As a tribute to culmination of a glorious run in New Jersey for the Nets franchise, this week’s authentic jersey is of former Nets star Derrick “D.C.” Coleman. Derrick, despite being derided by the basketball world as someone who wasted his talents and paychecks, holds a special place in my heart for a host of reasons.
For starters, his nickname is D.C., which is also the name of my hometown. Also on the name front, D.C.’s last name is Coleman, which happens to be my late grandfather’s first name. Plus two for Derrick.
Derrick also has that type of big-man game that everyone can fall in love with. His production might not have been on par with that of contemporary PFs Malone and Barkley, but there was something mesmerizing about Coleman’s versatile big-man skill-set, not unlike those of other heart-breakers such as Tim Thomas, Antione Walker, and Rasheed Wallace. To boot, he was a lefty. Plus two for Derrick, again.
Finally, I must mention that Derrick played a pivotal role in one of my favorite NBA video-games of all time, NBA Live 2000. Back in my adolescence, I was a basement video-game addict (who wasn’t?), with a special affinity for basketball games like NBA Live and NBA Hangtime. This period in my life coincided with my obsession over young phenom Baron Davis. Although these facts seem unrelated, I can connect the dots.
As a fan of Baron, I felt obligated to fill up his stat sheet as much as possible in NBA Live 2000. And because Baron couldn’t shoot as a rookie, I decided he would instead be an assist machine. Enter Derrick Coleman. Even when his career was on the decline as a Charlotte Hornet, Coleman could still face up and nail a jumper. This meant that he could get away with the deadliest move that exists in basketball video games–the pump fake. Baron would rack up assists as D.C. faked out the defense with one pump after another. I don’t know why this process of stat-stuffing and computer manipulation was so entertaining, but either way, I am in debt to Derrick Coleman for countless Baron Davis virtual assists and countless hours of fun.
My first expression of gratitude will be relinking the following highlight reel. This one’s for you, Derrick.
What are your Derrick Coleman memories? Comment on the article or e-mail us at AGRbasketball (at) gmail (dot) com. Don’t forget to follow @AGRbasketball on Twitter and to like us on Facebook.