Future NBA All-Star
The Future NBA All-Star.

Previous installments: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6.

A running subplot from the beginning of my first semester at college was whether my roommate would actually play for the school's basketball team once the season began. The team was nationally ranked and expectations were sky-high. There were a handful of solid players on that squad, but those rankings and expectations were due almost entirely to the presence of the Future NBA All-Star. The general feeling at the time was that the Future NBA All-Star could do almost anything and everything by himself, but the team was too small to be a true contender. There were other ranked teams in our conference, and they all appeared to have a size advantage over our team. Even assuming we could win our conference, there was plenty of size outside of it as well. That's where Mat came in.

The assumption was that if he chose to play, he would get significant minutes and play a major role. Even if he had no offensive game whatsoever -- and trust me, he didn't -- that wouldn't matter. All the team needed him to do was control the boards, block some shots and clog the paint. Everyone, even casual fans, believed his ability to accomplish those tasks was a given. After all, he was HUGE. With that kind of size, any idiot should be able to rebound and block shots, even if only by accident...right? Yeah, right. Anyone who believed that probably should have spent a few nights watching Mat's fellow countryman, Rik Smits, consistently fail to do those things for the Indiana Pacers. Maybe then what happened later would have been less of a shock.

But as I mentioned in a previous installment, a basketball player is often judged by his Tremendous Upside Potential, and Mat had that coming out of his freakishly big ears. Somehow, he became The Final Piece in everybody's mind, the difference between our team being an also-ran and a national champion. In retrospect, that might have been part of the reason women were flocking to his bed as if their vaginas were ticking time bombs that only his genitals could defuse.

There was only one wee-little speed bump on this presumed road to glory: Mat didn't want to play.

Mat and I had little (read that: no) common ground outside of basketball, so that was almost all we ever talked about. I have to admit, even I was obsessed with the notion that Mat could put our team over the top, so I asked nearly every day whether he'd made a decision. The answer was always no, he had not, and providing that information always left him looking somewhat drained and defeated.

The reality was, Mat did not feel ready to play competitive college ball, especially not for a nationally ranked team. Furthermore, his prep school coach had strongly advised him NOT to play, to spend his freshman year as a redshirt. Not only would that provide Mat with the time necessary to develop some actual basketball skills, it would also give him a full four years of NCAA eligibility going into his sophomore year. That was important, because it would allow him to follow a five-year course plan. That meant fewer classes per semester, which is invaluable to a student athlete, particularly when said athlete didn't particularly care for attending classes anyway.

However, Mat was meeting some heated resistance to his redshirt plans. The coaches were whispering in his ear. His teammates were screaming into it. Everybody he met and talked to on a daily basis -- including his many hookups -- wanted to know whether he was going to play. The questions were coming from every direction, and Mat was getting sick of it. He wanted to end the farce and just say no, but the coaching staff wanted him to wait a little longer to make the final decision. (Or so I was told. This information all came second-hand from Mat.)

One of the major movers in the "Get Mat To Friggin' Play" campaign was the Future NBA All-Star. He had confided to Mat that he might declare himself eligible for the NBA draft after the college season ended. Once that happened, the team's championship window would slam shut. This, then, might be the team's (and, by extension, Mat's) last and only chance for a national title.

Now a few words about our Future NBA All-Star. By the numbers, he had an above-average pro career. He played 11 seasons, averaging just over 20 points and 6 rebounds per game while shooting 46 percent from the field, 34 percent in threes and 82 percent from the line. (For the sake of comparison, Dominique Wilkins' career averages are 24.8/6.7 and 46/31/81.) He made two All-Star teams. He even won a league championship, kinda-sorta.

Despite all that, the Future NBA All-Star was generally considered a disappointment at best and a flop at worst. Those feelings were based mostly on how amazing he was in college. And he truly was spectacular to behold, particularly on offense. He was strong, fast and outrageously athletic. He could dunk on anyone and stick jumpers from anywhere. I watched him throw it down over seven-footers. I saw him stick threes from just inside half court. He scored 49 points in a conference title clincher. He led the nation in scoring. He led the conference in rebounding. He became the only player in school history to record more than 1,000 career points, 500 rebounds, 100 steals, 100 assists and 50 blocked shots. And he did that in two seasons. Seriously, he could do anything. I cannot stress this enough: It was like watching a basketball superhero, and I honestly thought: "Here's somebody who could become as exciting on offense as Michael Jordan." I really believed that. And trust me, if you'd been watching him live at 18 years old, you probably would have believed it too.

I don't know what happened when he got to the NBA, but I can tell you this: The intensity he played with in college disappeared. He didn't appear to be trying as hard on a nightly basis (although he had some monster games). His body started to look soft. (Ben, my first post-college roommate, suggested that, "He got a $100 million contract and spent $80 million of it on Twinkies.") I once got to see him play against the Pacers in Indiana. He scored 20 points on 8-for-18 shooting and his team lost 108-97. His shots appeared casual and careless. (I seem to remember him attempting four or five slow-footed reverse layups.) The buddy who went with me to the game said, "That's the laziest 20 points I've ever seen." To give you an idea of the kind of effort he put forth, he was outrebounded 8-5 by his team's point guard.

But none of that matters. In college, he was a certified basketball stud and his exploits -- both in games and during practice -- were instant legends on campus. In fact, Mat swore he watched Future NBA All-Star grab a dollar bill off the top of the backboard. He even described the moment in graphic detail. I believed Mat's story for years, until Henry Abbott exposed the whole "makin' change off the backboard" myth for what it really is. But the point is: Future NBA All-Star captured everyone's imagination. Mat's included.

One night, we were both in the room. I was studying, Mat was sitting in his giant chair watching MTV and listening to music at the same time. (He seemed to crave overstimulation.) The door was open, and, out of nowhere, in walked Future NBA All-Star.

I held my breath.

"Hey dog," Future NBA All-Star said. "Whatchoo doin'?"

"Nuttin'," Mat said. "Just watchin' some TV."

They continued to chit-chat for a couple minutes, and then Future NBA All-Star made the pitch.

"Look," he began, "you know I might not be comin' back. This is our chance. You play, we win it all. It's that simple."

Mat looked stressed. "I dunno, man."

"You play, we win it all," Future NBA All-Star said.

And that was pretty much it. Future NBA All-Star left and Mat didn't speak for the rest of the night. He even went to bed early by his standards, like 1 a.m.-ish. All I could do was kick myself for not...doing something. I figured I'd just ask Mat later to get me Future NBA All-Star's autograph.

The weekend arrived and Mat disappeared. He was gone when I came home from class on Friday afternoon and didn't return until after I'd gone to bed on Sunday night. I had a mildly entertaining weekend. Zach and I ordered pizza on Friday night. I met up with another refugee from Kokomo, Jason, for a few games of ping pong on Saturday morning. I also ventured next door to talk to Ron and his roommate, Nathan. Ron -- who had accidentally walked into my room mostly naked -- was spacy and eccentric. Nathan was just eccentric. Despite his oddities (such as spiritual battles with his computer and a habit of singing Bible hymns into a handheld recorder), Nathan and I hit it off and became fast friends.

Nathan and Ron were part of a group of guys who got together every weekend to play Dungeons & Dragons. They invited me to the Saturday night gaming session. That was the first time I met BadDave. I say "met" because we barely spoke, either that night or any other night I roleplayed with this group. Ironically (but not surprisingly for that time), we just didn't click.

On Sunday morning I got up and played some pickup basketball. I even ran into one of the guys I'd played ball with on my first morning at school. His name was Joe. He had graduated several years before that, but instead of seeking gainful employment he went to Russia as a Christian missionary. Joe eventually decided that wasn't for him and returned to the states only to find out his degree was obsolete. For this reason, he had to go back to school for his master's.

Wow. I was being social, meeting people, making friends. It had taken a few weeks, but I was starting to get the hang of this college thing. The weekend was capped off by a particularly affectionate phone call from Aimee. She was going home the next weekend to celebrate her brother's birthday...and she wanted me to go home too so we could spend time together. Hoo-ah! I was in such a good mood that when Mat showed up with Jennifer, I didn't mind sandwiching my head in a pillow as they had noisy sex across the room.

The official Livin' Large FAQ: Part 1

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107 Comments:
Blogger Dima said...
is that a spurs uniform?

Blogger Basketbawful said...
Dima -- Nope. It's a college uniform.

Blogger BadDave said...
Nathan. Naaaaaathan.

Anonymous Axel Foley said...
Dude! Fuckin awesome! Yeah he did get out of shape...I wonder what happened to him I guess he was cut from the same mold as Coleman. These stories are just great im hoping that they never end.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Did you make up those NBA career numbers for "the Future NBA All Star"? My reasoning is because a guy that shot 46% from the Field, 34% from deep, and 82% from the stripe is Larry Bird and Dirk, for their careers, and I doubt Larry jumped outta the TV when you were watching them, and I doubt the Big German went to college.

Otherwise, you need to make this a book, or a TV show, or something.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
Anonymous -- Nope. Those stats are the real deal. For the record, Bird shot just a shade under 50 percent from the field for his career, and 88 from th line.

Anonymous Glide said...
Anonymous: No, the numbers are quite real.

I finally figured out what was going on here. That makes me happy, I was feeling dumb sitting here and having everyone figure out what the real-life setting was. :)

Blogger Wild Yams said...
This NBA All Star was to Antoine Carr what Dwight Howard is to Shaq.

Mr. Bawful - You can't just gloss over playing Dungeons & Dragons in college like that. As you've stated repeatedly, you were still in a fairly nerdy phase at that point in your life, but how is it that fellow D&D'er BadDave pulled you forth from said nerdiness when he apparently was knee deep in it himself? Also, did you guys ever invite Mat to play, much in the same way the "geeks" invited James Franco to in the last episode of "Freaks and Geeks"? Here's hoping Ron kept his towel on while you guys played :)

Blogger Big said...
These stories are just fantastic. One question though, we are going to get a revalation at the end as to who the "Future NBA ALL Star" is, or are we just going to have to keep guessing in our mind?

Blogger Buck Nasty said...
Nothing like being able to end a story with noisy sex.

D&D. Sounds like you got a varied college experience.

Blogger Trev said...
I love the fact that future NBA star is at least partially responsible for the NBA Rookie salary cap. That's something you want to be known for the rest of your life.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
By the end of the year, I imagine that you were not a huge fan of the current coach at Oklahoma

Blogger chris said...
Trev and Dima: Scooby snacks for both of ya!

Blogger Jason said...
I would like to add that the NBA ALL STAR was so ridiculous in college that no comparison seemed too far fetched. For instance, after the 49 point game, my father, a huge Celtics fan could only say that he was the best college forward since Bird.

As basketball fans we like to knock guys like NBA ALL STAR or Steph Marbury, but considering where these guys came from in their lives, earning a $150m paying basketball at a high level, its hard to call them failures. Sounds corny, but in the big picture, NBA ALL STAR was a success....in life (unless all that money is gone now).

Anonymous tmk said...
I actually found that same pixelated picture online of the Future NBA star. It was kinda easy too, the stats give it away :)

Great story btw. I was trying to wait and read today's post later in the day but I just couldn't wait.

Anonymous Axel Foley said...
I was wondering about your game tapes...do you have the playoff series where Bernard King singes all of the celtics eyebrows off? Was it as impressive as the numbers? Im just curious since im from Nyc and actually live really close to where he grew up.

Blogger chris said...
Jason: Well, those big contracts only mean so much if they are managed correctly: look at Spreewell's "I'm On A Boat" adventure as proof that no deal is big enough to avoid squandering.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
Hey, to everybody making guesses, I'm not going to publish your comments if you're correct. So if you posted a comment and don't see it here, good job! Consider this your Scooby Snack.

Blogger Cubee said...
The Future All-Star also reminded me of Chuck Person during his NBA career.
Same type of game, same smoothness and same lack of intensity.
And indeed his numbers look Bird-like. But with Bird it's not just the numbers it's the other things he did on the court. Well, the Future All-Star did none of those things.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Nba all star was tim duncan!!

Blogger Basketbawful said...
Axel Foley -- I don't have the entire series. I have Games 3, 4 and 7. The quality is terrible and there's almost no volume, but I have them.

Bernard was one of those rare greats who simply defied description and comparison. There's never been anyone like him, before or since. You could watch the guy score 40 and not be quite sure how he did it.

Blogger Jason said...
Chris: I agree, no fortune is safe with some of these guys. BUT, my point is that if a kid from Coney Island or say Gary, Indiana uses talent and hard work to put them in that position, hard to call them a failure even if they never turned into Isiah Thomas or Black Larry Bird.

Anonymous medrawt said...
Wild Yams -

That's by far my favorite oblique reveal of the Future NBA All Star to date. What scares me is that there are probably a bunch of people reading this who are too young to get it without googling; that scares me because I'm only 26.

Jason -

not to mention that, similar to Future NBA All Star's, Stephon's career stats are pretty eye-popping, especially if you but them off before he stopped playing in NYC. If you're going to have a ballhog, give me a ballhog who gets you impressive assist stats as well.

Anonymous Dr J said...
Will the story be the only entertainment Basketbawful has to offer this summer? I think there's much awfulness in the late NBA movements we're noticing.

About Future All Star... I think you shouldn't have pointed out his "1,000 career points, 500 rebounds, 100 steals, 100 assists and 50 blocked shots". Too easy to search lol

And... I finally saw "Mat" in Youtube, and can't imagine how painful your nights could be. Seriously.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
Yams -- I discovered that people can have a geeky on the outside and then have another, cooler persona inside. People are layered like that sometimes. Of course, other times they can have a third, deeper layer that's the same as the first. Like pie.

We never invited Mat. And Ron kept his towel on, so to speak, but he did once wear something truly horrifying...but that will come into play later in this tale.

Blogger Apocalypse34 said...
Whew. Finally figured it out. The college stats gave it away (maybe because it's on his Wiki page).

His college days seem like ages ago, but yeah I can see why people thought so highly of him back then. At the time I was a bigger college fan than an NBA fan and remember just how unstoppable he seemed.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
I am really enjoying these posts. Great stories. I didn't figure out your school or the player until today, and that's been part of the fun. Keep 'em coming.

Blogger Trev said...
"[future NBA All-Star named deleted] was selected by the [NBA Team name deleted] with the [# deleted] pick in the [year deleted] NBA Draft, the first [mascot name delted]to be selected as the [#deleted] pick since [huge bust deleted] in [year deleted]."

Hahahahah since [huge bust deleted]! That should have been enough warning for [future NBA All-star's, future team] right there!

Blogger Will said...
I always liked how Bill Simmons referred to F-NBA-S as "Bad Apple" due to his ability to poison team atmospheres with poor attitude and lazy play.
Getting back to Bernard King, how on earth was he left off the NBA's 50 greatest player list?

Blogger chris said...
Trev: [huge bust deleted] is freaking awesome, simply because he was traded for [future NBA All-Star name deleted] and [future NBA All-Star name deleted], both of who went on to lead [mascot name deleted] to significant success in [decade deleted].

[Former coach of an NBA franchise deleted] would know, if his neck wasn't so sore.

Blogger Timmothy said...
Yeah... being that he played for my home town team, the Future NBA All-Star was definitely a disappointment. Not in stats, but in exactly what has been discussed - effort. Our team improved with him yet imagine if he had actually played to his fullest. We might have gotten past the Eastern Conference Finals. We might have been more sad to see him traded. Although, that trade was perfectly timed. Talk about a career collapsing overnight.

Blogger Joe said...
The description of Future NBA All-Star gives it away, especially when it's mentioned that many consider him a bust/disappointment. I knew immediately who it was and tracked down who Mat was about 15 minutes later. Unfortunately, I've never heard of Mat. So in my head, I'll just go on pretending he's former Utah Jazz great Greg Foster.

Blogger Wild Yams said...
Mr. Bawful - I agree with you, I was just giving you a hard time :) Many "geeky" people are incredibly interesting and cool in a way that people who just go to bars or clubs night after night never will be. After all, Paris Hilton has probably long been considered "cool" but I'd rather hit myself in the groin with a tack hammer than try to have a conversation with her.

Allow me to be the first to guess what the truly horrifying article of clothing was that Ron once wore: it's obvious, it was the Larry Bird shorts wasn't it? Tell me I'm right and give my my prize so I can take my victory lap cause I know I'm right with this one!

Anonymous kazam92 said...
Latrell Sprewell?

Blogger Marc said...
Awesome job with the story, my work productivity has come to a screeching halt. I figured out who your roommate was today, were you intending it to get easier as the stories went along, throwing all of us loyal readers a bone?

Blogger Dima said...
Is it healthy/normal that I am a Financial Analyst in a Fortune 50 company and not only do I follow this blog religiously throughout my work week, but I also check back every hour just to read random people's comments? Mind you, I've already cracked the "future all-star" case after an hour of on-the-job investigating a few days ago...

Blogger Threepointz said...
It's revealing that Future NBA All-Star called you dog. One of the best NCAA players I've ever seen, and one of the biggest pro disappointments ever.

When you see all these players struggling with limited talent to make it into the league, and this guy who had unlimited talent just going through the motions, you wonder why the basketball gods work this way. They certainly have a cruel sense of irony.

If I was a movie agent, I'd send you a contract today. Great story with some real potential. A different view of the sports world than most have seen.

Blogger Marc said...
My favorite story about roommate I have found,....

" RANDOM PLAYER and MAT both eclipsed their career scoring totals in twenty minutes of alumni play."

Classic.

Anonymous Asinine McFine said...
Did you use Mat's real first name? Or did I guess the wrong huge dutch player who was a bust?

Blogger Howard said...
Yeah, if you haven't figured it out by now, it should be pretty obvious that the future All-Star and the school are [comment deleted]. The roomie was [name deleted], and the year was [date deleted].

*knock knock*

...wait, who are you? Is that a gun? Oh god, please, no! I'll stop! I swear!!

[commenter deleted]

Blogger Cortez said...
It's amazing to see what people think of the potential of certain players.

It was fairly certain to the people I discuss this matters with that [mystery player] was going to be exactly what he was in the league.

As skilled as he was offensively , plus some slight level of effort rarely to be seen again, he was able to dominate kids who future basketball heights would top out at corporate league all-star.

But who knows, with ten of millions of dollars in the bank I'd probably coast too.

Hell, I'm coasting now with $0.17 in the bank!

Anonymous montague the third said...
Dima, no, but the fact that I am doing the same thing could make me a shade biased...

What about the hint that the "Future NBA AllStar" was named dropped by Hova on The Blue Print II?

Anonymous Axe Head said...
Now that I know who the people are you're talking about, I say, "eh, big deal." If you don't know, don't sweat it, it's just not a big deal. Because when you find out, you don't go, "Holy cow! This is what he was like in college?!" Because you never heard of him.

About the Future All Star, you don't really care about him anyway, if you can even remember him. Unless you were in school with him, or rooted for his team in the NBA (poor sod, you).

What would be interesting is how typical these guys were.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Dan Gadzuric

Anonymous montague the third said...
Axe Head, you should probably get back to work...

Bawful, since people are throwing out offers to get involved, I'm actually a graphic designer, if you ever need any photos cleaned up or some craptastic images thrown together.

Blogger Japes said...
Not sure if I remember correctly but didn't Future NBA All-Star get shut down by another future NBA All-Star when they played each other in the final four. That was perhaps a foreshadow that the other future NBA All-Star (who was the 3rd pick in that year's draft) would be a better player in the future.

Though I would argue that Future NBA All-Star #1 had a better career than Future NBA All-Star #2.

Blogger AnacondaHL said...
Oh man, Part 8 is totally going to be "the talk" with Aimee. I can't wait to read out your geeky heart getting crushed!

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Serge Zwikker

Blogger BadDave said...
I have a few stories about the Future NBA All-Star (FNAS). I'll wait 'till this pans out, because they don't really have context. Just things I saw when I had classes with him. I can't say I knew him.

Yes I played D&D. Still occasionally do. But I'm not these guys. It's always been about hanging with some friends - you just have a story that goes along with your hangtime.

I also had lived many, many experiences before coming to college. Basically, high school was my college when it comes to shenanigans. So it's like bawful said - layers.

Lastly, I like pie.

Blogger Jason said...
Its clear Aimee is luring him home for the we are friends chat...not unlike the scene in American Pie 2 when Kevin (Thomas Ian Nicholas) sees Vicky (Tara Reid) for the first time after freshman year. Of course he leans in for a kiss, which turns away from and he meakly apologizes by saying it was "habit".

Blogger Wild Yams said...
Threepointz - "When you see all these players struggling with limited talent to make it into the league, and this guy who had unlimited talent just going through the motions, you wonder why the basketball gods work this way. They certainly have a cruel sense of irony."

IMO it's just that the insane money many of these guys get totally and completely kills their interest and motivation to play well. Guys like the All Star Mr. Bawful is speaking of, who got big contracts at a young age, have a high likelihood of just coasting through a career. I think it's one of the reasons that basketball in the 80s and early 90s was better than it is today, because even the stars back then didn't make enough per contract to be able to live a lavish lifestyle for the rest of their lives even if nobody ever signed them to another deal. For instance, when you look at what Dr. J made for his entire career it's about the same amount that Trevor Ariza just signed with Houston for for the 2009-2010 season alone. Players from yesteryear with primo talent were motivated to keep improving because if they just slacked off and coasted they'd have probably been out of the league in a few years with "only" maybe a million dollars to show for it, and that's nowhere near enough to live comfortably on for the rest of your life.

For a good look at how drastically things changed money-wise for many of these players (as noted above, in part because of the contract that the unnamed All Star got), check out Scottie Pippen's career earnings. You'll notice in the first two years after Pippen left Chicago he made more money than he did in his 10 seasons (6 of them championship years) as a Bull. The guy went from averaging somewhere around $2m/yr in 10 seasons in Chicago to averaging about $15m/yr in the next five seasons after that (1 with Houston and 4 with Portland). Imagine what a shame it would have been if Pip had been offered a 9 figure contract right out of college and in turn he'd decided he was set and no longer needed to give it his all. IMO it's just one of many ways that money has made the NBA worse than it could be.

Blogger Jason said...
Wild Yams - I agree with most of what you are saying about getting the ridiculous contract at a young age hurting motivation (only natural right?). But does that potentialy hold true for any player, most players? We can agree Lebron will be great with or without a huge contract. Jordan was great with or without the big contract...are you saying Pippen, a top 50 player, would have lacked motivation with a bigger deal? I guess the great ones are going to be great regardless, and if a huge contract keeps a guy from being great he probably didnt have it in him to start with.

Blogger AnacondaHL said...
BADDAVE: I had exactly 2 videos in mind when you linked "these guys". You hit the one I thought was a lesser chance of being it.

Because it's much more fun to imagine you guys like THESE guys. They are ELITE game masters.

Blogger chris said...
AnacondaHL and BadDave: BadDave's link is one I've seen before, scarily enough. And will never forget.

LIGHTNING BOLT!

Anonymous Baguete said...
So fun that the "Future NBA All-Star" is a perenial Basketbawful's favorite!

Blogger Cortez said...
"...because even the stars back then didn't make enough per contract to be able to live a lavish lifestyle for the rest of their lives even if nobody ever signed them to another deal."

Truer words have never been spoken.

If you started talking that "I'm skipping the all-star game" shit or "I'll delay my surgery until after my vacation, 1 week before the season starts" jive you would have found yourself stocking groceries at the local A&P for $2.35 an hour.

Combine that with the fact that a lot of these guys (especially big men) play basketball simply because they have the physical attributes to play well it explains the very existence of this site.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Can you please start posting longer installments? Or maybe updating twice a day? These short little episodes just aren't cutting it... the suspense is killing me!!

Blogger AK Dave said...
Ok, so I hate to be the guy who asks what we ALL are OBVIOUSLY wondering, but here goes: what was your character and level in D&D? I'm guessing you were either a Human Paladin or Halfling Thief; no doubt level 16 or higher. Go ahead, tell us. You already admitted to playing D&D, so just come all the way out of the nerd-closet and tell us what your char was. You'll feel a lot better as soon as you do.

And BadDave and AHL-

Nice vids. I immediately thought of this one too. "Spin Attack!!" "Cobra Strike!" lol

WRT Mr. Future NBA All-Star, I don't consider his career a bust at all. He's certainly underachieved, but he's had some great seasons and memorable games (even recently). I'd still take him on my team.

Also- there is NO DOUBT that signing a huge contract or massive endorsement deal early in one's career can affect the effort one gives, but certainly not in all cases (Tiger Tiger Woods, Y'all). Sadly, I never saw this guy play in college (he graduated the year before I began), but if you say he was ATHLETIC and could, like, JUMP back then, well, wow. If he could jump today, he might be one of the best at his position. (He still kinda is... which is the sad truth about the state of the NBA at that position).

Like Kenny Smith says: "It's hard to work hard when you're sleeping in silk sheets."

In response to Anonymous above- given that there are only so many hours in the day and so many words Matt can write, I wouldn't mind slightly SHORTER Livin' Large articles if we can get a little worstie action on the side as well :)

BTW- I'm still laughing about the "I'M in your face!" video :D :D

Blogger AK Dave said...
"MERCY?? YOU WANTED MERCY??? I'M CHAOTIC-NEUTRAAAAAAALLL!!! KKYYAAHHHHHHHHH"

Bwa-hahahaha!!!

Blogger Miggy said...
i used to root for FNA's NBA team. Well at least 2 out of the big 3 from that team, got their rings.

Blogger eileen said...
I'm really suprised that it's actually the player's decision if they want to red shirt or not. I had assumed that it was something discussed during the recruiting period, and that the coaches made the decision and the player agreed to it well before the season began.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Do you have any pictures of this guy? I can't find anything on the internet; just articles.

Blogger Wild Yams said...
The D&D mention and AK Dave bringing up alignments made me think of this (probably) well-known pic giving illustrations for all the different alignments.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Is this relevant?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VKil5Ibrq-8

Blogger Drake said...
I figured out the school first, since you mentioned another future NBA player in a previous post, one who hustled his way to a ridiculous contract. You said he always sat in the back of the class you had with him, and slept the whole class. I believe his first name rhymes with "Ryan", and his last name sounds like the opposite of herbivore.

But I had a hell of a time figuring out who your roommate was, and because his stats turned out to be so awful, it was really no wonder why. The Dutch MMA site cleared up the mystery completely, even though it took some cm-to-inches calculations to figure it out.

Blogger AK Dave said...
Either my 1st lengthy comment was tldr'ed by Bawful, or I accidentally named a name I shouldn't have, or perhaps it was swallowed by the internet sarlacc, so I'll give the short-SHORT version:

This is funny too

Bawful- what AD&D character did you use? (Paladin or Thief I'm guessing...)

Fat contracts don't make everyone lazy (Tiger Tiger Woods Y'all) but some people get beyond lazy (Jerome James).

WY- Darth Vader's Lawful Evil I had seen before, the others aren't nearly as funny, but they still bring back the ghosts of nerddom's past. Nice :D

"Spin Attack" "HIGH BLOCK!!"

Blogger captnscud said...
really, really, really enjoying this series and it has turned me on to your blog as well but i wanted to know, is this part of the story taken out of chronological order? bc mat has noisy sex w/ jennifer even though he broke her heart in the last installment. also you mention only being at school for two weeks, but it seems like you were there for a lot longer?

Blogger Victor said...
The hell? How is Mat so bad at basketball? At least Rik Smits was playing against men. When you're playing a bunch of kids and you're over 7 feet and 300 lbs, you should be able to dominate college ball. Just look at Hasheem Thabeet or Aaron Gray.

So, D&D, what class did you play?

Blogger AnacondaHL said...
captnscud: From Part 6: "Anyway, I'm done flash-forwarding for now. As this story continues, just know that Jennifer was always around, if not always noticed, a running subplot in the drama of that first semester. A subplot that ended badly and (to me) revealed a rather jarring truth about Mat's personality."

Yes, it was non-linear story telling.

AK Dave: I kept that .gif looping in a browser tab for about half a day when I first saw it.

Blogger chris said...
captnscud: Bawful already mentioned, IIRC, that Taco Bell Jennifer's tale of woe was summarized in the previous installment in its full scope, though the rest of that chronological portion of the story had yet to come.

Blogger SCSP said...
Hey, was the nba all-star you are talking about the only future all-star on that team; cause it seems that an all-star someone who played for Chicago last season was also on that team? no?

Blogger dra said...
The fact that this was all at my alma mater makes it that much cooler (though it was much before my time). The 16-story "clocktower" which is actually a bell tower was the give away for me.

Blogger Wild Yams said...
AK Dave - Big money certainly doesn't ruin all great athletes from achieving the most they possibly can. Look at Kobe, for instance: he's been insanely rich since before he could drink and yet he's supposedly the hardest working guy in the league. But it definitely does ruin the motivation for some players, maybe even a lot of players. I just think the game would be better overall if there was less money in general. Less money for the players, less ads to have to sell, less money for ticket prices, etc.

Blogger chris said...
Wild Yams: Hey, maybe less money would allow a return of less draconian foul rules, allowing us to go to the glory days when [NBA All-Star who was traded for alumnus from Bawful's unidentified university] laid down the forearm of justice.

Blogger William Dorr said...
Through some Google sluthing I figured out who these guys are, but I could have saved myself the trouble if I had just read what you said about the size of the contract Future All-Star wound up with. Your roommate shows up as the top result on a pretty simple 3 word search as well.

Blogger Niko said...
Wild Yams, number of fans is a huge factor in player salaries. I don't know how much professional badmington players get, but I'm sure they've all got day jobs. If a team is pulling in millions of dollars from ticket prices and players were only earning in the tens of thousands, there'd be mass walkouts. That being said, no one can justify the stupid contracts.

Blogger AK Dave said...
chris- re: the "Forearm of Justice", said player received a pretty hefty one himself not long ago. ********** giveth, and ********** taketh away.

Yams- all true. That's why I used Tiger Woods and Jerome James for comparison's sake. I can't think of a player who fell off the map more quickly and completely than "Not-King James" after signing a deal, whereas Tiger was a millionaire before he won his first PGA Major, and did nothing but get better and better. I guess if the money made you soft, then you were only in it for the money from day 1.

Furthermore, I don't begrudge players for going after the max deal available to them, however when you look at what Bball players and entertainers in general make compared to, say, teachers and researchers, well, something seems to have gone very very wrong in the world, no? It makes me skeptical of our chances of long-term survival as a species. Too bad there isn't much money in things like cancer research or alternative energy R&D. Otherwise companies would be endorsing scientists and engineers instead of hulking giants who "put ball in net."

Excuse me now while I "put file in drawer"

Blogger chris said...
AK Dave: So essentially, [huge bust from unidentified university's name deleted] begat [Forearm of Justice practitioner's name deleted], whose front office skills for [successful NBA team name deleted] led to a cheesy reference on "I'm On A Boat?"

What an alma mater you have, Matholomew.

Blogger Howard said...
Wild Yams: I like this one better.

Blogger The Dude Abides said...
AK Dave, I believe you keep referring to a different NBA All-Star than the one who called Mat "dog." You have the correct university, but the guy you're thinking of is several years younger than the guy in these Livin' Large installments.

The future NBA All-Star in Bawful's running serial was a part of one of the toughest NBA draft decisions (among the three top players) that I can ever remember. All three of these players had "sure NBA superstar" written all over them, and one can easily say that the team with the easiest, least stressful decision was the team with the third pick. Two of these guys ended up as legitimate NBA superstars, while "future NBA All-Star" ended up being a mere future NBA All-Star.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
It's Brad Miller right?

Blogger clyde said...
anyway u make the posts longer?

and btw: i have an autographed trading card of his college days by our classmate...the future nba allstar.

it's funny that he didn't want mat to redshirt when he himself redshirted

Anonymous Butterfly Laser Squad said...
My god, the parallels between what you went through with Mat and what my roommate a year ago was like. I lived with my friend (sort of a mistake) who was a real tall dude who drew in all sorts of women without any real thoughts of a serious relationship even though the girls thought they would be dating.

I feel your pain. I had to be a liaison with some of the girls as well. Really awkward and painful to have to tell them.

Also, I figured out who is who! Go me!

Anonymous ak dave said...
Dude Abides- Au contraire, Dude ... I know exactly who he is (both the Future All Star and the the Roomie). I'm not going to lie either- I kinda liked the corn rows; and I guarantee NOBODY made fun of them to his face (except maybe Shaq, but he makes fun of everybody for everything...).

Anonymous K-R said...
To all ppl whining about the real names: come on, it's freakin' easy to find out. Took me less than 5mins using just google to know who the Future All-Star is and also who Mat was. And yeah, he was a major bust ;)

Anonymous Anonymous said...
haha! i get it.

ur from lsu. with geert hammink and abdul rauf

Anonymous David said...
Really enjoying the story and I agree with everyone else, you should write a book.

This column recently in The Onion reminds me of an exaggerated version of yours and Aimee's relationship at the time.

http://www.theonion.com/content/opinion/but_if_we_started_dating_it

Blogger Cortez said...
"That being said, no one can justify the stupid contracts."

The contract are easy to justify.

What's not so "justifiable" is the amount of money generated by people (who the majority are fat, unathletic and lazy) watching other men play games with balls and sticks.

"It makes me skeptical of our chances of long-term survival as a species."

Yeah, it certainly isn't a good sign.

Anonymous dunkside said...
"I love the fact that future NBA star is at least partially responsible for the NBA Rookie salary cap. That's something you want to be known for the rest of your life."

i already found the name of mat, but when i read "100 mil contract" i finally realized who the all star was. at first i thought the nba all-star was the guy with the cornrows, but i learned he only joined the college after the all star you're talking about left.

by the way, the cornrows guy, he was also an all star twice, so that can throw people off.

i hope i kept this comment generic enough for you to post it.

PS: now that you posted the stats too it's quite simple to find the name of the former all star. so i guess you could spell out his name, since you, so to speak, already let the dogs out.

woof woof !!!

PPS: whoever was lazy enough not to search and find mat's full name so far, will probably keep being lazy

Anonymous Anonymous said...
i worked out who it is just from that pixelated photo! damn i really am a sports photography nerd.

and Historical Player Search on nba.com confirmed it.

Blogger The Dude Abides said...
AK Dave...that's weird. I just did a google image search for the future NBA All-Star and he had a shaved head in almost every photo, with just a little hair in the few photos where his head wasn't completely shaved. I don't ever remember him having a cornrow phase, but it was many years ago when he was at least a decent NBA player, so my memory could be failing me.

The guy who went to school several years after the future NBA All-Star did wear his hair in cornrows for awhile.

Blogger Jesse said...
I finally decided to figure out who it was, and it didn't take too long at all. The trail of clues you've left is marked with neon, glow in the dark paint and a sign that says "Check Here".

Thanks for the read so far.

I wonder what took so long to post this story as it's rather amazing.

Blogger Blog Incognito said...
"1,000 career points, 500 rebounds, 100 steals, 100 assists and 50 blocked shots" kind of gives it away. along with the "sorta championship" cmon bawful! Googling his name on the images search will surely give it away. He was so thin back then.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
I'm going with "rug 10 hoover"

Anonymous Vitor - BR said...
Hey bawful

Great blog and fantastic story, but don't you think you are being careless with the info you are giving?
I mean, I am not a hardcore basketball fan but i found out who the NBA All Star and your dutch roomate are in 10 minutes, all because of the info about the game in Indiana. Maybe delete the final score and make it "lost by 11", and it's perfect.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Nice stories! In think i know the Future NBA All Star! Thanks to google and basketball reference.com! woof woof!

Blogger JShaw said...
Yup you definitely went to my Alma Mater. I just graduated in January. I know the player is obviously he was coached by a coach with a great comb over. THose flag football pics were taken on the intramural fields. I lived in the fraternity under the water tower across from Sigma Nu. B----- UP!

Anonymous Rawkus said...
Did this player have a problem so severe that the rumour was he couldn't even tie his own show laces due to injuries to his back/knees?

and his rookie contract was MASSIVE!

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Japes- First, they did NOT meet in the Final Four- it was the Regional Final. Second, Future NBA All-Star had hurt his lower back in the regional semi-final two days before when he threw down a vicious two footed and two handed dunk that he had to force over another future NBA 7ft. 1 inch center with size comparabe to the Roommate of Basketbawful. Also, he was dominant enough in college to have current NBA players travel over an hour to attend his games IN season, and had Red Auerbach and Tom Heinsohn come watch him twice, as he was thought to be the best college forward to come out since Bird (their opinion, not mine.)

Blogger Scott said...
I am also from Kokomo and went to the same University sixteen years prior to you. It was a slam dunk (something he could not accomplish) for me to figure out who your roommate was.

I was contributing to the JPC by the time Mat showed up on campus. I was very upset during his "college career" that I was helping to pay for a wasted scholarship. In the long run it turned out to be a great investment as reading this account is vastly more entertaining than Mat was on the court.

Blogger Winston O'Boogie said...
Want to hear something weird? I searched Indiana Pacers games that ended in a 108-97 victory for the Pacers, and I found one, against the Hawks. Al Harrington also went 8-18, but he had 21 points, Harrington didn't go to college, and the game was in Atlanta. So cl

Blogger Gabe said...
snap, what up big dog?

Anonymous Anonymous said...
HAHAHAHAHAH VERY CLEVER GABE VERY CLEVER

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Don't forget as good as he was Grant Hill put the muzzle on that puppy dog in the tournament.

Blogger Josh said...
I remember FUTURE ALL STAR playing at my college his last year. He should have gotten tossed from the game for throwing one of our typical scrappy white guys across the floor. I hated him in college even more than CURRENT NBA TALKING HEAD, who was similarly hyped around the same time.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
big dog

Anonymous Anonymous said...
From someone with zero interest in basketball (it's all hurling and muck savage sports where i'm from) I gotta say this is a very compelling blog!

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