Saturday, March 26, 2011
The Battle For Uptown Supremacy
For a city long considered the "mecca" of basketball, New York hasn't had a tremendous number of home-grown stars in recent years. While you can find a hoop every couple of city blocks, the southern states have taken over as, by and large, the main source of talent. There's a lot of theories as to the lack of New Yorkers who make it at the highest levels of hoops, be it the all flash/no fundamental games that some seem to label NY players with, or the fact that players from other areas shoot better (our rims have no nets), but whatever the reasoning, our city has been severely underrepresented in both the pro and college ranks for a while now. I'm sure this bothers absolutely no one outside of New York, since they all think we're self-absorbed douche bags to begin with.
Well, for one night at least, the country will be watching three of the Big Apple's own douche bags: Harlem's Lamont "Momo" Jones and Bronx bred Kevin Parrom for Arizona vs. (PTU favorite) Uconn's Kemba Walker of the Soundview projects in the BX, in the elite 8 tonight.
Harlem and the Bronx, besides being geographically close, have some other similarities. While Harlem may be a little flashier (c'mon, Momo Jones just sounds like the name of a 1970's pimp) residents of the two uptown areas tend to pride themselves in their swagger (people from outside of the tri-state, and even some within might call it cocky). And you can see that quality in all three of these guys. Maybe this cocky attitude is part of the reason you don't see as many NY players make it as it can border on uncoachable arrogance, but for our purposes we'll think of it as swagger.
Team mates when they played together at traditional NY basketball powerhouse Rice High School, BFF's Jones and Walker should know each other's games pretty well, but don't expect to see the two best buddies guard each other much (Jeremy Lamb or Shabazz Napier will be on Momo. Shabazz vs. Momo might be the ultimate first name matchup). You might, however, see one-time St. Raymond's star Parrom take a crack at slowing down Kemba. Perhaps that wording isn't how he should be instructed to guard Kemba though, since he has been known to punch people in the face.
Whoever wins tonight, it will be nice to see some New York born ballers get a little shine for once. Hopefully, these three have careers that are more Artest and Odom than Omar Cook and Felipe Lopez. Oh yeah, and some other guy who's not from New York plays for Arizona too but who cares about him?