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Rafer Alston hoping to play next season

Aug 9, 2010, 8:42 PM EDT

In the 2009 playoffs, Rafer Alston played a key role in helping the Magic upset the Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference Semifinals. Less than one calendar year later, his NBA career was on life support. Alston struggled mightily while playing for the Nets, shooting well under 40% during his time with the team. After the Nets waived him at mid-season, Alston was picked up by the Heat, who suspended the point guard for a full season after Alston missed games and practice time for personal reasons. 

With one of the worst years in his career behind him and retirement possibly coming in the near future, Alston is back where everything began for him: the playgrounds of New York City, where Alston first gained notoriety as “Skip to My Lou”:
Rafer Alston has to fight the familiar feeling every time he steps into a park with a game going on in New York City. The former Cardozo star, nicknamed Skip 2 My Lou, got his start and legendary status on the streetball circuit before getting his break in the NBA.
“It hard to fight the temptation not to play again,” Alston said watching from the sidelines at the Tri-State Classic in Harlem Saturday. “Every time I come I have the urge.”
Alston still isn’t sure where people will be watching him next season. He is still a free agent, but acknowledged during the game that the Knicks didn’t have any interest in him, much to the verbal dismay of Tri-State announcer 40 Cal…
…”You built your legacy to where you are always going to teams to help them become a contender, now you are going to teams that are rebuilding. That’s the most difficult thing,” said Alston, who coaches with the NY Panthers AAU team.

Even if Alston never plays another NBA game, he’ll always be remembered as a legend of the playgrounds and one of the first modern players to go from being a streetball celebrity to a productive NBA player. All that remains to be seen is whether any NBA team is willing to give “Skip” one more chance to use his playground-honed moves against the best players in the world. 

  1. GRiZZ - Aug 9, 2010 at 10:34 PM

    That’s why the Magic failed. They gave up Turkoglu, Alston, and Courtney Lee… to get old man, no defense, VINCE CARTER?!??
    Just dumb.
    And in 2009, they got as far as they did with Alston and Lee. Then all of a sudden they are in the Finals and Jameer Nelson wants to play so they just put him right back into line-up. Such a stupid move.
    Magic get what they deserve.

  2. Ted (Knoxville, TN) - Aug 10, 2010 at 11:23 AM

    I agree with GRiZZ. The Magic were playing exceptional playoff basketball with Rafer Alston at the point. Jameer should have come back from his injury as Rafer’s backup, but Rafer should have gotten the minutes. I am one of probably many who still think that the Magic would have beaten the Lakers. Jameer Nelson came in and was not in game shape, his timing was off, he couldn’t shoot, he turned the ball over, and he was trying to come in and play like a star. It hosed the Magic. Rafer was playing the best basketball of his career, had everything together at the point. Simply sensational player in those playoffs. Stan Van Gundy made a huge mistake playing Jameer Nelson against the Lakers.. and that’s all there is to it.

  3. Ted (Knoxville, TN) - Aug 10, 2010 at 11:24 AM

    I agree with GRiZZ. The Magic were playing exceptional playoff basketball with Rafer Alston at the point. Jameer should have come back from his injury as Rafer’s backup, but Rafer should have gotten the minutes. I am one of probably many who still think that the Magic would have beaten the Lakers. Jameer Nelson came in and was not in game shape, his timing was off, he couldn’t shoot, he turned the ball over, and he was trying to come in and play like a star. It hosed the Magic. Rafer was playing the best basketball of his career, had everything together at the point. Simply sensational player in those playoffs. Stan Van Gundy made a huge mistake playing Jameer Nelson against the Lakers.. and that’s all there is to it.

  4. Thomas (Queens NY) - Sep 12, 2010 at 3:33 PM

    You are so right….. The Magic would of one a Championship with Rafer at the point Guard Position….. Those choices defiantly cost them a Ring…. Rafer has never been the same after that… emotionally he looks lost on the basketball court now…. but if he would of stuck it out in Maimi he would of been playing with DWADE and Lebron!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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