Classic card of the week

Danny Ferry, 1990 NBA Hoops

When I was a youngster with dreams of playing in the NBA one day, this is exactly what I pictured my rookie card would look card like: Me, wearing a turquoise sweater, sitting in front of the Roman Colosseum, happy explaining the differences between The Cure and The Smiths to a crowd of intrigued locals.

Danny Ferry remains the Godfather of the Duke basketball stereotype: White, annoyingly intelligent, and a not-as-good-as-he-was-supposed-to-be NBA player. It’s often forgotten about now -- because no one besides me thinks about Danny Ferry in a historical context -- but Ferry pulled an Eli Manning back in the day:

Begins eagerly-anticipated NBA career after playing one year in Italy…Chosen by LA Clippers with No. 2 overall pick in 1989 NBA Draft before opting to play with II Messegero of Italian League in 1990…

In an embarrassing display on draft day, Ferry literally picked up his basketball, screamed, “But MOM, I don’t WANT to play for the stupid Clippers!” and then walked off the stage. Commissioner David Stern was forced to pose for pictures in front of a cardboard cutout of Ferry, which was awkwardly draped in a Clippers jersey. I find it humorous that the Clippers were actually saved from another ill-advised draft pick simply because said draft pick refused to play for them. I also imagine Danny Ferry landing in Italy, stepping off the plane expecting a hero’s welcome, only to see one guy with a mustache waving an American flag, and then asking him in broken English, “Is you Patrick Ewing?”

During his tenure in Italy, the Clippers traded his rights to the Cleveland Cavaliers, which convinced Ferry to return to the States, to the grand indifference of everyone! (Also: The Cleve > L.A., apparently.) He proceeded to play many years of okay basketball before shaving his head, winning a title with the Spurs, and becoming an executive, which is pretty much the required progression for white NBA players.

I hope that I have included enough stereotypes in this post.

Did you know?
Danny Ferry’s father, Judge Smails, also played in the NBA.