Classic card of the week
Derrick Coleman, 1993 Fleer Ultra
Here is Derrick Coleman, noted by Fleer Ultra as having a “Dunk Rank” of #10 in their influential “Top 20 Jammer” series. Off the top of my head, I could probably name 812 players from the Derrick Coleman era that I would rather watch dunk a basketball than Derrick Coleman. But that is only because I personally do not care much for disinterested dunks that possess the improvisation and stylistic twist of a UPN sitcom.
But dunks are only a small part of the overall basketball equation. What sayeth thee with regards to Derrick Coleman, basketball player? Let’s ask, oh I don’t know…Charles Oakley:
“I think he will be the next Barkley.”
- Charles Oakley
I think you are wrong. I must admit that I am very surprised to discover that the Oak Man actually said this, as my perception of Oakley is of a man who was, in his day, impressed by very little on the basketball court, and who would rather stick needles in his eyes than lavish praise on unproven young basketball players. Charles Oakley once shrugged his shoulders at the question: “Do you think Michael Jordan is good?” which was asked by a Nickelodeon kids reporter in the Knicks' locker room after Jordan’s double nickel game at MSG.*
In Oakley’s defense, he’s not the only one who envisioned a dominant Derrick Coleman in the NBA. Even Wikipedia did:
When Coleman entered the NBA, he was compared to elite power forwards such as Karl Malone and Charles Barkley
Instead, his career was overshadowed by his questionable attitude (lack of work ethic resulting in excessive weight gain, plus alcohol abuse and general disruptive behavior)
Now, where I come from, “general disruptive behavior” can mean two things and two things only: 1) refusing to move your truck and/or 2) peeing in front of an Italian restaurant. So let’s not go anointing Derrick Coleman as the baddest moth ---
In 1995, Coleman was arrested in Detroit and charged with refusing to move his truck and swearing at a police officer.
I did not know that “refusing to move your truck” is like, something that you can be legally charged with. Usually that falls under the umbrella of disorderly conduct. But hey, this is in Detroit, and motor vehicles are a big deal there.
In 1999…Coleman was accused of urinating in front of patrons at Intermezzo Italian Ristorante…Coleman still denies his guilt and says it was a drink that spilled on his pants.
I am no judge here, but I particularly enjoy Derrick Coleman’s defense in this matter. It’s as if he was being charged with “having wet pants by means of urination,” and did not consider any of the other factors or mannerisms that usually go along with urinating that may or may not have been witnessed by the restaurant patrons or police. Also:
In July 2002, Coleman was pulled over for driving over 100 mph…and arrested after test results showed he had a blood alcohol level of 0.13 percent when he was stopped
Oddly enough, this is not the first time I've had to admit this, but: Charles Oakley was right.
*That reporter’s name was: me.
Did you know?
If I ever looked up from a plate of linguine and clam sauce only to see that Derrick Coleman was outside and peeing on the window that overlooked my table, I am 100% certain that my wife would not implore me to "do something about it," but would rather find it as hilarious as I would. That is why I married her. I said as much, using that exact example, during one of our Pre-Cana classes.