Category Archives: Random Forgotten Player

RFP Of The Day: Chris Mills

It’s been a while since the last RFP of the Day post. Shoot, it’s been a while since my last post at all. But, as Chappy often says, life got in the way. Today he reminded me of an old story that brought back more than just that one memory. Former NBA player Chris Mills will always be a random remembered player as far as I’m concerned, but he’s probably forgotten by many. My first regular season Warriors game was Opening Night in 2000. Golden State was a good 6 years removed from being at all relevant, and I had just moved to San Francisco after 15 years of being a Sacramento Kings fan. But here I was, at the beginning of my career as a Warriors fan. The big theme of the year was a picture of two sets of eyes belonging to Antawn Jamison and Larry Hughes with the caption: “Think we’re on to something…” Well, who knows what that something was, but I was pretty excited to be in the O-rena that night. The Warriors were playing the Phoenix Suns, led by Oakland product Jason Kidd. He f*cked around and got a triple double. Danny Fortson made his Warriors debut to the tune of 18 points and 18 rebounds. Unfortunately, he suffered a season ending injury just 6 games into the season. What few people realize is that he was on his way to establishing himself as one of the game’s better big men. Not only did he notch a double double in all six games, he was averaging 16+ pts and 16+ rebounds per game. Anyway, the game naturally went down to the wire. Chris Mills had scored 16 points off the bench, and he proved to be the hero when he hit a buzzer-beating game winning three to lift the Warriors to a 96-94 win over the Suns. That’s the main thing I’ll always remember him for.

The more memorable story is the one Chappy brought up today. I can’t remember the year, but it the Warriors were hosting the Portland Trailblazers. If memory serves me correctly, it was a tie game when Rasheed Wallace hit a 19 foot jumper at the horn to give the Blazers the win. The Blazers of course celebrated like they won the NBA Championship, and I guess some of the fans didn’t appreciate it. On their way into the tunnel, many of the Blazers began exchanging words with the fans. All of a sudden, guys like Wallace and Zach Randolph were charging into the stands to fight some people. Looking at the roster of the Blazers at that time, I’m willing to bet Bonzi Wells and Ruben Patterson were in there too. Unlike a few years later when World Peace wreaked havoc on the Palace at Auburn Hills, Wallace and Randolph and company were restrained before they got too deep into the stands where they were trying to get. But you know who else took exception to the Blazers antics? Chris Mills. Rumor has it Mills went to the locker, grabbed a gun, and stormed outside to greet the Blazers team bus. Supposedly, there he stood, waving the gun around and barking at the players on the bus to get off and meet him. The bus had to sit and wait until Mills was calmed down enough to leave the scene. I’m not sure what ever happened with that, but I think Mills got away with it.

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RFP Of The Day: Lawrence Moten

Who remembers this guy? Unless you’re a Syracuse, or perhaps a Big East fan, you probably don’t. He certainly didn’t have a very spectacular pro career, though I suppose he wasn’t really expected to. Despite leaving Syracuse as the Big East’s all-time leading scorer, Moten didn’t exactly have an NBA frame. Then again, that’s probably why I liked him so much. I can’t help but root for the lanky, skinny guys, and Moten was one of them. He’s listed at a gangly 6’5″, 185 lbs. Add to that, he rocked the long socks that I was always so fond of. He ended up getting drafted in the second round by the Vancouver Grizzlies. He spent two unimpressive years north of the border, and then played his third and final NBA season in Washington. He scored 9 points in 8 games that year. Moten was one of those guys who had game like nobody else, but just didn’t have the size to continue his success on the NBA hardwood. Looking back, his career actually reminds me a lot of Quincy Douby, who caught my eye at Rutgers when I saw him torch Moten’s alma mater. He lit up the Orange for 40+ points, but he too, played only three years in the NBA, before fizzling out with Toronto. Last I saw Douby, he had broken his wrist playing over in China. Last I saw Douby in REAL LIFE, he was walking down Market Street in San Francisco wearing his OWN jersey circa 2006. Oddly enough, no one recognized him except me. Though, the same could be said for John Wall yesterday. The lockout must be hitting the players hard, because Wall was flying Southwest with me from Las Vegas to Sacramento, but managed to fly, literally, under the radar.


RFP Of The Day: Dana Barros

When’s the last time you thought of Dana Barros? Most people remember him, if at all, as a role player. What a lot of people don’t know, and I didn’t either until I looked at his career stats, is that he had a phenomenal season in 1994-1995. Barros averaged 20.6 ppg, 7.5 ast, and 1.8 stl for the Philadelphia 76ers. Shoot, in most of his highlights he looks like Allen Iverson. People forget he was that good. The Celtics thought he was a little better than he was though, because after that breakout season (a contract year of course), Boston signed him to a long term deal. His play, and minutes, declined each year until he faded into obscurity. You know what else is obscure? This track he recorded in 1994…..


RFP Of The Day: Dan Quisenberry

What a whirlwind this feature has been… When I saw the headline, Royals Winningest Pitcher Dies, my first thought was “Oh no! Dan Quisenberry died!” I come to find out it was actually a fellow named Paul Splittorff who passed, and on top of that, I discover that Quisenberry wasn’t even a starter. Turns out he was a closer, and a damn good one at that. He finished in the top three in Cy Young voting for four years in a row from 82-85. I guess I’m really giving away my age here. Sure I had a lot of Dan Quisenberry baseball cards, but clearly I didn’t watch a lot of Kansas City Royals games. The only highlight I can remember is George Brett charging the field during the infamous pine tar incident. I was a bit too young to remember their 1985 World Series win.

In a shocking turn of events, while looking for a good picture of Quisenberry, I come across one of his grave. Apparently the guy passed away from brain cancer in 1998 I must have erased that from my memory, because I sure as hell don’t remember that. What I remember though is a nasty submarine delivery and an even NASTIER mustache…..


RGBNFP Of The Day: Robert “Tractor” Traylor

That’s ‘Random Gone But Not Forgotten Player’ of the Day for those playing at home. And for those who missed the news, former University of Michigan Star, Robert “Tractor” Traylor died today, presumably of a heart attack. I’d love to recap his NBA career, but I’m not sure he really had one. I remember he was part of a draft day trade. Who was involved with that? Hmm, I’d better check. Oh, that’s RIGHT…. the Dallas Mavericks traded him to Milwaukee for Dirk Nowitzki!!! What a devastating move that was for the Bucks.

Anyway, the point of this isn’t to talk about what a disappointment Traylor was in the NBA. The reality is Traylor was THE MAN in college. It should surprise no one just by looking at him that he was a beast. But, the guy had some electric dunks in his day. When the And1 Tour was on ESPN, that big dude named Cadillac or something like that always reminded me of Traylor. RIP Big Man….


RFP Of The Day: Marty Conlon

There’s not much to say about Marty Conlon. He played for 8 teams in 9 years. His best season came in 94-95 when he put up 9.9 ppg and 5.2 rpg for the Milwaukee Bucks. 20/10 is the benchmark for great power forwards, but a 10/5 guy is a rich man’s Marty Conlon. I got to enjoy him in his 2nd year in Sacramento when he was only a 5/3 guy, so I didn’t quite get to see him in his prime. He once had 9 pts, 5 reb, and 3 ast in a playoff game. Oh wait, those are his career playoff numbers….

Marty was born in the Bronx, went to high school in White Plains, and played college ball in Providence.  (see a them here?) His other NBA stops came in Seattle, Charlotte, Washington, Boston, Miami, and of course the obligatory stop with the Clippers. But this all what makes him Random and Forgotten. Let’s get to why he’s an RFP! Behold Exhibits A and B…..

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oh, and then I found this bad boy….


RFP of the Day: Matt Nokes

One of these things is unlike the others.

Tigers fans are probably cringing right now. Matt Nokes has got to be one of those names that just makes any Detroit fan shake his head. I may have been just a little whippersnapper in 1987, but I remember a pretty good AL Rookie of the Year race. Of course it would eventually go to my hometown hero, Mark McGwire, on the strength of 49 homers and 118 RBI. And first runner up may have gone to Kevin Seitzer of the Royals, but the guy I remember challenging McGwire for the trophy was Tigers’ catcher, Matt Nokes. Nokes was drafted by the San Francisco Giants in the 20th round of the 1981 draft. He spent a few years in the minors, made his big league debut in 85, went 11 for 53 and was dealt the following offseason to Detroit in a multiplayer deal that was essentially the swapping of poo poo platters between the Giants and Tigers. Nokes made just 24 plate appearance for Detroit in 1986, but then he broke out in 87. While batting .289, the Tigers new star player jacked 32 home runs and drove in 87 RBI, which earned him an All-Star berth, a Silver Slugger award, and third place in the AL ROY voting. He even got some clown to give him an MVP vote. The future looked bright for Nokes….. but it wasn’t. He never topped any of those numbers, and despite a slight resurgence in New York with the Yankees in 91-92, he never really made any noise. Those were terrible Yankee teams, so the numbers didn’t mean much. To be honest, I probably haven’t even thought of Matt Nokes in years. I was contemplating a feature on Glenallen Hill or Milt Thompson, and somehow I stumbled upon Nokes. Here’s to you Tiger fans!


RFP GM of the Day

Some of the NBA’s greats have taken a stab at putting together a basketball team. The logic has been that great players should be great talent evaluators. While Larry Bird had some relative success – I think – we all know how Michael Jordan and Isiah Thomas fared. Meanwhile, less decorated ex-players like Otis Smith, Rod Higgins, Geoff Petrie, and Danny Ainge have had some solid runs at the helm of a franchise. Under this logic, it’s only inevitable that teams will look for the worst players to run the show. New Orleans took a step in that direction when they hired Dell Demps this offseason. The Phoenix Suns, however, saw their lousy ex-player and raised them quite possibly the worst player in NBA history.

Enter Lance Blanks.

Alright, so he may not be the worst player in NBA history, but if you hung around my friend Aaron and I in the early 90s he was. We were pretty big into collecting basketball cards. We spent a lot of time swapping cards, usually the obligatory guy he likes for a guy I like. I believe over time, I traded him all my Shaquille O’Neal rookie cards for all of his Kenny Anderson rookie cards.  Pretty sound investment, huh? Anyway, for the guys we didn’t have an opinion on, their value pretty much hinged on scoring average. For example, Kelly Tripucka was pretty much nobody to us, but with a 20+ ppg average, we knew he was legit. Based on this scale, we were able to determine who the most worthless player in the NBA was: LANCE BLANKS. There must’ve been a hundred proposed card trades that ended in the line, “Dude, I’ll give you a Lance Blanks for him!” See, Blanks averaged an impressive 1.7 ppg in his rookie season, and only experienced a minor sophomore slump when he put up 1.5 ppg the following season. In 1992, he was the main piece in a blockbuster deal that sent him and Brad Sellers to Minnesota, in exchange for Gerald Glass and Mark Randall. They were arguably four of the worst players in the league at that time. Clearly Minnesota saw something in Blanks, and were able to harness that talent, and watched him blossom to career highs across the board. Blanks put up an astonishing 2.6 ppg, nearly a full point more than his previous career high. He averaged double digit minutes (10.5) and even earned a spot in the starting lineup twice!

Overall, I’m excited to see what Lance Blanks can do as the Suns GM. First order of business should be trading Steve Nash for the next Lance Blanks. He ought to look at Atlanta guard Mario West. In 39 games played last year, West dropped 30 points on the season, for a 0.77 ppg that Blanks could only have dreamed to achieve.


Saturday Night RFPalooza

Due to a Sunday morning obligation, I stayed in Saturday night and channel surfed what ended up being a wave of RFPs. The star of the show was none other than NBA Ironman, A.C. Green. Green was cohosting a religious show on channel 95. I didn’t even recognize him at first. Whereas most retired athletes tend to pack on the pounds, AC looks like he’s been on a decade long fast since his playing days. The guy is so skinny he looks like he should be writing for Doin Work! Obviously Green ditched the jheri curl long ago, but he’s also left behind the flat top he rocked in later years. Green now sports the semi-fro, with a soul patch to boot. We all know about AC’s incredible consecutive games streak – he basically played every game from 1987 to 1998. Nowadays he’s an ironman on God’s court.

After I got bored of that show, which was pretty quick, I stumbled upon some NBA D-League action. The Dakota Wizards were taking on the Erie Bayhawks. One guy stood out right away. Former Georgetown standout Michael Sweetney is a member of the Erie club. Now, talk about a guy who’s packed on the pounds. I didn’t even recognize him at first. There’s a number 50 across the front of jersey, but you can’t help but notice the belly and two boobs first. He can still play, as he went for about 20 points, but based on his appearance and lack of mobility, I wouldn’t expect to see him back in the big league any time soon.

Also on the Bayhawks is former Santa Clara University star, Big John Bryant. While Bryant’s size is the main thing keeping him from the NBA, he put it to work last night. In just 17 minutes, he logged 6 points to go with 6 rebounds, but he made his presence felt on the defensive end, blocking 5 shots. The Dakota team boasted an even more unknown player that caught my eye in Corsley Edwards. Edwards was a former 2nd round pick of the Sacramento Kings in 2002. While he struggled from the field, 3-13, he saved his best play of the night for the final possession. With the clock winding down, Edwards drove and dished to a wide open guy (it’s the D-league, you expect me to remember everyone?) for a buzzer-beating, game winning layup.


Future RFP Of The Day: Adam Morrison

Some day, kids are going to look at this and say, "he played in the 2000s?! No way, I thought he played in the 1970s!"

I am not an Adam Morrison hater. Nor am I a Gonzaga fan. These are the two things you need to know first, otherwise you’d assume the opposite. The title might also be a bit misleading, as it may suggest this is gonna be a kick-Adam-Morrison-while-he’s-down party. I don’t like Adam Morrison, but I don’t not like him. I never rooted for him, but I also never really rooted against him. Well, no more than I would any player playing against my team. See, my Adam Morrison story goes back further than most’s. I’ve more or less watched his career every step of the way. Although of late, like with any sitcom that’s run its course , there’s just not much new going on. Much like Head of the Class, you don’t really see a lot of him on TV anymore. But when you think about it, that’s what RFPs really are. Players and shows you used to like watching as a kid, but now they’re nothing more than a once-every-9-years blip on your life’s radar. It’s not a flattering distinction, but it’s not the worst either. I’ll be damned if I didn’t respect each and every one of those guys I’ve featured in an RFP of the Day.

The pilot episode of my Adam Morrison saga was in the beginning of 2004. I was playing (not ball) at USF and he was a freshman at Gonzaga. The Zags were continuing their rise to the upper echelon of college basketball, and the Dons were continuing their decline to the outer realms of relevance. Gonzaga was making their annual visit to the Hilltop in San Francisco, led by Ronny Turiaf, Blake Stepp, and Corey Violette. They also had a new freshman on the team, who came pretty highly touted. In front of a sellout crowd at War Memorial Gym, the game went down to the final possession. With the game tied at 63, the Dons had an opportunity at the last shot. When their game winning attempt rimmed off, JP Batista grabbed the rebound, outletted to the freshman with the buzz cut, and Adam Morrison pulled up just in front of the half court line and buried a 40 footer at the horn that silenced the crowd and sent the Zags home with a 66-63 win. (Editor’s Note: I have since learned that none of this ever happened. I combed the annals of the WCC  and could not find a box score to validate this story. But I have believed it to be truth for the last 6 years, so I’m leaving it. -mc)

The following season – or so I thought, my memory’s credibility is completely shot at this point – Gonzaga returned to the City, this time with Morrison as the man. They still had Turiaf, and Derek Raivio had emerged into a star player as well. Unbeknownst to me, ESPN was in the building filming for the original series, The Season. The show seemed more focused around Morrison than the rest of the team, or at least in this episode. I’m sure it was the only one I ever watched. But in this particular episode, it was highlight after highlight of Morrison, and every highlight showed the same skinny guy in a green Keyshawn Johnson jersey standing courtside. Morrison went for 30+ that night, and every one of those shots was recorded on video with me in the background. I hated being associated with that. The closeup of me in the crowd on Wheel of Fortune? No complaints. But broadcasting Adam Morrison propaganda to the entire world with my face as an accessory? I don’t want that burden. (Editor’s Note: Naturally I was unable to find this video anywhere. If anyone knows how or where to find it, let me know.)

Picture was taken in 2014, during Morrison's first game back in Charlotte after being traded for Jerry Stackhouse and DJ Augustin's expiring contract.

So, now that the Adam Morrison show has long been removed from primetime and we all know what’s happened since, I hereby declare him the First Ever FUTURE RFP OF THE DAY. He did me wrong on the first night we met, when he may or may not have hit a game winner to beat my school. He also dragged me along on his traveling soap opera when I was in the background of every highlight that ESPN may or may not aired. He deserves to be random and forgotten for that.  Fifteen years from now, some kid who’s in 2nd grade right now will blog something to the tune of, “Hey, remember Adam Morrison? He’s random and forgotten. Member his hair and mustache? Member when he was good? Blah blah blah.” Well this is the prelude to that post. This is my Nostradamus prediction (insert ‘of the week’ for recurring blog feature idea), that this man, here’s a man, who may end up being best known for crying at the end of a game, but here’s a man…. Well, he’s just the man for his place and time. The random, forgotten, mustache having, Head of the Class watching man.


RFP of the Day: Dee Brown

While Dee Brown may be long forgotten these days, with the exception of an annual memory or two around the All-Star break, back in the mid-90s, he was the man. Brown is mostly remembered for one thing: his arm over the eyes dunk in the 1991 NBA dunk contest. Those with superior memories might also remember the sight of him bending over to pump up his Reeboks before a dunk attempt in that same contest. As a former short guy, I was a big fan of Dee Brown. I even remembered today for the first time in at least a decade, that I used to have one of those t-shirt jerseys with #7 and Brown across the back. I’m pretty sure my affinity for him lasted about as long as his time in the limelight. While his performance in the dunk contest was memorable, not much else was.

He was drafted #19 by the Celtics in the 1990 Draft. He played seven and a half seasons in Boston before being traded to Toronto along with Chauncey Billups, Roy Rogers, and John Thomas for Kenny Anderson, Zan Tabak, and Popeye Jones. He then played two and half seasons in Toronto, where somehow, in 98-99, he led the NBA in both 3pt FG made and attempted. What makes it even crazier is that he did it in just 49 games. He jacked up over 7 three point attempts per game that year, converting on 2.8 of them. I’d be surprised if anyone knew that fact off the top of their head. Dee spent his final two seasons in Orlando, where he played a total of 14 games those two years.


RFP of the Day: Eric “Butterbean” Esch

This week’s RFP isn’t technically a “player” of anything, but he’s still a notable sports figure of the 90s. Not quite cut out for boxing, the 5’11”, 415 pound Butterbean found his niche fighting in the Toughman circuit, where he compiled a 56-5 career record. He also dabbled in boxing a little bit, most notably when he fought, and lost to, Larry Holmes in 2002. Somehow he still managed to rack up 77 wins to go with 7 losses and 4 draws. He even had a son, Babybean, who became a boxer. Last October, he announced his retirement from boxing, but continues to fight in mixed martial arts circuits. These days, Butterbean is residing in Jasper, Alabama, where he owns his own restaurant, Mr. Bean BBQ.


RFP of the Day: Kenny Anderson

Typically I like to pick someone a little more random and more forgotten, but today we’re putting the spotlight on Kenny Anderson. He was one of the most celebrated high school players ever in New York, but, since I grew up in California, my first exposure to Anderson was his college career at Georgia Tech. I was a huge Yellow Jackets fan as a kid, and while I can’t pinpoint exactly when or why I became one, I’m getting more convinced as the years go on it was Kenny Anderson’s arrival that got me going. He was the first in a line of point guards I rooted for, followed by Travis Best and Stephon Marbury. Of course, this is after he left GaTech after his sophomore season to enter the NBA Draft. He was selected by the New Jersey Nets with the 2nd overall pick in the 1991 NBA Draft, after Larry Johnson and before Billy Owens and Dikembe Mutombo. Anderson had a lackluster rookie campaign, averaging just 7 pts and 3 ast per game. He rounded into form the next season, though, averaging more than 16 pts and 8 ast for each of the next four seasons, peaking with an all-star nod in 1994. I’m pretty sure I traded all my Shaquille O’Neal rookie cards to my friend for all of his Kenny Andersons. Pretty sound investment strategy now that I look back at it. Though he spent the next 10 seasons bouncing from New Jersey to Charlotte to Portland to Boston to Seattle to New Orleans to Indiana to Atlanta and even to the Clippers for a four game stint, he still averaged double figures for all but one season, his last, where he finished the season averaging 9.8 ppg.

There’s little doubt Kenny Anderson was a great player on the court, but he might have been an even better one OFF the court. I remember him being married to Tami from the Real World Los Angeles. You remember her… the one who, with the help of the other two resident crazy bitches, got up and coming comedian and harmless guy, David Edwards, kicked off for rape. Now, the way I remember it, he just pulled the blanket off of her while she was laughing about it, but I was young. They must’ve edited out the part where he actually violated her. Or did they? Anyway, while David went on to small roles in Half Baked, House Party 3, and Belly, Tami made a successful career playing Kenny Anderson. She divorced him due to his infidelity, which really shouldn’t be grounds for divorce when you marry a professional athlete. Nonetheless, she challenged the pre-nup, won, and walked away with half his money. She even celebrated her victory with a license plate that reads HISCASH. Perhaps he deserved it though, as it appears he’s got about 7 kids by 5 different mothers, including one with Spinderella of Salt-n-Pepa fame. These days, Kenny is keeping busy by coaching such storied basketball franchises as the Atlanta Krunk of the CBA and The Hombres of Slamball.

Seriously, how does one "coach" Slamball?


RFP of the Day: Dwayne Schintzius

A couple weeks back, I alluded to the 1990 NBA Draft as being one of the greatest RFP draft classes EVER. Today’s man of the hour was the 24th overall pick that year by the San Antonio Spurs. Schintzius was a relatively solid prospect coming out of Florida, where he averaged over 19 points and 9 rebounds per game through the first 11 contests of his senior season, before his infamous departure from the Florida Gators. He quit the team on account of his conflict with his new coach, noting that he couldn’t “sail under the authority of Captain Ahab.”

Nonethelss, Schintzius went on to play 8 seasons in the NBA for the Spurs, Kings, Nets, Pacers, Clippers and Celtics. His most productive year came in 1991-1992 in Sacramento, where he average 3.3 points and 3.6 rebounds per game. Acquired in a trade for fellow RFP, Antoine Carr, he also averaged a career high 12 minutes per game that season, however, he was also released by the Kings during the season. Enough on-the-court facts though, Schintzius was better known for his off-the-court achievements.  His Captain Ahab quote firmly ranks third on the list of most notable Schintzius accomplishments.

#2 – His role as Russian center, Ivan Radovadovitch, in the 1996 critically acclaimed Whoopi Goldberg film, “Eddie.”

#1 – His mullet. Simply one of the greatest mullets in sports of ALL TIME.


RFP of the Day – Rey Quinones

Somewhere in the late 80s I took a liking to the Seattle Mariners.  I know what you’re thinking…. Oh, I bet it was 1989 when Ken Griffey Jr. joined the team. Not so fast, though, random forgotten baseball fan.  My Mariners fandom came to be somewhere around 1987 or 1988.  But I’m a lifelong A’s fan, how could I root for a division rival?  Well, it’s simple see… I’m a fan of underdogs.  In those rare cases where my team is actually good, (see 1988-1990 A’s, 1994 49ers, and 2000-2002 Kings) I’ll sometimes start rooting for a less competitive team.  I won’t stop rooting for my own team, it’s just something else to root for to stay grounded, if you will.  Well, the 1987-1988 Mariners were that team for me in those days.  I believe it started with my admiration for Harold Reynolds, who could’ve had a solid career as an RFP if it weren’t for his later endeavor into the TV world at ESPN.  Nonetheless, he was one of the best “average” second basemen of the times, and being a middle infielder myself, those were the players I looked up to.  Naturally, I rooted for Reynolds’ double play partner as well.  That guy was none other than Rey Quiñones.

Quiñones was acquired by the Mariners from the Red Sox for Dave Henderson, among others, and was really only the starting SS for those two seasons in Seattle.  His power numbers were basically identical (12 HRs and 56 and 52 RBI, respectively), but his average dipped from .276 to .248 in ’88.   After playing just 7 games and going 2 for 19, the Mariners traded him to Pittsburgh, where he would finish his last season in the major leagues with a lowly .209 batting average.

Quiñones compiled a lifetime average of .243 with 29 HR and 159 RBI in 1,668 plate appearances over his 4 year career.