Big East Final-4 Interview Variety Pack: Everson, Jones, Martin

With Villanova heading to Houston to represent the Big East in the 2016 Final Four, we at Big East Hoops 24/7 took a very biased trip down memory lane to 1985 when the Big East had 3 teams in the Final Four.

What follows is our recent Q&A with 1 player from each team:                                                       Villanova- Chuck Everson                                                                                                                               St. John’s- Shelton Jones                                                                                                                               Georgetown- Bill Martin

BEH24/7:  What did it feel like to have 3 Big East teams in the Final Four?

Chuck: It was great for the conference to have 3 teams in the Final 4. It put the conference on the map to stay at that point. Knew a lot of the St John’s guys and got to hang with them in Lexington which was pretty cool.

Shelton: To have 3 Big East teams in the 1985 Final Four was not only an awesome feeling for me personally; it was a testament of how dominant the conference was that year.

Bill: It was shocking to see two other Big East teams in the final four and somewhat disconcerting because we had some tough battles with both teams that year.

 


BEH24/7: What was your role on the 1985 team?

Chuck: My role on the 85 Nova team was to back up EZ-ED Pinckney. I was the first big guy in off the bench.

Shelton: Being a freshman on that 1985 team that boasted 4 eventual first round NBA draft picks, my role was limited to practicing extremely hard to make sure the more experienced players were always prepared for the games. Of course I received playing time in certain games during learning situations, as well as during garbage time. Which was often with that team…

Bill: I was the starting power forward and my role was to rebound and score when open. It made it difficult for teams to double-team Patrick if I was scoring.

 

BEH24/7: What was it like playing for a legendary head coach?

Chuck: Playing for Coach Mass was a great experience that I would never trade for anything, he taught us more about life than basketball. The relationship is still very strong today 31 years later we talk all the time and we get together several times a year. Once a year around the Superbowl we head down and stay with him at his house eat pasta and drink some wine and laugh about old times usually with at least 8 or 9 guys from the 85 team, pretty special.

Shelton: Playing for legendary Coach Lou Carnesecca was very intimidating, at first. Until I really came to know Coach, I used catch myself looking at him with awe. As time went on I was allowed to see his human side. Coach is a disciplinarian first. Secondly, he is very knowledgeable about the game of basketball and life. Thirdly, Coach is one of the funniest people that I have ever met. He gave me the formula for success in life. Be disciplined, be knowledgeable, and keep a good sense of humor about life.

Bill: We all have the highest respect for Coach Thompson. He was demanding on everyone; players, staff, everyone. It didn’t always feel good but it never feels good when someone is pushing you to be better and do more than even you thought you were capable.

 

BEH24/7: Are you able to appreciate all of your accomplishments after all of these years?

Chuck: People stop me and ask “how tall are you?” and I tell them, and “did you play?” and I tell them. Then they ask “where did you play?”.  When I say Villanova immediately they want to know if I was on that team. When I say yes I hear about where they were and who they were with the night we won that game. Happens a lot.

Shelton: I have been blessed with a wonderful family and a strong core of friends. As I look back to the 1985 Final Four and beyond, I really appreciate the opportunities that my hard work and sacrifice provided me. I understand that none of it was owed to me. It was all a privilege. I also appreciate all the different characters and personalities that I had the privilege of meeting and/or playing with.

Bill: Over the years I’ve come to appreciate what we accomplished. In fact it seems my role has become even more important over the years and my contributions even greater with every passing year.😂

 

BEH24/7: Who’s winning the National Championship this year?

Chuck: I hope Nova can get this done, not an easy task OK beat us by 30 back in December. Then you have the Orangemen which is always a great classic Big East game or UNC which has some pretty big athletic guys inside. That’s why they play the games, cause you never know….

Shelton: My prediction for this year’s Champion is the repeat from 1985…Go Big East…Go Villanova!

Bill: I’m rooting for OU…Go Sooners!  I can’t root for Nova ’85 or UNC ’82 and the rivalry with the Orange still remains fresh.

 

Our thanks to Chuck, Shelton & Bill for their participation.  Also have to send a shout out to Gene Smith for putting this in motion #Hoya4Life.

Q&A with Malcolm Huckaby from Big East days

Big East Hoop 24/7 recently caught up with former Boston College stand-out Malcolm Huckaby for some thoughts regarding his Big East playing days.  Great responses!  And a bonus quote from Coach Jim O’Brien and Bill Curley as well.  Have a read….

huckaby

 

 

 

BEH 24/7: What is your favorite moment from your playing days in the Big East?

Malcolm: My favorite Big East moment, although it was on a sad note – Mrs. O’Brien passed away right before the Big East tournament – was walking into Madison Square Garden. As a kid you dream of playing there.  There’s so much history. I still say it was the best tournament atmosphere, period. My second favorite would be my game vs. Georgetown sophomore season.  It was a double OT win, I had 34 points and played 50 minutes. I wish I could run like that again…it’s difficult to stand that long now.

 

BEH 24/7: Between basketball & broadcasting which do you feel you’ve had to work harder at?

Malcolm: Both are the same. All your work goes in prior to the game. Like preparing for the season you get in shape, shoot jumpers, etc. then in the game you must study the opponent. Same as broadcasting.  You prep and study, then each game prep is different because each opponent is different. But the general approach is the same.  You prepare as hard and smart as you can pre-game then the game becomes easy because you put in all that work and preparation prior.

 

BEH 24/7: Who were the top 5 guys you had to guard in your Big East days?

Malcolm: Kerry Kittles was a tough/nightmare match up for me. I remember him @ Villanova splitting a screen (we tried to trap with Bill Curley) and taking off for a monster dunk. He was deceptively strong and was lethal in the open court.  Red Autry my freshman and sophomore year gave me the business. Typical big guard that was a handful to keep out of the lane. I just called a Syracuse game, and me and him laughed about great battles. He along with Dickey Simpkins/Scott Burrell/Arturas Karnisovas of Seton Hall are big reasons why I lived in the weight room my freshman and sophomore year.

 

BEH 24/7: Who was the most influential person that got you where you are today?

Malcolm: My Mom and Dad, who will celebrate their 51st wedding anniversary in March. They are the most influential people in my life, period. They taught me to have faith and lean on God ever since I was born. I thank God every morning for them.

 

BEH 24/7: Do you keep in contact with any former teammates or guys you competed against?

Malcolm: I see all the guys from BC:  Bill Curley, Gerrod Abram, Howard Eisley, Danya Abrams, etc. through social media or when I travel to cities for ESPN. Also, I see guys like Mike Hopkins, Red Autry, Scott Burrell, Steve Pikiell, etc. when I call games. They’re all coaching but love sharing old Big East stories.

 

BEH 24/7: How did your recruitment break down?

Malcolm: I was recruited by pretty much all Big East schools. I also was drafted by the Houston Astros in the MLB draft out of High School.  So I had thoughts of maybe playing baseball, but for hoops I wanted to play in the Big East. Michael Adams’ brother Joe Adams was one of my High School coaches. So Mike would play with me during All Star break or during the summer. When I came to BC for a visit, Dana Barros went off vs. Syracuse and Sherman Douglas. I was hooked.

I also want to add that Jim O’Brien and in particular Mrs. O’Brien were big reasons that I came to BC. I still speak with Coach weekly and he whoops me on golf course with no mercy. My mom was very concerned, as most Moms are, about life after basketball. OB made us go through a life skills program. John Peck (R.I.P.) who just passed recently talked to us about preparing for life after basketball. I realized how important this experience was when I suffered a career ending ankle injury. I wish every program would do even more to help prepare these young men for life after basketball.  Dr. Ferna Phillips who was head of academic resources for student athletes was also instrumental in myself and many other BC student athletes graduating. BC did and still does do a great job making sure student athletes graduate.

 

BEH 24/7: Are you able to appreciate all of your accomplishments looking back after all of these years?

Malcolm: The reality is that 4 years, or however many years you’re fortunate to play, goes by fast. But life goes on and as my father always told me, use basketball and not the other way around.

 

BEH 24/7: Who are some of the teams and players from smaller conferences that could make some noise in March?

Malcolm: I like San Diego State who I’m calling tonight. They are one of the top defensive teams in the country. Currently, 2nd in the NCAA in field goal percentage, opponents shoot below 40%, they have length at every position, and Steve Fisher is one of the best in the business. He has gone 6 straight years to the NCAA tourney. I also love what Ed Cooley does. Although it’s not a small conference, I’m biased because I know Ed personally but think he’s underrated as an X and O guy. Yes he can recruit but I’ve called PC games and he does a great job teaching, with player development and in-game adjustments. He learned from another great Coach in Al Skinner.

 

BEH 24/7: Looking back after all of these years how much do you admire Jim O’Brien in relation to losing his wife while still being a Dad & trying to coach your team?

Malcolm: I still get emotional.  Being a Dad now of 2 little girls and 2 young boys, I can’t imagine it.  Right before the Big East Tourney. I still remember her face at games rooting for us to win, with her 2 young daughters at games. The girls used to be at practices my sophomore year after Mrs. O’Brien passed.  Simply put she was a great lady.  It’s just emotional still but I know she’s smiling down from heaven watching both now young ladies living life. Also want to add that my wife Pam (have to give her some love) and I get emotional when we go out to dinner, or speak with OB. Now as the parents of 4 young children we can’t imagine how difficult it would be without having both of us to support each other. It was difficult for Coach because he was raising 2 young daughters while trying to coach all of us young men at the same time. It was a crazy balancing act and he managed it well. Again, just so difficult being a college coach in a major conference and being a Dad explaining/raising two kids without Mrs. OB. Amazing how he did and both Erin and Amy now have grown into incredible young ladies and OB now is a Grandparent and has so much patience with them.

 

BEH 24/7: Do you think the quality of coaching has improved since your playing days?

Malcolm: Evolved is the word I’d use. More technology and rule changes. When I played you could hand check, bump and chuck players coming through the lane. I think my sophomore year the Big East went to 6 fouls because it was so physical. Now you can’t touch guys. I think skill and development was the same in terms of Xs and Os but with training and technology. Coaches can send scouting reports and workouts to players iPads, etc. and when I played we had sky pagers and no cell phones.

 

Bonus quote from Coach Jim O’Brien and Bill Curley

BEH 24/7: What were some of the positive traits that Malcolm brought to the program on and off the court?

Coach OB: ” I loved coaching Malcolm. He was a tough kid; very good defender ; all around good player ; great teammate; most importantly, he allowed himself to be coached.  His growth from college freshman to college graduate was remarkable. He has matured into a great husband and proud father and as a friend is tremendously loyal.  I was privileged to coach Malcolm and continue to be exceptionally proud of the man he’s become. ”

 

Bill Curley: “Hucks, is and was a loyal, hardworking, tough, skilled player and person.  I think the biggest and best thing about him was that he is dependable and consistent and would bring it every day.  He defended the best offensive player from the point to the small forward. No matter how tall. He was a knock down three-point shooter and could get to the rim.”

 

Thanks to  Malcolm, Jim O’Brien, and Bill Curley for their time and input.  You can follow Malcolm @Malcolm_Huckaby on Twitter

Big East Hoops 24/7 Q&A with Tarik Turner

Big East Hoops 24/7 (@bigeasttourney) recently caught up with former St. John’s standout & current FS1 analyst Tarik Turner on a variety of topics.  With some bonus comments from Tim Brando.  Check it out:

tarik turner

BEH 24/7:  Other than your Mom & Dad who’s been the most influential person in your career path?

Tarik: “Outside of my parents, STJ faculty/alumni had biggest impact on career, gave me my first shot at broadcasting as bball radio analyst, helped me grow and learn the business of media thru the vast alumni network.”

 

BEH 24/7:  Looking back after all of these years can you appreciate all of the pressure Felipe Lopez had to handle at such a young age?

Tarik: “Felipe was Lebron before Lebron in high school and did it in the mecca of bball NYC. We were all amazed by how he handled the pressure of being the #1 player out of HS, dealing with media at a young age and living up to expectations. Always stayed humble and treated people with respect. First class dude all the way.”

 

BEH 24/7: You committed to St John’s back in October of ’93 after visiting California & Syracuse. What did you like about St John’s so much?

Tarik: “The chance to play in the mecca of bball, MSG and attend a great university with great tradition, along with living in NYC. Looked at it as a great opportunity for me to learn about myself, grow up and further my career goals after graduation.”

 

BEH 24/7: Do you have any good Malik Sealy stories?

Tarik: “Malik was like a big brother to us. He took a lot of pride in giving back to the younger guys in the STJ program, came back every summer and played pick up ball with us. Every summer he threw a legendary party in Manhattan and always made sure to look out for me and my teammates to get in and get VIP treatment. He was the first person to take me under his wing and show me the ropes of living in NYC. We all looked up to him and miss him deeply. RIP.”

malik sealy

 

BEH 24/7: Between basketball & broadcasting which do you feel you’ve had to work harder at?

Tarik: “Theres nothing like competing as a player in terms of the work I put in to be on top of my game. It’s been a fun transition into broadcasting, where I can study and analyze the game. I’m passionate about it so it doesn’t feel like work.”

 

BEH 24/7: Who were the top 5 guys you had to guard in your Big East days?

Tarik: “Top 5 guys I guarded: Allen Iverson, Ray Allen, Kerry Kittles, Vonteego Cummings, Alvin Williams.”

 

BEH 24/7: What’s the one Big East game you’d pay to go see this year?

Tarik: “Nova vs Providence…big-time guard play, best group of guards (Nova) vs best overall guard/player (Kris Dunn Providence)….exciting match up.”

 

BEH 24/7: What did you think of the Gavitt games?

Tarik: “Gavitt games were a great way to kick off the season while paying tribute to the founding father, Dave Gavitt. A lot of people, including myself, learned more about Dave’s vision and how passionate he was about the Big East Conference.”

 

BEH 24/7: Why should a high school basketball recruit consider playing in the Big East?

Tarik: “The chance to play in an elite conference with great competition, coaches, tradition..a bball only league where you’re the only show in town, on the biggest stage, mecca of hoops, Madison Square Garden for the Big East tourney.”

 

BEH 24/7: Do you ever get tired of Donny Marshall reminding everyone how good those UCONN teams were?

Tarik: “Donny can’t help himself when it comes to reminding us about his UCONN days…its in his DNA. We went from not liking each other as opponents to becoming good friends through our broadcasting careers…great guy, great career. Honor to work with.”

BONUS: Tim Brando comments on Tarik

BEH 24/7: We asked Tim for a comment or two regarding working with Tarik

Tim: “Tarik’s intensity as a player is equaled in his approach breaking down a game. His  understanding of BIG EAST BB history and blending that into his analysis is also a strength of his.”

Thanks to Tarik & Tim for taking the time to answer a few questions.  Class guys all the way!  You can follow them @tarik4turner and @TimBrando

Q&A with former BC standout Danya Abrams

A Big East Hoops 24/7 exclusive!  Danya Abrams on the past, the present and bonus comments from Coach Biancardi (BC Assistant during Danya’s time) and Malcolm Huckaby (former teammate).

BEH 24/7: Any great memories jump into your head from your Big East days playing Providence?

Danya: “Providence always brought up the competitive nature in me. I remember my junior year going down to Providence and making 20 out of 20 free throws going up against Eric Williams Austin Croshere,  God Shammgod and Jamel Thomas.”

 

BEH 24/7: Explain if you could, how much it meant to go into NYC and win the Big East Tournament in ’97

Danya: “Playing at Madison Square Garden was always the best.  How could you not get pumped up for playing in front of your hometown family and friends?  We had a great senior year winning the Big East regular season and the Big East tournament down in Madison Square Garden.  To this day that still one of the best highlights of my life other than my family I have now.”

 

BEH 24/7: How did your recruitment breakdown?

Danya:The recruiting was a fun time.  Boston College was always there from the beginning.  They saw something in me that I didn’t know I had in me. I was recruited by a lot of colleges, many mid majors, Miami University,  UMass Amherst…I can’t remember them all.”

 

BEH 24/7: Who were the top 5 Big East players you competed against in your playing days?

Danya: “Top five Big East players I’ve played against…that’s a tough one because there’s more than 5 but since I only have 5 I’d have to say Ray Allen,  Allen Iverson,  Othella Harrington,  Kerry kittles,  John Wallace,  Jason Lawson and Otis Hill…because he knew all my moves and we’re cousins.”

 danya

BEH 24/7: Do you keep in touch with any of the guys from your era?

Danya: “We all stay in touch.  We see each other at NBA games or at golfing events.  I stay in touch with all of my BC players and I see a lot of the UConn players from becoming good friends with Ray Allen. God Shammgod as well.  Too many to list that I stay in touch with.”

 

BEH 24/7: What do you think of the job Friar Coach Ed Cooley is doing?

Danya: “I think coach Cooley is doing an excellent job in Providence.  He not only is a great coach but a great mentor.  I remember when I finished playing in Europe and came back to Boston College and coach Cooley was on the staff.  He treated me as if I was one of his players that he’d recruited and that’s where the friendship bond began.”

 

BEH 24/7: How can BC keep this game close tonight vs PC?

Danya: “This going to be a tough game for Boston College tonight vs Providence.  BC has to control Kris Dunn, stop the offensive rebounds and limit Providence to one shot.  Boston College has to hope that Turner, Robinson and Carter have great games tonight to give BC a chance to win.”

 

BEH 24/7: Who was the most influential person that got you where you are today?

Danya: “A lot of people along the way.  First and foremost my family and my high school coach David Olson. Also the BC community; the coaches and academic advisors who believed in me and my uncle George Abrams who push me to the point that made me the man I am today.”

 

BEH 24/7: After playing hoops at BC & raising your family in the area, do you still consider yourself a New Yorker?

Danya: “Always a New Yorker that will never change.”

 

BONUS: From former BC Assistant Coach Paul Biancardi and former teammate Malcolm Huckaby

BEH 24/7: What did Danya mean to those BC teams?

Coach Biancardi: “He was the missing piece that we needed to reach an elite 8 in 1994.  Four years later he was one of the major reasons we won the Big East championship.  He was coachable with a developing work ethic over time.  His game was unstoppable in the paint.” biancardi

 

 

 

BEH 24/7: What did Danya mean to that 1994 team?

Malcolm: Danya was the missing piece to our success. Really provided interior presence to take pressure off Billy. Did not play like underclassmen.huckaby

 

You can follow our contributors on Twitter @dabrams24 @PaulBiancardi  @Malcolm_Huckaby

Q&A with Friar Legend Jamel Thomas

Our thanks to Jamel for taking a few minutes to answer some questions.

For those unfamiliar, Jamel played at PC from 1995-99 and went on to play professionally (NBA & overseas) for 10 years.  In his senior year as a Friar, Jamel led the Big East in scoring and was named to the 1st team All Big-East.

We, at Big East Hoops 24/7, caught up with Jamel recently to get his thoughts on a few topics. Here you go:

BEH 24/7: Name your starting 5 of the Big East players you competed against.

Jamel: “My starting five that I’ve played against is John Wallace, Allen Iverson, Ray Allen, Kerry Kittles and Victor Page”

 

BEH 24/7: What is your favorite moment from your playing days at PC?

Jamel: “Favorite was the NCAA Tourney. I loved the fact coach Gillen let his dogs loose[lol]. We played without any worries.”

 

 BEH 24/7: Are you able to appreciate all of your accomplishments looking back after all of these years?

Jamel: “Of course I appreciate my accomplishments. Everything I’ve experienced I’ve passed down to my brothers Sebastian and Ethan. I needed to be that role model for them so they know chasing the dream is possible.”

 

BEH 24/7: Do you keep in contact with any former teammates or guys you competed against?

Jamel: “Yes I keep in contact with mostly all my guys from PC. Duane Woodward and Tyrone Grant are my guys since we were 13-15 years old. One thing about me is that I stay connected with my friends and family.”

 

BEH 24/7: PC, UMass, Seton Hall and Villanova were all recruiting you (to name a few) what did you like about PC?

Jamel: “Mostly all the schools that were recruiting me wanted me to play power forward especially Umass. They wanted me to replace Lou Roe. My high school coach Bobby Harstein told them I’m more of a small forward than a power forward. So coach Gonz was the most influential coach for me to go there. Once he said that he was going to get Derrick Brown to play at PC I was all in and then he added Shammgod. It was like a dream come true. That’s what I liked about PC, I had good friends to play alongside of me.  Once I got there I met some amazing people like professors, students and people in the city of providence. Providence College is a great school to go to academically and of course athletic wise.”Jamel thomas

 

BEH 24/7: Where do you see Kris Dunn going in the NBA draft?

Jamel: “I’m biased, I always thought Shammgod was the best point guard to come out of Providence but what Kris Dunn is doing is unbelievable. Shamm is doing a hell of a job teaching and working with [Kris] every day. And that’s what Shamm and I are about, producing players that can be potentially better than us. He’s doing it with Dunn and I’ve done it with my brothers and kids I train.  So right now I have Kris going #1 in the draft.”

 

Thanks again to Jamel for the input.  You can follow him on Twitter @JAMEL530 and Instagram @JAMEL530 where you can purchase gear related to his book “A Beautiful Struggle”.  Jamel also has a new book coming out soon!

 

EXCLUSIVE: Former Hoya captain Gene Smith gives BigEastHoops24/7 his take on Hoyas v. Orange rivalry in early 80’s

lEotE3YE

Hoyas vs. Orangemen:  The Rivalry That Defined the Big East

Blog submission by Gene Smith:  NCAA National Champion in ’84, and Captain of the ‘83 and ‘84 Georgetown Hoyas.

Rivalries create legends, legends create history” –Ancient Greek Proverb

On December 5, 2015, the Georgetown Hoyas and the Syracuse Orangemen will renew their storied, legendary rivalry. I played my part in this history from 1980-1984.  Eleven times during this stretch, we Hoyas balled hard to a 7-4 record.

Let’s look back for a moment to the inaugural Big East season in 1979-1980 that set-off this rivalry.  Big John’s famous words “Manley Field House is officially closed “, punctuated the end of the Orangemen’s home-court win streak of 57 straight victories.  In that same year the Hoyas again beat the Orange in the Big East tournament finals 87-81, led by tourney MVP Craig Shelton.  Of the 90 times these two teams have played, no set of games looms larger than those two back-to-back defeats.  It was clear during that season that there was no love lost.

The intensity only escalated when in the ‘80-‘81 season the Orangemen, in the new 35,000 seat Carrier Dome, hosted the 2nd Big East tournament championship battle.  Syracuse beat out Villanova 83-80 in OT, with Leo Rautins tourney MVP.

In my four years, we played the Orangemen 3 times in the Big East tournament and the Hoyas came out of it with a 1-2 record.  In ‘81 they bounced us out in the semis 67-53 on the way to the title; in the ’82 finals we beat Villanova 72-54; in ‘83 the Orange bounced us out again 79-72 in the quarters; and in the ‘84 Big East championship OT game at MSG we added some not needed fuel to this rivalry, winning 82-71.

Syracuse appeared to have the game sealed, and all of the momentum and brilliance of Pearl Washington was on full display. There was a mix-up that involved Michael Graham and Andre Hawkins.  The referee initially signaled for Graham’s ejection but after review, a flagrant foul was given and the game continued with both teams even more dug-in and focused.

We, the Hoya guards, took the Pearl challenge very seriously.  We were defense 1st team and that dog in me had rubbed off on our guard Corps.  My 25 minutes played that game were dedicated to making the Pearl work. We had swept them in the regular season that year, so this game was the challenge all ballers wanted.

On the last play of regulation, Syracuse had the ball and either Sean Kerins or Wendell Alexis inbounded the ball.  I blanketed Pearl like a cornerback.  He did not see or touch the ball. Kerins missed from the corner in regulation, and the rest is history.

Syracuse’s Coach Boeheim went ballistic after the game screaming “the best team did not win tonight”. The rivalry just got reheated.

It was only fitting that in 2013 the Big East, as we knew it with the core members still intact, featured the Hoyas vs. the Orangemen in the semi-finals at MSG.  Of course the game went into OT.  In their Big East swan song, the Orangemen exacted some revenge and bounced the Hoyas 58-55. The Orangemen went on to lose in the finals to non-original Big East member Louisville 78-61, prompting most to say the semi-final game between the Hoyas and the Orangemen was the real finale. I was fortunate to be at MSG that night and bumped into multiple Orangemen, most notably Pearl.  We shook hands, took a picture for a fan, and kept it moving (no selfie). Rivalry personified.

You can follow Gene Smith on Twitter @gsmit8

Check out the below podcast link to hear Gene Smith talk about the 1984 Final Four.

http://www.kentuckywildchats.com/podcast-001-kentucky-wild-chats-gene-smith

Commentary: NBA players rapping almost never works, so why do so many keep trying?

Allen Iverson, Kobe Bryant, Metta World Peace, Kevin Durant, Gary Payton, Brian Shaw, Dana Barros, Dennis Scott, Malik Sealy, Elton Brand, Steve Francis, Isaiah Rider, Tony Parker, Iman Shumpert, Damian Lillard and, of course…Shaq have made rap singles and in some cases, entire albums.

Here, we aim to explore the finer points of 5 additional NBA rappers & their songs that warrant commentary.

#5:  Cedric Ceballos, Flow On from the 1994 album “BBall’s Best Kept Secret” (featuring Warren G)

Surprisingly good.  Yes, he takes the rather obvious approach of weaving basketball into the song and video but he pulls it off.  A graduate of Cal St. Fullerton, Ced spent 10 yrs in the NBA as a player but after retirement was hired by the Phoenix Suns as their in-arena emcee.  CC prob could have had a full career in music if that whole basketball thing didn’t happen.

#4: Joe Smith, Heart of a Lion from the 2009 album “The Beginning”

Surprisingly not awful.  Although not flawlessly executed, Joe scores bonus points for degree of difficulty by choosing such a rapid pace.  This could have gone horribly wrong for him…instead it was just good enough to avoid national ridicule which, frankly, should be the goal of all these guys.

#3:  Chris Webber, Gangsta Gangsta from the 1999 album “2 much drama” (featuring Kurupt)

Not surprisingly, it’s bad. Somewhere between calling a phantom time-out and calling games on TNT, this happened.  Not horrific…but just not for him.  Those flailing arms fail to keep the proper rhythm and he’s talking about babysitters and lettuce and whatnot.  Nice try but thank you for stopping.

#2: Jason Kidd, What the Kidd Did from the 1994 album “BBall’s Best Kept Secret” (featuring Money B)

Predictably awful. The breathy-whisper approach may have worked w/ a few ladies over the years but it’s creeps me out in a rap song.  Secondly, using his last name as a play on words in the song and the title is the most unimaginative move in the history of sound.  We’d all be better off if What the Kidd Did was not rap.

#1: Delonte West, Livin Life Fast from the 2011 album “The Lockout”

Oh boy.  This would be an example of that whole ‘national ridicule’ thing if he were a bit more famous but most casual bball fans only know him as the guy with neck-tats who has OCD and banged LeBron’s mom.  Easily the scariest thing about this…it was just 4 yrs ago. Many of these other mis-guided rap songs/vids can be laughed off as “back in the day” kind of stuff.  Not this one. While high and playing video games at Fuddruckers they thought…hey let’s shoot a rap video.  Really Livin the Fast Life at the arcade bruh.

Follow @BigEastTourney for more scorching hot takes and intrepid journalistic excellence like this

In-depth Analysis: Chris Obekpa’s shorts. Questions in need of answers.

Baby tigers, blocked shots and short shorts.  That’s how teammate D’angelo Harrison describes Chris Obekpa.  As “C.O.” becomes known around the NCAA for being the shot blocker with the short shorts, we felt the need to answer the burning question, “just how short are C.O.’s shorts?”

According to his teammates, sometimes he takes regular shorts and rolls them up, other times he wears a legitimately undersized pair.  Either way there’s a lot of man-thigh showing so let’s compare his naked quads to some legendary nut-hugger wearing players from the 80’s.

* side note: Obekpa is listed at 6’9″ so for fairness, we chose 2 comparative players also listed at 6’9″.  this matters b/c in adults, the femur (thighbone) is the largest bone in the body and accounts for 26.7% of a person’s height, on average.

obekpa with bird and magic take 2

So clearly in this pic, Magic & Bird are wearing legit tighties while C.O. has on the more blousy, rolled-up version.  In this case, with all 3 players standing relatively still, the best look goes to Obekpa mainly b/c of the extra space in the crotch-area.  A little extra thigh is ok as long as it’s not accompanied by and outline of your onions.

obekpa and birdobekpa and magic

In a jumping motion, C.O. fares well again.  Bird has a little bulge happening there which nobody needs to see.  And we’re dangerously close to seeing Magic’s family jewels on the far right.

The scientific rigor of this analysis may be skewed by 2 uncontrollable variables:

1. Magic’s kneepads cover some lower-thigh giving a possible illusion of less exposure.

2. Chris & Larry have thinner legs and “hind-quarters” than Earvin therefore taking up less real-estate inside those trunks.

The verdict:  Obekpa must stick with the rolled-up, blousy version of his daisy-dukes. This will help him play his best, still market himself as the short-shorts guy but avoids the bananna-hammock issue.

And if Chris gets carried away with this, and needs an intervention, the content below should fix it.

obekpa with richard simmons

Follow @BigEastTourney for more hard-hitting analysis of these critical issues

Best Tweet–Worst Tweet: Cheick Diallo NOT going to St. John’s

This was crappy news for the Big East since Diallo chose Kansas so there are no “best tweets” this time…chose the 2 worst tweets.

#2  Obnoxious overuse of a descriptive noun

diallo 4 motors

For the love of Christ, enough.  He has a lot of energy…fantastic.  How about flexing your journalistic thesaurus with descriptors like ‘work ethic’, ‘drive’, ‘persistence’ etc. rather than repeating buzz words.  Ugh.  Annoying just writing about it.

#1 Oh, Fran…don’t.

Diallo worst tweet

Thought Fran was ok dude…til this.  When you crowbar “just got back from a run” into a tweet you’ve entered hardo land.  You have a mere 140 characters to comment on Diallo’s new home and you spend the first 24 of them pumping up your own schmenzer while concurrently attempting to make us feel like slobs?  ZERO reason for that info.  100% irrelevant to the topic. This is bad.  His PR guy should go nuclear and pull the “Fran’s account got hacked” defense to try and save a little face.  Brutal…gives me douche-chills just thinking about it.

Follow @BigEastTourney for more 5-star journalism like this

UPDATED: 12 best (worst) of Joey Crawford. #11 is new.

Watching Joey Crawford putter up/down the floor during 2015 NBA playoffs inspired me to re-visit his work.  Now attempting the impossible; determining which moments are douchier than others for this angry little troll.  New set of batteries in the douche-meter so here goes:

#12  Down Goes Crawford (Pt 1)

One of the funniest but only scores 5 on the douche-meter.  If he didn’t run like such a douche he would have scored a 0.  He owns some of this.

#11 Down goes Crawford (pt 2)

From 2015 playoffs. This is becoming a bit too common, no?  At what point do we get this guy a walker?  Very funny but only slightly douchey.  Another 5 on the scale.

#10 Joey impersonates Ed Grimley

Also, funny but not overly douchey.  Just a little excessive enthusiasm.  Douche-meter reads 6.

#9 Joey gets in the way…Part I

First rule of officiating is to stay out of the way.  If you’re too old, fat & slow to run your “ref lane assignments” then realize it & jog down while out of bounds.  Douchometer 6.5

#8 Twinkletoes Crawford

Way to make yourself the focal point Jo-Craw.  Your excessive enthusiasm mixed with your douchiness and the result was both funny and cringe-worthy.  Douche score 7.

#7 Joey woke up with a thick hair stretched firmly across his ass

Not sure exactly what Bargnani said, but I’ll bet I’ve said much worse to the checkout lady at the supermarket & she takes it in stride like a champ.  Significantly impacting the game b/c your in a bad mood. Your random irritability earned you 7.3 douche-points on this one, Joe.

#6 Hardo move of the month

This was on pace to be an all time douche move…until he said ‘thank you’ then grabbed his nuts.  That helped keep this one down to a 7.5

#5 Joey gets in the way…Part II

In the Redick one…Joey was just to fat & slow to get out of the way, here he still has enough juice to move but chooses to pirouette off Curry’s hip rather than slow-up.  Big difference leading to an 8 on the douche scores.

#4 Joey ignores video evidence, ejects Taj Gibson w/ flagrant-2

Nothing Joey loves more than determining outcome of NBA games.  Another ref was right on top of this but noooo…Joey has to come puttering in to take over from 40 ft away.  Anyone thinking video replay of Dellavedova’s initial leg-lock causing Gibson’s kick would change Joey’s megalomaniacal mind was mistaken.  Ejecting Taj with a flagrant-2 for a relatively mild response to Dellavedova’s actions is the most Joey Crawford move in the history of Joey Crawford moves. Douche-factor 8.5

#3 Joey piques

Little tense today Joe?  The rod up his ass has a rod up it’s ass.  Ejecting a future HOF’er for laughing on the bench has the douche-o-meter pegging  9.

#2 Hardo move of the year

Just a straight up hardo, asshole, douchebag move berating a mop guy in public.  9.5

#1 The worst

So…if you’re too top-heavy to stop and bump a player out of bounds, just call a foul on the guy nearest you?  Honestly why not just call Billups for a flagrant 1 while you’re at it…he (you) weren’t making a play on the ball.  He literally shoves Jones out of bounds and immediately points to Billups and says ‘you did that’. The pinnacle of incompetent douchiness.  A perfect 10.

Follow @BigEastTourney for more inane basketball related nonsense