The Lost Mixes

THE STORY OF THE LOST MIXES BEGINS about two years ago. In the month of June to be exact. Coming off the most disappointing NBA finals I had ever witnessed, there wasn’t much to get excited about or worth looking forward basketball wise unless you were a Spurs fan….. or a Cavs one.

Spurs or Cavs? Now thats a tough choice. Sounds like a Catch 22, right? Well, the Spurs were officially the newest NBA Dynasty and Cleveland would soon draft their 3rd number 1 draft pick in the past 5 years by selecting Canada’s own Andrew Wiggins followed by Lebron James (in a move we all saw coming) announcing his “return” to the city for the second time.

While Lebron’s homecoming was great for the state of Ohio, it’s Basketball fans and the media, it was more like a smack in the face for the majority of NBA fans… especially those residing in Miami. Needless to say, the NBA was becoming a little too predictable for my liking and it was definitely not competitive enough. As a result, I decided to take a break from both the NBA and blogging that entire summer. While I wasn’t updating this site or my Tumblr, I didn’t take a break from the game. In the 2-3 months that would follow I spent the time and energy I’d usually put into Double Clutch and directed it towards my quest to make the ultimate NBA fan mix.

Driven by a mixture of sheer boredom, and the undying love of the game I began watching every highlight video I could find on saved on my laptop or steaming youtube of my favorite NBA players, favoriting the best, then downloading and compiling them for use in what I intended to be the greatest NBA mix of all time. The product, when finished, would serve as the grand introduction in my return to the blog that fall just in time for the new start of NBA season.
That was the plan at least.

I had from mid July to October leaving me roughly 3 months to create a masterpiece. The inspiration or underlying theme of the highlight mix was ‘the love for the game’. Coincidentally, the soundtrack to it would be the insturmental to Nas’ stand out song from 2002 album The Lost Tapes, “U Gotta Love It”. This would also serve as the videos title.

Sticking true to the title, the premise of it all was to showcase all the aspects I loved about the game of basketball in footage ranging from the 90s when I first started watching the NBA until today using the NBAs greatest stars from each era. Every player selected was a either favorite of mine growing up or currently. Further, all of them at some point were individually regarded the best in the NBA. Most had won at least one MVP award and a few had a NBA Championship to go with it.

The players included in the mix were Carmelo, Lebron, Iverson, McGrady Kobe, Rose, Durant, Penny Hardaway, Vince Carter and the one and only Michael Jordan. Thats a short list of some of the Greatest NBA Players of all time including a few first balot future Hall of Famers, no doubt. With that type of line up, making a highlight mix was more fun for me than anything. I had nothing but the best footage of them all, in their primes showcasing all their best skills. Before long, it was all organized and categorized by dunks, layups, crossovers, jump shots, assists and even blocks and grouped in sections in my iMovie project dashboard. Lastly, the every video clip was to be perfectly edited to flow seamlessly into one long highlight video synchronized with every drum kick and snare in the L.E.S. produced Nas track. By the end of the summer I nearly had it all complete and it was a thing of beauty. Unfortunately, it just wasn’t meant for the world to see.

Thinkin back, the whole idea was doomed from the beginning. The thought of making a 10 player highlight mix might of, as they say, “looked great on paper”, but it was impossible for me to actually finish. Why? Because I was working on an 2009 Macbook and an even older version of iMovie. Not to mention only 2 Gb of memory and a constantly shrinking hardrive space.

Let’s say I did finish the mix. How would I export the finished movie in 1180p HD video onto my computer, then into After effects to add “after effects”, then back on my laptop to finally upload it to Vimeo or Youtube for anyone to even see it.

By October, as the NBA season and my deadline approached, I had over 30 minutes of footage sitting in my iMovie project space and no idea how to condense it all down to anything short of 10 minutes. But that was the least of my problems. At the time I could barely run iMovie with any other program short of Safari and maybe iTunes simultaneously without my laptop constantly freezing and ultimately crashing. It was either the mix or my laptop. Something needed to go. But I wasn’t ready to part with either. The only option was to simply stop working on it.

The unfinished mix sat in the Double Clutch Vault for weeks while I attempted to think of a solution until one day, suddenly, in a twist of fate, an Apple software update made it all disappear. Yep, all of you basketball fans out there can blame Steve Jobs (may he rest in peace) for missing out on the greatest NBA mix of all time. But seriously, there’s no mix because I couldn’t get my iPhone to sync with my macbook. Let me explain.

Syncing devices isn’t a problem for most Apple users, but as you know very well by now my laptop was old. So old it required me to update it to current version iOS before I could even think about listening to the new Kendrick Lamar (or whatever rapper was hot during fall of 2014) song I had just downloaded. With a brand new operating system, I was also advised to use the matching version of iMovie and not the ancient version I had been using to make all my videos. When I downloaded the new iMovie, the older version was somehow deleted in the process with all the content I had on it…. including my the aforementioned mix. All I had to show for over three months of work was the “Intro” below and a few clips that I had previously exported.

Not all was lost, however. I still had all the ripped youtube highlight videos saved on my harddrive. What I lost was simply what would’ve been the mix, as I had the clips arranged, edited and organized. The mix formerly known as “You Gotta Love It” might have been lost forever, but what came out of all that saved footage were a few great mixes in its own right. Some you might have seen already like my Make Em NV Jordan mix, Lebron return promo, upcoming Penny Hardaway video, and others to come.

But back to the “Lost Mix” or should I say mixes.

Recently, I’ve begun putting it all back together, not as it originally existed as one big long video, but piece by piece via a new series of short 15-20 second clips from the old footage. I created each one following the same theme, but limited it only to a specific player and/or aspect of the game. In contrast to the lost mix, these new mixes were easy to work with, and more suited for social media outlets like Vine or Twitter than Youtube or Vimeo. In fact, you might have seen them a few months back on my Tumblr or Instagram. If not, check out the Iverson featured “Crossover” video below.

And then there’s this longer “Lay Up” themed video, which is probably the closest thing I can show you to how I the original mix would’ve look like finished.

Someday if time permits, I’d love to complete the full video as I originally set out to do years ago. It would definitely be worth the wait. But seeing how I’m still working off that same 2009 MacBook, don’t hold your breath. For now, keep an eye out on my Vimeo for more of the shorter “Lost Mixes” soon.

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