Saturday, January 3, 2009

The Phenom Known As Spud Webb

Spud's impact on the game was tremendous and his legendary battle with Nique in the 1986 Slam Dunk Finals is generally the first thought that comes to mind when his name is heard.

He also has the dubious distinction of being the guy who single handedly forced the league to make room for smaller, faster players that had the ability to control the tempo of the game by constantly pushing the ball up the court.

For many years, the NBA was dominated by big, tall oak tree type players like George Mikan, Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlain.

When the Dallas native entered the league, he was the only player under six feet to step foot on the hard court in the 1984 season.

(The same year that 6-1 Isaiah Thomas won the All Star game MVP)

The league hadn't seen a player of his stature before and Spud had to prove on a nightly basis that he belonged in the NBA and wasn't a side show gimmick used as a way to sell more tickets.

Coach Fratello took advantage of Spud's quickness and passing ability and the Atlanta Hawks instantly became a run and gun team when Spud was on the floor.

He went on to for play 12 respectable seasons however, he'll forever be linked to his classic dunk off against one of the greatest of all time in front of his hometown fans.

Spud may not have the disticntion of being the shortest to ever play the game. He towered over guys like Mugsy Bogues and Earl Boykins however,

Spud Webb can boast that he was the first player that forced people to look down.

Oh yeah, he also gave short guys like Dave wings and made them think they could fly.

Thanks Spud!

1 comment:

  1. Nice write-up Audley. Spud Rocks! Hey man, I can fly on the basketball court. My 1 inch vertical leap is SICK! lol