Reggie Miller. Arvydas Sabonis. Patrick Ewing. Bird, Magic, Meadowlark. All well known names in the game of basketball. And all characters in their own right. Gentle giants. Master showmen.
These are the guys that attracted me to the game of basketball. Of course, it is a fun, fast paced sport, but also a game full of colorful characters. The ESPN 30 for 30 on Reggie Miller, I’ve watched that about 50+ times. When Patrick Ewing looks into the camera and says “I hated Reggie Miller,” my heart is warmed. They are human. They love. They fight.And then a guy like Arvydas Sabonis. A fabulous big man who was in the clever words of the great Jack McCullum “a basketball Sasquatch.” He would emerged from behind the Iron Curtain to mess with some forwards and confuse them with his mad playing skills and then disappear. But that was just half the story. Sabonis was skilled enough to play against the best in the NBA (and probably beat them) in his prime, but politics got in the way and he stayed behind the Iron Curtain until his playing days were getting fewer and fewer. These are the great stories. These make me love the game of basketball and made me make a special visit to the James Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Massachusetts. The inside of the place is just gorgeous and they pay tribute to the greats of game.
Firstup, my two favorite inductees that star in one of my favorite movies of all time, The Other Dream Team:
Some really great vintage basketball outfits:
And finally, we can’t talk about basketball without this guy: