Monday , Jan , 05 , 2004 C.Y. Ellis

11th Edition – 01/05/2004

Before I went to college, I used play basketball on a regular basis. Just about every Friday after school, my pal Chris and I would venture off to the neighborhood elementary school for our weekly 1-on-1 battles. Sometimes we’d meet up with a few friends at a gym and have full court scrimmages, but for the most part we had our shootouts at the OK Corral a/k/a Sixth Avenue Elementary School. Now I know what you’re thinking, elementary school courts don’t exactly present much of a challenge to high school kids. However this wasn’t your average primary school with only 9-foot hoops. Sixth Ave. also had a “Big Kids” court that contained a 10 1/2 to 11-foot rack. It was perfect for us. Our game of choice was “21,” and the winner was determined after a grueling 7-game series.

11th Edition - 01/05/2004I bring this up because after 2 1/2 years of inactivity, I played ball last weekend. My man Chris and my brother convinced me to come out of retirement and run with them for old times sake. I reluctantly agreed and invited a few more friends to the party and believe me, what a party it was. As you can imagine, I SUCKED, especially since I was out of breath after 5 minutes of play.

After crawling to the bench and cursing myself for foolishly agreeing to torment my body, I began to reminisce on the good ol’ days of when I COULD play. Modesty aside, I used to be fly… but when I started college, I never found the time to ball on a consistent basis, so eventually I just decided to pack it in and call it a career. Not a glorious conclusion to a stellar campaign (I wasn’t going to the NBA anyway), but I was satisfied with the way I walked away from the game. And given my performance on the court last week, I should’ve kept walking. Bygones…

I wish somehow Dennis Rodman could read this and take heed, because unlike mine, his attempted comeback will be on public display. Now I’m not saying my playing abilities were comparable to Rodman’s, but you get my drift.

If you haven’t heard, the Worm has signed on to join the Long Beach Jam of the ABA in his latest effort to revive his playing career. This is a last resort for him since EVERY team in the NBA passed on his services. I guess he figures if he can behave himself and produce in this Cracker Jack league, then NBA scouts and general managers will take notice and give him ANOTHER chance.

However these days, that’s a gamble I don’t think too many teams are willing to take. Bringing Rodman into any equation can be detrimental to an entire organization. Still, there was a time when having him on your team was extremely beneficial. Before the craze, Dennis Rodman was an exceptional ball player, especially when it came to rebounding and defense. But somewhere along the line, the show became more important than the game to Dennis, and unfortunately for him, the show’s over and he’s yet to realize it.

What’s The Haps?!

— A few days ago, this section was dedicated to my suspicions about the severity of Allen Iverson’s knee injury. I thought it was interesting that a guy who management couldn’t prevent from playing was so eager to go on the injured list. He had missed his NINTH consecutive game and his team was reeling going 3-6 in that time span. I figured either he was really hurt or AI wasn’t getting along with his new head coach Randy Ayers. Then a couple of days later, it’s reported that my hunch on Iverson and Ayers relationship was right on the money. Nevertheless, it would be redundant of me to write my initial thoughts on the matter, since everything is out in the open. But I just wanted to share my clairvoyant skills with y’all.

— Since Ricky Davis was traded to the Celtics, LeBron James has been lightin’ folks up. It’s as if he’s been liberated or something, I’m sure that must make Ricky feel real good about himself. And knowing Ricky “Shoot the ball at my own basket to get a rebound to achieve a triple double” Davis, he probably does.

— What goes around… Eddie Griffin’s short and UNPRODUCTIVE career has come full circle. The team that originally drafted him (Nets) has signed him for the remainder of the season after the Houston Rockets released him. Exactly when he’ll start playing is unknown because of his pending assault charge. You gotta love the NBA, a guy gets arrested for allegedly shooting at his girlfriend, marijuana possession, and is cut for missing team functions and another team is there to welcome him into their organization. Who says life isn’t fair?

— Ron Artest, Ron Artest, Ron Artest… I think I’ll plead the 5th on this one.

— The Knicks traded forward Clarence Weatherspoon to the Houston Rockets for guard Moochie Norris and center/forward John Amaechi. Apparently Weatherspoon’s 3.3 rebounds per game will address the Rockets flaws on the boards. Go figure. As for Moochie, he joins a squad that ALREADY has three point guards in Frank Williams, Howard Eisley, and Charlie Ward. And to think Moochie lost all that weight and cut off his hair for Jeff Van Gundy. What a waste.

— After injuring his back in the 1st quarter of a home loss to the Knicks, Tracy McGrady was taken to the locker room for an examination. Following that, he proceeded to get dressed and leave the arena before the conclusion of the game. That Orlando Magic faithful is YOUR team captain.

— Utah Jazz center Ben Handlogten is out for the season after tearing ligaments in his knee. And yeah, I don’t know who he is either.

— Are Quentin Richardson and Darius Miles no longer friends? I ask this because Q’s skills have increased immensely while Miles’ hasn’t. I thought they did everything together, but it’s CLEAR that’s no longer the case. And to think I remember when Miles was viewed as the one with the most potential between the two. But seeing that Q is still signed to Jordan Brand and Miles isn’t, that’s a theory that’s been LONG abandoned.

— My cable company found out that I was getting NBA League Pass for free and turned it off on New Year’s Eve. That–in a nutshell–was MY 2003.

Until next time.