Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Island: Where Has Been/Never Were Basketball Players End Up...

Throughout the history of the NBA, new talent has been harvested from the collegiate ranks to the blacktop playgrounds of the nation. Thousands of players have played in the NBA over the years...however, the ones that have always interested me the most:

A) The ones who never made it in despite their immense talent and promising future.

B) The ones who made it in but never displayed that immense talent again and simply faded away.

So where do they all end up? Car dealerships, factories, college coaching staffs, small business owners, etc., but speculating about those are not as much fun as daydreaming about 'the Island'.

I came up with my theory of the 'the Island' nearly ten years ago. This was my attempt to put to rest all the questions I would ask myself or others regarding the whereabouts of lost or forgotten basketball players. It was fascinating for me to think of all of this broken talent landing in one place for one common goal: a triumphant return to glory and to rewrite their own destiny.

I theorized that a deserted island somewhere in the Pacific ocean would be home to these very players and their common goal to return to the NBA and become a star player either A) once again or B) for the first time. The constant rumor on the island is that an NBA talent scout is supposed to arrive "any day now". The court may be ragged, but, it is the epicenter for daily battles of 5-on-5 pickup basketball. The players stay up into the darkest hours of the night, studying game tapes from a decade ago...trying to figure out where it all went wrong. A comradery of despair is what unites the motivation to get out of bed with each rising sun. Their daily fight, struggle and competition is all for one seemingly unattainable thing: a 10-day NBA contract. The NBA scout never shows up, a contract is never offered but the hope never dissapates and it goes on like this forever.

The 'Island' Roster:

All-Time Captains:

Ed O'Bannon
Charles O'Bannon

The Players:

Craig Hodges
Miles Simon
Damon Bailey
Khalid El-Amin
Dontonio Wingfield
Kerry Kittles
Todd Fuller
J.R. Reid
Terrell Brandon
Darvin Ham
Kendall Gill
God Shammgod
Rumeal Robinson
Cedric Ceballos
Kenny Anderson
LaPhonso Ellis
Tom Gugliotta
Harold Miner
Sean Rooks
Calbert Cheaney
Lindsey Hunter
Corie Blount
Glenn Robinson
Sharone Wright
Lamond Murray
Eric Montross
Carlos Rogers
Khalid Reeves
Yinka Dare
Charlie Ward
Voshon Lenard
Bryant "Big Country" Reeves
Shawn Respert
Cherokee Parks
Alan Henderson
Bob Sura
Randolph Childress
Travis Best
Cory Alexander
Jimmy King
Ray Jackson
Tyus Edney
Chris Carr
Samaki Walker
Erick Dampier
Tony Delk
John Wallace
Walter McCarty
Dontae' Jones
Roy Rogers
Brian Evans
Priest Lauderdale
Travis Knight
Moochie Norris
Erick Strickland
Tony Battie
Ron Mercer
Jacque Vaughn
Keith Booth
Michael Olowokandi
Raef LaFrentz
Robert Traylor
Keon Clark
Bryce Drew
Roshown McLeod
Felipe Lopez
Corey Benjamin
Jahidi White
Jonathan Bender
Trajan Langdon
Vonteego Cummings
Laron Profit
Eddie Robinson
Marcus Fizer
Courtney Alexander
Mateen Cleaves
Speedy Claxton
DeShawn Stevenson
A.J. Guyton
Joseph Forte
Jay Williams
Dajuan Wagner
Qyntel Woods
Vincent Yarbrough
Ndudi Ebi

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