Meeting this man was a real honor. Dolph Shayes of the Syracuse Nationals, considered the first modern basketball forward, represented a bridge between eras. He continued to nail the set shot long after the jump shot had come into vogue. Shayes is one of just three men to average at least 12 rebounds a game for 11 consecutive seasons. The other two? Wilt Chamberlain and Bill Russell. Shayes was the first NBA Iron Man playing from 1952 to 1961 without missing a game The guy played an entire season with a cast on his arm for cryin’ out loud. His streak finally ended when he shattered a cheek bone. Tough guy, huh? Dolph is a twelve time all-star, a Hall of Famer and a member of the 50 Greatest Players of All Time.
Dolph Shayes in action
Here's Dolph Shayes coaching the Philidelphia 76ers. That's Wilt Chaimberlain just to the left of the bald guy.
Here's Dillon with Mark Eaton. You know, I think the guy on the left just might be Ernest Borgnine.
Despite being 7 feet, 4 inches tall, Eaton did not play high school basketball. Upon graduating he became an auto mechanic. Three years later an assistant basketball coach convinced him to play for the Cerritos college basketball team. Eaton would go on to play 11 seasons with Utah Jazz. He was arguably the greatest shot blocker in NBA history.
Here’s a shot of Dylan with NBA great David "The Machine" Smith. The Machine played five glorious years with the Los Angeles Clippers, averaging 25 points and 10 assists per game. And then he just walked away from the game, the notoriety, and the money. He said he wanted pursue other endeavors. Smith proceeded to write a bestselling novel, a critically acclaimed book of poetry and a Tony Award winning Broadway play. Still unsatisfied, he enrolled in medical school. Today he practices medicine, pro bono, at small clinic in El Salvador. Talk about a renaissance man! OK, I have no idea who the guy in the suit is, but I’m relatively sure he’s a former NBA basketball player.