The harsh reality is in playing basketball long enough – albeit recreationally or professionally – you’re either going to get dunked on, crossed over or most likely both at least once. Embarrassing? Of course it is, but it’s part of the game.
Shawn Bradley is remembered as the former No. 2 pick in the 1993 NBA Draft; the 7’6″ skyscraper picked after Chris Webber and before Penny Hardaway. By most fans, however, he’s documented as the game’s largest human crash test dummy thanks to his role on the wrong end of posters from Robert Pack, the aforementioned Penny, of course Tracy McGrady and more.
Last month, Grantland and ESPN released Posterized, a 30 For 30 Short chronicling the whereabouts of Bradley and how the lasting image of him normally isn’t the correct one. He never quite lived up to his No. 2 pick status, but the label of “bust” ranks as an egregious fallacy in its own right. He’s 16th all-time in blocks and averaged at least three per game in his first six seasons (many of which saw him consistently average near double-doubles in points and rebounds).
The 13-minute clip, with praise from Jeff Van Gundy, proved to be more than worth the time investment as it paints Bradley in a much different perspective, even offering an added sense of appreciation to the path he dedicates his life to now. He’s doing better than many retired athletes who struggle to grasp life after the limelight and comforts of consistent checks. A lot better, actually.
Yet and still, the T-Mac dunk will forever remain on the list of NBA moments that literally made me spit out water and jump out of my seat.
I’ve always got that. And Shawn’s always got his $70M in career earnings. I’d say that’s about even.