The announcement arrived today. NYC native and one of the illest, most unique talents to ever rise from the city asphalt, Chris Mullin, has been elected to the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame. In lieu of the great news, I’m rewinding this selection from a couple of years back, as we celebrate Mo’s achievement.
Christopher Paul Mullin was a simple, neighborhood guy from Troy Avenue in the Flatlands section of Brooklyn. The love affair with hoops was a multi-generational thing that began in the driveway of the family’s small row house. Read More »
Basketball, broken down to its simplest compound, is about scoring more buckets than the team you’re playing against. The Semi-Automatic refers to players who leave bodies in their wake with their innate ability to get buckets. And from the minute he stepped onto Georgia Tech’s campus in ‘82-’83, until his eventual retirement from the NBA in ‘98, William Mark Price did the thing with pure excellence. Ask any seasoned playground vet with a street pedigree or one of the winningest coaches of all time and they’ll tell you the same.
In the early to mid ’80s, I began paying serious attention to what head coach Bobby Cremins – an exuberant, white-haired, passionate native New Yorker in his 30’s – was building in Atlanta at the Georgia Institute of Technology. A 7-foot Brooklyn cat named John Salley, who tore it up at Canarsie High School, was doing his thing out there along with a guard from Harlem named Bruce Dalrymple. I couldn’t resist the New York flavors and watched those teams every chance I could. And each time, I walked away more and more impressed with a kid from Enid, Oklahoma, who stood a shade under six-foot. Read More »
Johnny Earl Dawkins came from a family of ballers. Running on the D.C. playgrounds with his father and three uncles, the young boy learned the essence of the outdoor game before ever stepping inside the cushy confines of the gym.
“They didn’t cut me any slack,” Dawkins told Darren Sabedra of the San Jose Mercury News about playing on Dodge City’s asphalt. “But it hepled me because I understood how to play the game at a faster pace. I had to play just to survive.”
It was during those asphalt runs that he developed into the mercurial, quicksilver marksman that would go on to become one of the greatest guards the college game has ever seen. Read More »