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November 24, 2005

guest columnist:
my ex-point guard

Before I abandoned the idea of guest columnists, unbeknownst to me, d'Andre (1 | 2) had already written his "ex–point guard" piece. As his making verbs agree with subjects is equivalent to the rest of us relocating an entire mountain range—not the Himalayas, maybe, but certainly the Andes—he's rather insistent that I publish this. I yield to the eldest. But I'm gonna bury this fiction on Thanksgiving day, when I have two readers. Him and his wife.

• • •

I met Egger's fat ass this last June. The rest of him, I met in the early 90's. I remember the day clearly. It's not often I make the sort of mistake in judgement about someone that I made that day. (Background: We all lived on Cleveland Ave in Columbus. It wasn't the blackest neighborhood I've ever lived in...but only because of Egger being there. You know how light can't escape a black hole's gravity? He's got the opposite effect. He's a white hole. You can feel him sucking the blackness straight out of you. Soon I was enunciating "mu-THIR-fu-KIR" like I was at the Queen's tea. It's a good thing he left when he did, before we were all country line-dancing.) We were all gathered on the neighborhood basketball court, maybe 12 of us. The court was small so we usually played four on four. We shot free throws to see who picked teams. This cube-shaped, appliance-looking white guy I'd never seen before makes his first three free throws. He had perfect form...nearly motionless. Little did I know that described his WHOLE game. I ended up being one of the two guys to pick teams. With my last pick, I committed my great mistake in judgement.

"And the white guy to shoot jump shots."

You have never seen a white guy less able to make open jump shots. Never. Remember Will Perdue? Lights out by comparison. And was Egger ever sloooooow. God almighty, was he slow. You know how TV announcers say that some plodding white dude has "a quick first step?" I used to tell Egger that he's got "the quickest 12th step out here. But that's because it only takes the rest of us 9 steps." To Egger's credit, he knew he stunk, and he passed the ball like it was radioactive. Between that and his proclivities toward violence, he was someone you wanted on your team and not the other. Yes...I said violence. This guy sets picks the way tire spikes stop cars. His picks don't merely disrupt the flow of the game. They disrupt continence. You're covering your man, and you hear someone start to call out "pi-" and then you see white spots, black out, and wake up in a puddle on the ground. Worse, he set illegal moving picks, too. You'd be backpedaling on defense, minding your own business, and then WHAM! Puddle. This was his genius. His great equalizer. He had players of superior skill with their heads on swivels, frantically looking for him instead of following the ball. He'd tell you it was out of respect. I tell you it was out of self preservation.

When I visited Egger this last summer, he spun a tale about the greatest pass he ever threw. I remember it well because it was to me. He was at the top of the key with his back to the basket, and I cut baseline behind him. He threw a no-look bounce pass behind his back. Then he turned around and saw me reverse-jamming it in. This is all true. What does Egger leave out? He sprayed it. The pass missed me by a mile and bounced off another player's leg. It was pure, blind-ass luck that it came anywhere near me at all. Too bad he didn't call "bank." He's right about one thing though. This was definitely his career highlight.

posted by john at 7:33 AM  â€¢  permalink