Tonight’s “Rising Stars Challenge” kicks off NBA All-Star Weekend with a group of Rookie and Second Year standouts competing against each other on squads coached by Chris Webber and Grant Hill respectively. However, once upon a time this game was simply known as the “Rookie Game” and during the 2000 version of that game, came a signature moment that 14 year old me would go on to try unsuccessfully to replicate in pick-up games approximately 4,567 times. I’m talking of course about Jason “White Chocolate” Williams elbow pass:
Unfortunately, the only video of legitimately one of the best and most creative passes that I could find is in German (fortunately, “Jason Williams” and “elbow” are coherent and that’s all that really matters here). Also unfortunately, the recipient of the pass Raef LaFrentz was unable to actually finish the play because he was fouled by James Posey (SO MANY CELTICS LEGENDS. I’m inclined to forgive Posey because he was such an integral part of the ’08 Championship Team. So, by default I blame LaFrentz. YOU GOTTA FINISH THAT SHIT YOU STIFF, HE JUST PASSED IT TO YOU OFF HIS FRIGGIN ELBOW!) I could talk about this .48 second clip for hours as it brings back a glorious wave of nostalgia (OMG look at Odom flail on defense, IS THAT SHAREEF ABDUR RAHIM IN A VANCOUVER GRIZZLIES JERSEY?!) but I also think it’s interesting to note that both White Chocolate and LaFrentz as well as Michael Olowokandi (another Celtics LEGEND) and Robert “Tractor” Traylor (R.I.P.) were selected in the 1998 NBA Draft before both future Hall of Famers Dirk Nowitzki and Paul Pierce. Maybe Riggin for Wiggins/Concede for Embiid looks the proper strategy now, but only time will tell. Now, if you’ll excuse me I’m gonna go raid my closet looking for my old #55 black Sacramento Kings jersey. Also, look at these two fans, one a woman adorned in a blue pinstripe Charlotte Hornets jersey and matching Starter snapback cap (JUSTIN BIEBER WEARS THE SAME HATS MIDDLE AGED WOMEN USED TO WEAR) and the other a man in a sweet Ruff Ryders shirt and tell me your nostalgia level doesn’t raise significantly.