Friday, May 24, 2024

Darius Miles and Quentin Richardson


For 3 a long time we’ve coated many wonderful basketball characters, however some stand above the remaining—not solely due to their on-court abilities (although these are at all times related), however due to how they influenced and proceed to affect basketball tradition, and thus influenced SLAM. In the meantime, SLAM has additionally modified these gamers’ lives in numerous methods, as we’ve documented their careers with traditional covers, legendary photographs, wonderful tales, compelling movies and extra. 

We compiled a bunch of people (programming be aware: 30 entries, not 30 folks whole) who imply one thing particular to SLAM and to our viewers. Learn the full checklist right here and order your copy of SLAM 248, the place this checklist was initially revealed, right here.


It’s type of loopy to look again and notice that Darius Miles and Quentin Richardson performed simply two seasons collectively. The Clippers drafted them 15 picks aside in 2000—Darius third, Q 18th—and cut up them up in the summertime of 2002 when Darius was dealt (together with Harold Jamison) to the Cleveland Cavaliers for Andre Miller and Bryant Stith. In these two seasons, the Clippers received 70 mixed video games and didn’t make the playoffs. Miles began 27 video games, Richardson 28. From a basketball standpoint, it was barely a ripple—the anticipated Clippers revival (or maybe vival, wasn’t no “re” about it) by no means actually transpired, not less than not till the rise of Lob Metropolis. However you possibly can’t simply measure influence by Ws and Ls or factors or any of that.

As they inform it, Darius and Q had been on their option to being AND1 guys when Michael Jordan himself made positive they joined Jordan Model. Bounce, males. They bought all kinds of uncommon retro PEs, head-tapped their approach into the general public consciousness again when Melo was nonetheless hoopin’ at Towson Catholic, landed a well-deserved KICKS cowl. They had been an unlikely pairing who meshed in unlikely methods; Miles a willowy 6-9 rim runner who ate up the court docket with big strides, Richardson a stable 6-6 with a seemingly bottomless post-up bag and three-point vary.

It’s type of loopy to look again and notice that Darius Miles and Quentin Richardson performed simply two seasons collectively. The Clippers drafted them 15 picks aside in 2000—Darius third, Q 18th—and cut up them up in the summertime of 2002 when Darius was dealt (together with Harold Jamison) to the Cleveland Cavaliers for Andre Miller and Bryant Stith. In these two seasons, the Clippers received 70 mixed video games and didn’t make the playoffs. Miles began 27 video games, Richardson 28. From a basketball standpoint, it was barely a ripple—the anticipated Clippers revival (or maybe vival, wasn’t no “re” about it) by no means actually transpired, not less than not till the rise of Lob Metropolis. However you possibly can’t simply measure influence by Ws and Ls or factors or any of that.

Miles was the one with the famous person vibe, the one who ended up on the “Roc L.A. Familia” SLAM cowl alongside Lamar Odom and Elton Model, all carrying one another’s jerseys. Elton was removed from alone in rocking an outsized Miles 21 jersey, wasn’t even the one one to put on it backward. Miles had Iverson’s vibe and Pippen’s sport, an extended, lanky stat-sheet filler who on his finest nights regarded like he might very nicely fulfill the promise that led to Sports activities Illustrated placing him on their cowl with Kevin Garnett peeking out from behind.

Desire a wild stat? The Clippers weren’t excellent, solely had 4 nationally televised video games in Darius’ and Q’s two seasons—one of their first season, three of their second—however the Clippers went 4-0 in these video games, together with a win over the Shaq and Kobe two-time defending champion Lakers in January 2002. Of their remaining nationwide TV sport, towards the Mavs per week later, they each performed 30-plus minutes off the bench, each scored 15 factors, each stuffed each box-score field—hit a 3, had not less than one rebound, help, steal and block.

Their Clippers promise went largely unfulfilled—which maybe shouldn’t have come as a shock given a younger crew within the Donald Sterling days. A rose may develop from concrete, however it’s not a typical prevalence. As for expectations, these are ours, one thing separate from the careers that truly play out. So after the summer season of 2002, Darius and Q wound up journeymen on their very own journeys: Darius with injury-plagued years in Cleveland, Portland and Memphis; Q breaking the Suns single-season three-point document in Phoenix earlier than taking part in in New York (twice), Miami and Orlando. Darius performed his final sport at 27, Q at 33; each of their remaining seasons mere epilogues.

However their tales didn’t finish, their journeys weren’t over. And a full decade-plus after their remaining video games, they’d reunite—on a podcast this time—because the Knuckleheads, each giving flowers to former teammates and opponents in addition to receiving their very own. They’re each energetic on social media, typically in SLAM’s IG feedback exhibiting like to each energetic and retired hoopers. Perhaps Darius and Q had been by no means All-Stars and by no means received championships, however they discovered each other, they bent basketball tradition of their path, and truthfully? That’s greater than sufficient. 


Picture through Getty Photographs.



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