Monday , Mar , 17 , 2008 Oly Sandor

And1’s Skip To My Lou Versus Houston’s Rafer Alston

I try to forget Rafer Alston’s run in Milwaukee. For three years, he was chained to the bench like a number at San Quentin; the Skip To My Lou persona cursing his chance at regular minutes with the Bucks. If Milwaukee was a prison, then Miami was a sanctuary. As a sixth man, the wiry table-setter brought energy to the Heat’s second unit in a one year cameo. I loved watching Alston succeed off-the-bench. The Raptors did too, signing him as a free agent to a multi-year deal worth 26 million dollars …

And1's Skip To My Lou Versus Houston's Rafer AlstonThe AM Take: I try to forget Rafer Alston’s run in Milwaukee. For three years, he was chained to the bench like a number at San Quentin; the Skip To My Lou persona cursing his chance at regular minutes with the Bucks. 

If Milwaukee was a prison, then Miami was a sanctuary. As a sixth man, the wiry table-setter brought energy to the Heat’s second unit in a one year cameo. I loved watching Alston succeed off-the-bench. The Raptors did too, signing him as a free agent to a multi-year deal worth 26 million dollars.

Finally, respect for the playground. But Toronto wasn’t a fit; Alston immediately clashed with rookie coach Sam Mitchell. There were confrontations, suspensions, and Alston even threatened to retire. After a tumultuous season, he was shipped to the Houston Rockets.

Around this time, the whispers started up again. The idea that playground Gods like Alston are a circus act for ESPN 4 at midnight and have no business on ABC, TNT, or ESPN prime time.

Of course, those same critics conveniently forget Magic Johnson’s no-look and Michael Jordan’s showmanship. Perhaps, they’re blinded by the eleven championship rings.

Alston has a home in Houston. For a few years, he’s done a solid job guiding the Rockets. But recently, he’s played like an elite table-setter, helping the Rockets rattle off 22 consecutive wins.

His playground passion is still there, just toned down. Yesterday, after burying 8-of-11 three pointers on national television against the Lakers, Alston took exception to a late foul by pest Sasha Vujacic.

Yesterday showed that Skip To My Lou and Rafer Alston are becoming one. The end product is a top point guard. Still, do basketball fans prefer Lou the blacktop star or Alston the NBA player? Take a look …

Skip To My Lou, And 1 superstar …

 

Rafer Alston, NBA player …
 

Who do you prefer Skip To My Lou or Rafer Alston? Get at us in the comment box below with your thoughts and click here to subscribe to Oly Sandor’s NBA blog and to get his AM Take each morning. Image courtesy of Arthur Denny at http://www.flickr.com/photos/arthurctd/365066867