • PG: Tony Wroten
  • SG: Alexey Shved
  • SF: Gerald Wallace
  • PF: Javale McGee
  • C: Andrew Bynum

End of the Bench

  • Baron Davis
  • Nik Stauskas

Favorite era of the NBA?

The MF Jordan Era. I lived through it briefly, so while I really grew up during the LeBron Era, I first fell in love with the game during the mid 90s and Jordan was indescribable. Everyone else, players, coaches, fans, all just seemed so pissed and dejected to have to be in the League at the same time as him, and it was awesome. People can argue all the want about who the true GOAT is, but Jordan was without a doubt the biggest badass.

If you could bring one player from any era into today’s NBA, who would it be and why?

I’d like to see how Bill Russell would do in today’s game. I don’t doubt he’d do well, I’d just love to see how well and how different the accolades would look.

Top 5 most swagged out players to ever grace the NBA?

Tim Thomas, Chris Douglas-Roberts, Whit Eboy, plus the sibling duo of Darius Miles/Quentin Richardson and the father/son duo of Allen Iverson/Larry Hughes. Please @ me about Swaggy P.

Who are your least favorite players of all-time? Surely, Jared Dudley is on the list

I’m trying to turn a new leaf and not harbor so much hatred in my heart, but yeah, if I could murder Jared Dudley and avoid the death penalty I would. Tom Gugliotta is a close second.

Outside of thegrandarchives do you pursue any other hobbies/interests?

I was a graphic design major in college so I still do a lot of work in that area in my free time, and I try to post at least a glimpse of my projects. The frequency in which I share that stuff fluctuates though because I do have an Erykah Badu complex. I used to post my old SoundCloud beats on Tumblr and get like 10 notes, 8 of which were me reblogging myself. Eventually I stopped caring as much and it really ended up working out well once that happened because I’ve been able to connect with some incredibly talented people as a result. 

What’s better, a Cuttino Mobley game worn armband or a game worn Vladimir Radmonivic Sonics jersey?

Although Cuttino Mobley is Team Left Hand, the Vlad Radmonivic joint would be rare beyond comprehension.

Chances of a Joel Embiid MVP this season?

75%

Any shouts or social media plugs?

Shoutout to myself for still being alive and well.

Are you the true internet GOAT?

The true internet GOAT is a guy named Paulo Vido. I’m not at liberty to speak any further on the man himself but I can tell you his legacy is untouchable.

THEGRANDARCHIVES FAVORITE EUROPEAN HOOPERS

  • Arvydas Sabonis
  • Peja Stojakovic
  • Toni Kukoc
  • Rik Smits
  • Rudy Fernandez

A big thank you to thegrandarchives! Follow them on Tumblr and Instagram

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