Saturday, December 23, 2006

How a Thought on Tom Chambers Leads to Thurl Bailey

This post by Nate Jones over at the NBA Fanhouse reminded me of a story from my college days in Seattle. I was at a club with some friends a couple days after Chambers signed his deal with Phoenix. Tommy was there looking good in his late 80's pink dress shirt with sleeves rolled up. A gal in our group asked a boisterous friend who the tall guy was. While explaining, he mentioned that he had just signed a $9 million dollar contract (at least that's how I remember it). Well, Tommy picked up that part of the conversation and casually slid over to my friend and said, "$9.5." Without another word he eased back to where he was standing. We loved the hubris and always added a .5 to any statistic or statement of fact from that night on.

Googling up on Chambers led me down a couple of rabbit holes that I found interesting.

  • Prior to signing Chambers, Jerry Colangelo led a group that bought the cocaine-ravaged Suns for $44 million dollars in 1987. Twenty years later Colangelo could get six years of Bobby Simmons for about that same amount.

  • There are a lot of famous Mormons in basketball depending on how you define a lot. Chambers and Danny Ainge remain the gold standard. Which leads me to my next bullet.

  • Thurl Bailey is maxing out all of life's opportunities. Music, fashion, motivational speaking...who knew? His site's bio describes him as a "game annalist" for the Jazz and Utes. Hope that's a typo because chronicling the historical significance of every Jazz and Utes game wouldn't leave Thurl much time for anything else.

(Photo: NBAE Photos)

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