Today, December 4, 2013 is the 16th anniversary of the NBA’s decision to suspend Golden State Warriors forward Latrell Sprewell for one entire year of basketball for choking his coach PJ Carlesimo during a Warrior practice. Sprewell, a tremendously talented player was also one of the biggest head cases to play the game.
Photo Courtesy of Getty Images
During a practice on December 1, 1997 he took umbrage with Carlesimo yelling at him to make crisper passes, telling the coach to “keep his distance.” When Carlesimo approached Sprewell to have words with him, the Warriors forward choked his coach for upwards of ten seconds before players could come to their coaches’ rescue. According to sources at practice, Sprewell then retreated to the showers and came back onto the practice court and took a swing at his coach connecting with his right cheek before being dragged away by the other coaches. The next day he was suspended ten games without pay, pending an NBA review of the incident. On December 4, 1997 the NBA ruled that Sprewell was to be suspended for an entire year and his contract with the Warriors (worth $23.7 million over three years) was to be voided. Sprewell appealed the decision and thanks to the CBA his contract was reinstated and he was only suspended for the remainder of the season (68 games). Sprewell should send a yearly thank you card to Ron Artest and Stephen Jackson, because if it were not for the two of them going into the stands in Detroit, Sprewell would more than likely be known as the biggest lunatic in NBA history.
Today we here at The Quarterback Blog we would like to wish a special happy birthday to former NBA power forward Shawn Kemp. Kemp, who was nicknamed “The Reign Man,” was drafted 17th overall in the 1989 draft by the Seattle SuperSonics.
Photo Courtesy of NBA Entertainment and the Costacos Brothers
Kemp played 14 seasons in the NBA averaging 27.9 minutes per game, 14.6 points, and 8.4 rebounds over the entirety of his career. Kemp also played in 88 playoff games averaging 17.3 points per game to go along with 9.7 rebounds. Kemp was known for his athleticism and his ability to throw down hellacious dunks throughout his career, which lead to some of the greatest posters from my childhood and also some of the more memorable NBA on NBC moments that I can remember. So happy birthday “Reign Man” hopefully you get to spend the day with your 7 children and you don’t spend it getting high and driving around.
On November 24, 1960 in a game against the Boston Celtics, Philadelphia Warriors center Wilt Chamberlain set an NBA record with 55 rebounds in a single game.
Wilt Chamberlain and Bill Russell posing for a photo before game in Boston (Photo Courtesy of Sports Illustrated)
Chamberlain, who also holds the NBA record for points in a game with 100, had 31 of his 55 rebounds in the first half. While Chamberlain’s record still stands today (and more than likely will never be broken), rebounds were not kept as a statistic until the 1950-1951 season so it is possible that there has been a player who collected more boards than Chamberlain in a game but we will never know. On a not quite related note, the Warriors lost the game that night to Boston (and legendary center Bill Russell) and that would appear to be pattern for Chamberlain which took years to break.
Great game to watch last night, even if it didn’t end till well after midnight. Kansas freshman Andrew Wiggins was the most athletic player on the floor, by far, but Duke’s Jabari Parker was the most complete. He scored every way imaginable on his way to a 27-point, nine rebound performance in defeat. He was good in transition, showed range by hitting four 3-pointers and was able to score in the paint. Very impressive. Wiggins is an athletic freak. Not to sound like Jay Bilas here, but the kid is freaking “long.” His length gives him a great advantage when finishing around the rim. He overcame a slow start and slapped up 22 points and eight rebounds. The player who made the biggest surprise impact was Kansas sophomore Perry Ellis. The 6’8″ forward was all over the place on both ends last night. He led Kansas with 24 points, nine rebounds and three steals. Kansas won its first big test of the season in a game where the star power lived up to the hype.
Well sign me right up! If I’m a student at K-State there is no way I am not going to a free basketball game AND getting several strips of crispy, delicious bacon for my troubles. Would I stay and watch the whole game? Absolutely not. It’s Friday night and I’m at college. I don’t have time to watch our women’s basketball team. There’s beer to drink! Parties to go to! Beer to drink! But I can’t think of a better base for my stomach before a night of beer-drinking tomfoolery than some delicious, healthy, free bacon just for showing up at the arena. Bacon is America’s Meat Candy.