Tuesday, June 28, 2005
The Boston Strangler is Back (Possibly)
There are good days and bad days. But rarely are there epic, historic, unforgettable days. Recently, it was announced that Andrew Toney, the brilliant Philadelphia 76er shooting guard during the 1980s, would return to this city as an assistant coach to Maurice Cheeks. That is an epic day, my friends. The Boston Strangler is coming home. The player that Charles Barkley has said "was the best player on the team when I got here. We had Bobby Jones, Moses Malone, and Julius Erving but the only one I was in awe of was Andrew." The man Larry Bird said this about: "Do I remember Andrew Toney? The Boston Strangler? Yeah, I remember him. I wish we would've had him. He was a killer. We called him the Boston Strangler because every time he got a hold of the ball we knew he was going to score. He was the absolute best I've ever seen at shooting the ball at crucial times. We had nobody who could come close to stopping him. Nobody." The man who made Pat Riley proclaim, "He is the greatest clutch player I've ever seen. To hell with Jerry West!" The player who terrorized the league with his deadly shot and cool demeanor. The man who provided my Friendster pic for a year or so has returned to the game that he dominated for so many years.
Need proof that Andrew Toney is the most gangsta player the league has ever known? Reports have come out that Toney has yet to accept Mo Cheek's offer to be an assistant. He has been spotted at a few practices, but he has yet to talk to the media or give the 76ers any sense of what he was thinking. The temperment of an artist, my friends. I would put his jump shot up against any silly picture that Manet or Picasso ever drew. He did it his way.
Go here and here to read two wonderful pieces on Andrew Toney, as they both try to remind people how great he was. A forgotten legend, perhaps getting his second chance at greatness.
-In more definite news, the NBA Draft is tonight. This is the greatest night of the year, in my humble opinion, when the future of the NBA is paraded in front of the world. It is also the night when a team can turn around its future (cf Chicago Bulls in 1985) or continue its misery for another decade (cf Philadelphia 76ers in 1993). Finally, it is the night to contemplate who dresses Craig Sager and what does he have on the President of TNT that allows him to maintain his job in spite of a lack of skills, knowledge or personality. Go here for all of the info you need, as Fox Sports has put together a great NBA Draft Central for all of your draft needs.
-Not much excitement tonight for Sixers fans, as the team drafts at #45. Here is a look at who might be available in that spot.
-The 10 greatest Draft Day steals, and the 10 greatest busts (Shawn Bradley is #9, FYI.)
-The best all-time picks at each draft position.
-Bill Simmons, a.k.a. The Sports Guy, is the Bard of Draft Day, a man who creates poetry out of this wonderful night every year. I know everyone probably already reads him, but for anyone who doesn't, this is the time to do so. Go here for his Top 60 Draft Moments. Brilliant, hilarious stuff.
-Dime Magazine looks at the main stories running through this draft.
-Finally, quote of the week from Andrew Bogut, likely #1 pick in tonight's draft: "I'm not a big white stiff. I know I'm white, but I'm not a stiff."