greatness (Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Shaquille O'neal, Kobe Bryant); His 17 He did everything we asked including engage with our fans, many of whom were in Horace is available for personal appearances and meet and greets for NBA followers and organizations alike. Bridget Ready, Jack's Helping Hand. In those terms, Dwyane Wade is the best MJ impersonator yet. Most people who meet Dwyane Wade assume he hasn't really had the chance to do that that yet in his life. He has Those who gloss over his background can be forgiven. explains his decision by saying Wade "comes from a great family.". Charlotte Hornets owner Michael Jordan greets people and hands out food to the right people, it makes me feel good that I did the right thing.
A handwritten cardboard sign by the door says: He is 59 years old, but he could pass for He is tall and gaunt, with deep wrinkles along his brow and a patchy white beard on his sallow cheeks.
His clothes are ragged. Miss BayBay introduces us. I offer a hand to shake, but he bends his arm to the left and gives me a gentle tap with the side of his hand. Despite all this he has a warmth about him, a jovial spirit, and he tells me to come back tomorrow with my car so we can ride around town. Next morning he wears nicer clothes: He gets in my rented Chevy Impala, and we ride through Brooklyn with the air conditioner blasting.
Just leave orchestra out of it. Leave orchestra out of it. One, a traditional interview will be nearly impossible, because my questions don't seem to interest him. And two, the kind of music I play does, in fact, make a difference. As we drive east on Market Street, Pop answers a question I have yet to ask. New conversation of advice. If—when I was comin' up playin' ball, when you get cut, you are cut predominantly.
Whatever is on each side. Then you do not even play either level, jayvee or varsity. Michael—well, Mike—Jordan was placed on the junior varsity level. He was placed on the junior varsity level. He wasn't cut away from the game that made him. The story of his fleeting success is in some ways more remarkable than the story of Michael Jordan's spectacular ascent. This is partly because of the sharp contrast between their socioeconomic backgrounds.
Their relationship cut against the Hollywood stereotypes. Jordan was not the hard-living urban black kid whose life is transformed by athletic achievement. He grew up in the suburbs, his father a supervisor for General Electric, his mother a bank teller, and without sports today he would probably be a thriving middle-class American like his two older, shorter brothers. Pop, on the other hand, was born into one of the roughest parts of Wilmington to a year-old mother with an eighth-grade education and a father who would soon leave.
By the time Pop's younger sister, Eleanor, gave birth to her own daughter, at age 13, four or five generations of his family lived in the same house. From time to time one or more of them would go 90 miles north to Goldsboro for a stay at Cherry Hospital, formerly known as the Asylum for Colored Insane. Pop's grandmother went to Cherry Hospital and his mother went to Cherry Hospital and his sister went to Cherry Hospital. Their diagnoses were not well-known, but the mental illness that ran in the family did seem to worsen with age.
Pop's mother was good to him when he was a child, but inwhen she was 51, she brandished a nail-studded board at a police officer who had come to serve her with an order for outpatient examination. In court records she said she took prescription drugs to relieve her shaking. She couldn't remember her Social Security number. Pop rode out of Wilmington on a full athletic scholarship to North Carolina Central in Durham, where he could have played basketball but chose football instead.
He started at quarterback as a senior in and played through broken ribs to lead the Eagles to a Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference championship. He came home with a degree in physical education and a talented woman named Sara, a six-foot schoolteacher who sewed the powder-blue tuxedo he wore to their wedding. He got a job as a teacher and assistant basketball coach at New Hanover High School. On Saturdays, after their daughter, Paquita, was born inSara would send them both away so she could clean the house.
Pop would take Paquita to visit his mother and come home hours later to a kitchen smelling like Lysol and dump a bucket of live crabs all over the sparkling floor just to hear his baby girl squeal with delight. And his wife would look from the snapping crabs to the kid she had married and decide to hush up and put the water on to boil.
The house was overrun with basketball players after Pop landed the varsity job at Laney High later in He never drew a line between work and personal life. Mike Jordan may not have made Pop's team as a sophomore, but he certainly did as a junior, and he showed no evidence of a lingering grudge when he visited Pop's house to play spades or invited the Herrings to his church or treated Paquita like the little brother he never had.
One day Mike got too rough with the horseplay, and in her flaming indignation Paquita ran off to find a weapon. Pop Herring did many things for Jordan in those days—opening the gym for him in the mornings and on weekends so he could work on his jumper, giving him the keys to the Maverick to run personal errands, helping him navigate the mysterious world of college recruitment—but his most crucial favor may have been disarming his furious four-year-old daughter before she could cripple Jordan with a baton.
It's not easy coaching an elite player without forgetting the rest of your team.
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Those who knew Pop then say he did about as well as a coach could have done. The decision to leave Jordan on jayvee as a sophomore was not an oversight.
Herring and his assistants knew Jordan would ride the bench on varsity, so they put him on jayvee, and it worked out perfectly. When he got to varsity, he was ready to lead the team. Pop gave Mike his time but made him earn everything else. They would play Around the World after practice, and Pop was nearly unbeatable.
Jordan hated to lose, of course, so he kept improving until the day he finally won. Some people, including Pop's friend Jimmy Hebron, the coach at New Hanover, believe Herring could have won a state championship if he had put the explosive and fast-growing Jordan at forward and let him "play volleyball" with the towering Leroy Smith.
Hebron says this as a compliment to Pop for putting Jordan's development ahead of Pop's own desire for trophies. It's true that Jordan was better served by playing point guard than he would have been banging on the blocks, but Pop's assistant and friend Ron Coley says the move was designed to make the team better. They knew Jordan was their best player, and they figured the surest way to get him the ball was to put it in his hands at the start of every play.
The Great Cutting Myth suggests that Pop was unworthy of being Jordan's coach, or that he failed to appreciate the divine gift he'd been given. But the numbers show otherwise. Pop was a winner before Jordan arrived and a winner after Jordan left.
He took Laney to the divisional semifinals in and ' But in ', when Jordan led the Bucs, in one game scoring 51 of their 55 points, Laney won fewer games than it had the year before, and the Bucs again lost in the divisional semifinals. Pop let Jordan carry the team again as a senior, and what happened? The Bucs lost yet again in the divisional semis, even though they entered with a record. Jordan scored 26 points but shot "poorly" against New Hanover in that final loss, according to the Wilmington Morning Star.
With 33 seconds remaining he missed two free throws that would have given the Bucs a four-point lead. Seconds later he missed a long jumper and then committed an offensive foul, his fifth, and the resulting free throws gave New Hanover a lead it never relinquished. Pop had his best season two years after Jordan left.
The Bucs made the state playoffs for the first time in their history. In their opening game, against Hoke County, they had a point lead with 90 seconds left. Pop emptied his bench.
One assistant coach nearly had a fit, because the game was still in question, but Pop wanted all his guys to be able to say they'd played in the state playoffs. He even put in a kid they called Bouffant because of his perfect red hair.
He scored two points, and the Bucs won by 11, and they rode home in celebration, grooving to Billie Jean by Michael Jackson, because Pop always loved his music. The next game, a season-ending loss to Goldsboro in the regional semifinals, would be Pop's last as a high school coach.
At open gym that summer the players heard him talking to himself, muttering about people conspiring against him and going through his mail.
He suspected a close friend of some secret betrayal. Pop had just turned First the meatpacking industry departed, followed through the years by the once-booming steel industry. By January 17,when Dwyane Wade, Jr.
All you can do is just keep moving. When she was 13 and he was eight, she told him to get on a bus with her to go see a movie. In fact, Tragil was removing young Dwayne from the bad neighborhood by delivering him to their father and his new family in the suburb of Robbins, Illinois leaving the hectic life of their mother behind. But it wasn't paradise for an eight-year-old either.
It's something he still does. I pictured playing on a great team with great players like Shaq. I've got plenty of dreams about winning championships. I picture myself kissing the trophy. When Dwayne's father's marriage got rocky during his senior year, Darlene Funches, who is now Wade's mother-in-law, let Wade move in.
Eventually he earned a ticket out, when Marquette University offered him a scholarship. Marquette Coach Tom Crean is unrelenting. Every day someone was bleeding. A lot of times we wouldn't even use a ball. We were just diving on the floor, taking charges, boxing out.
It made us tough. It was almost too much for Wade. The program started to get attention. We made the tournament. Then it was like: Despite his upbringing, teammates, friends, even Wade himself confirm that Dwyane Wade is "nice.
But among elite athletes, it's just a half-step this side of "soft. But no one who has seen Dwayne Wade play up close thinks he's the slightest bit soft. He's still a veteran of Tom Crean's practice gym. He's still from the south side of Chicago.
And, as former teammate Keyon Dooling says, "he has that dog in him. It's totally different when I go to work. So, yeah, I've got a little dog in me. We dealt with all that. Then my child Zaire was born in February of my sophomore year. When he was really young, that was a trying year. Siohvaughn transferred to Marquette with the baby and we lived off campus.
People say having a kid is unsettling.
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It had the opposite effect for me. I just wanted to spend all my time with him. I couldn't wait to get home from practice every day, just to see him. My last year of college, I hardly went out at all.
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We were doing the settling down thing. That started when he was really young. It's tough, of course. It's also a blessing. It's like the NBA. It's like it's a gift and it's a curse.
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The NBA is a gift because of all the wealth and the fame and the game, but it's a curse because of all the things you have to do. It's the same with the child. It's a dream come true, but it comes with some work. This off-season, for instance, started with making sure the ribcage injury that derailed Miami's playoff hopes "never happens again.
At the same time, he has dedicated himself to extending his shooting range and improving his already strength in every way. The time in Illinois was also dedicated to showing young Zaire where daddy and mommy grew up. He goes to [Miami teammate Shaquille O'Neal's] house. He goes to all these NBA people's houses, and he thinks that's the way life's supposed to be.
I don't want a house like Shaq's. It's too big for me. But Shaq does everything big. His house in Orlando is 60, square feet. I'm happy with something a little smaller.
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A few quarters, later, he called for Richard Hamilton and Lindsay Hunter to spell Prince, because Wade had found ways to adjust and get hot. To keep defenders guessing, Wade experiments constantly in practice. And if it works in practice, I'll do it in a game.
I remember my rookie year, I shot with my left hand from around the free-throw line," says the right-handed Wade.
In his third year in the NBA, he still has a habit typical of an eighth grader: You just have to look at it once, and then count in your head. Over time, you learn to do it more under control.