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Saturday, March 13, 2010

Rafer's Career- Success Or Failure?

Rafer "Skip To My Banishment" Alston is probably done in the NBA.

After being demoted to third string PG behind Carlos Arroyo and Mario Chalmers, Skip blew a fuse and suddenly decided to bail and put Heat coaches and officials on his 'pay no mind' list. Bad move. Maybe a career-ending one, too.

The irony is that, all things considered, Skip is somewhat of a success story. Despite playing for a low-profile college (Fresno State), Alston was drafted in '98 by the Bucks.

He played sparingly for a couple years in Milwaukee and Toronto, being shuffled up and down between the pros and their D League affiliates. He was this close to being out of the league entirely.

Then he got a chance to start for Miami in 2004 and proved he belonged, averaging 12/4 for a playoff team.

Houston traded for him and he was pretty good for them in 2006- 13/5, playoffs, among the league leaders in steals and 3s.

A couple years later, he was dealt again, this time to Orlando. With Jameer Nelson injured, he started at PG for a team that went all the way to the Finals. Many experts still believe Orlando would have won that series by playing Alston and Anthony Johnson against LA instead of rushing the hobbled Nelson back out there. Van Panic even admitted his mistake after the fact.

Then Alston was traded by Orlando to the Nets as part of the Vince Carter deal. They released him per his request so he could sign with a contender. He signed with Miami instead.

And now, here he is, lost in limbo. With lots of bridges burned. But if this is the last we see of Skip, let the record show that he played over a decade in the NBA and led three different teams to playoff berths. People are shitting on him right now but he fought against long odds and carved out a nice career for himself, even if it seems to be ending badly.

Pictured: playground legend, 2nd round pick, 11 year vet


ReadBetweenTheBaselines said...

I say definite SUCCESS. He was consistent in his later years, teams got what they paid for and traded for. And about last year's finals, LA fans were so happy (at least in my circle of friends) that Jameer was gonna start instead of Alston. But anyway, I say success. Plus he was a pioneer for and1.

KneeJerkNBA said...

I was rooting for LA and I couldn't believe Nelson was even on the floor at all, much less getting big minutes. It was like a gift from Jesus. Anthony Johnson was balling out of his mind in the playoffs last year and he barely saw the court in the Finals because of Nelson's Willis Reed Experiment.

Colin said...

The Celts should have picked him instead of so of there other choices.

KneeJerkNBA said...

Might you be referring to the ill-fated Shitbury signing, Colin?

Ben Le Vine said...

I agree, Rafer's dribble penetration and outside shooting would have made a huge difference in those finals games the Lakers barely eeked out. I'm a big ol Laker fan and I was pretty psyched that the Hedgehog was dumb enough to just toss those minutes to Jameer.

KneeJerkNBA said...

Dance with what brung ya. That's what my imaginary hillbilly uncle's always telling me. Skip and AJ got them there, let them finish the job.

Josh Dhani said...

Great post here Knee Jerk. I think Alston had a good career. Could I put this as a guest post on my NBA site? you'll get all the credit

KneeJerkNBA said...

Absolutely, Josh. Thanks for the exposure.