The last few weeks of the NBA off-season have been ripe with the rumors of former NBA greats mulling a return to the hardwood. From Anfernee Hardaway and Reggie Miller to Charles Oakley and Allen Houston, multiple NBA greats of the 90s may be gracing an NBA court near you. At this rate, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Candlebox and Collective Soul co-headlining the halftime show at the 2008 NBA all-star game.
And even though you may not admit it, I’m sure many of you have been curious about other former NBA stars returning to your former glory. Is Mark Agguire hit the gym on a regular basis? Is Sidney Moncreif still a lockdown defender in his men’s 50+ Monday night game? Has Jack Sikma ditched the gentleman’s perm for a more streamline ‘do?
But I think it’s time to look past the NBA for bargain basement free agents. Why limit ourselves to former NBA players when we have an entire planet of (semi)able bodied men to choose from? Here are just a few people that, in my humble opinion, have serious NBA potential.
1) Wesley Snipes.
How has no team giving this guy a try out yet? He was lights out in White Men Can’t Jump. He could run. He could shoot. He could play D. All that and a Gary Payton-like swagger to boot? Sounds like the perfect back-up PG for Rondo if you ask me. Sure, that was 15 years ago, but hey, the guy is still in primo shape. You’ve seen him on the tube hawking those Total Gyms with Chuck Norris. The guy is cut. And while we’re at it, it wouldn’t hurt to invite Woody Harrelson to camp. We could use a guy that can nail top of the key jumpers.
2) Kent Hrbek.
OK, so he’s been removed from professional sports for well over a decade, and he was never the epitome of fitness when was with the Minnesota Twins. But any baseball nerd that followed the MLB in the late 80s/early 90s will tell there wasn’t a more nimble first basemen that the ‘bek. And anyone that saw him throw Ron Gant off of first base in 1991 World Series knows that he would be a beast in the paint. Throw in that he’s a legit 6’5”, and you’ve got a pasty, 40-something Reggie Evens coming off of the edge.
OK, you’re going to have to jump in the way-back machine for this one. Think back to the golden ages of NES and a magical little game called Arch Rivals. While there were many superlative players on the Arch Rivals roster, none of them compare to Mohawk. In the games liner notes Mohawk is described as “tough and mean.” Tough AND mean? Hell, his signature move on the game was punching. Rueben Patterson couldn’t carry Mohawk’s poorly pixilated jock.
4) Hulk Hogan
Stay with me folks. I know he is in his approaching 60. And it’s been over twenty years since he was at the top of his game, and to top it off, that game was pretend to begin with. But the guy is 6’9”, and he is still flipping huge. And remember, the C’s division rival New York Knicks will be sporting two low post scorers in the form of Eddie Curry and Zach Randolf. Do you think either of these two will be able to tear us up in the middle if Hulkamania is running loose in the paint? I don’t.
Everyone knows what the knocks against the Jabberjaw are. He’s fictional. He’s a shark. He has hasn’t been seen since the late 70s. But let’s look at the overwhelming upside he has. First off, I don’t have any official measurements, but I would guess he is around eleven feet tall and I bet he weighs in at around four tons. And it’s not all seal blubber in license plates inside him either. The guy can move. Many a time I saw Jabberjaw scamper at high speeds to evade the treacherous grasp of some undersea villain. My only concern with Jabberjaw is if he can concentrate fully on basketball and leave his musical work for the off-season.
That’s it. We all know Danny Ainge loves to think outside the box, so don’t be surprised to see at least one of these guys in camp this fall.