Rest In Peace, for you are one of the greatest of all time, BB King.
This man owned the blues, owned that tone, owned that vibe for decades. He was truly one of a kind and his catalog offers plenty of exploration opportunity.
Dude put his first record out in 1957. Very few people still around put records out in the 50’s (the Isley’s are the only one I can think of). He was a titan of the music industry.
A legend among legends, no one messes with BB.
Here’s one of my favorites from him, when he played the Cook County Jail in 1971 and offered up some hilarious banter to the “guests” about their warden and his beautiful wife, in-between hitting them with a blues you know they could truly appreciate:
Steph Curry knows. Kenny Smith knows. Brad Daugherty knows. Steve Kerr knows.
There were a few years in the NBA (1989-1994: the height of the Jordan years) where the best shooter and one of the best overall point guards in the league went without much notice outside of coaches, players and fans of his team.
He was the 2nd guy ever, after Larry Bird, to average 50-40-90% in field goals, threes, and free throws for a full season, known as the 50-40-90 club. Since then 5 more players have achieved this shooting mastery: Reggie Miller, Steve Nash (4x!), Dirk Nowitski, and Kevin Durant.
Considered too slow and a small 6′ for the NBA, especially in those years when the league was stocked with talent, Price was picked in the 2nd round by Dallas and traded to Cleveland. I don’t remember much hype about the small white guard that looked like a 12 year old choirboy.
Since Cleveland also picked big Brad Daughtery 1st overall and talented slasher Ronny Harper at pick 8 that day, it was a haul even before they received the news that another talented rookie Hot Rod Williams would be cleared of NCAA gambling charges and be allowed to play for the Cavs.
Cleveland actually had 4 of the 5 all-rookies that year. I don’t know if that’s been done since.
The addition of prime high-flying forward Larry Nance turned the late 80’s Cavs into “the team of the 90’s” according to Magic Johnson. To be a Laker fan and read that!
So how did Price do it? By being one of the single most awesome players ever with the ball in his hands.
Similar to Steph Curry, he could shoot so fast, so accurately, so consistently that defenses just bent to his will.
Similar to Lebron James, he could utilize teammates, spacing, picks, and inventiveness to break your press and decimate your defense.
His secret weapon was his split dribble. See, the Cavs fed off of pick and rolls with their talented big men. Defenders could either plan to fight over the pick, go under the pick, or switch. As they were deciding this he attacked, dribbling directly between them and forcing them off-balance.
It worked like a charm because of his shooting skills – wherever defenders went, he had a play and could get his shot. And usually drain it, bottom of the net, or use glass.
He also impressed in the 1993 3-point shootout, at one point hitting something like 3 racks straight.
In Cleveland he wasn’t even the most famous Cavalier. They were stacked and I remember people considering him a John Stockton knockoff. That’s probably racist, like there’s only room for 1 caucasian point guard? He could out-shoot the Hall of Famer Stockton, and if he had the health and the stability of Stockton, and the mailman, he’d be right there.
Looking back, Mark Price really was the best player on those stocked Cavs teams. He couldn’t even dunk but man that dude could play some basketball. Unstoppable, made everything happen everywhere, and the model for guys like Steph Curry. Mark Price was 6′ Larry Bird, one of the best ever.
Missed this one over the holiday, but on July 3rd, Douglas Engelbart died at the digital sounding age of 88. He was not a household name, but amongst PC history geeks he’s about as important as they come. By 1968 he had worked out the ideas behind and the rudimentary technology to operate: the mouse, teleconferencing, hypertext, word processing, hypermedia, object oriented file management, and collaborative real-time editing.
It was not vaporware – the demo he did has been renamed “The Mother Of All Demo’s” and would be a pretty high-tech thing to pull off even in 2013. Read more and see the demo here.
If you are reading this you owe alot of that credit to the visionary genius of Mr. Engelbart.