Monday, July 11, 2005


If you watch the NBA on television, you must already know that almost all of the men who broadcast or comment on the sport are obnoxious misinformed blabbermouths. With each absurd pronouncement from towering dimwit BILL WALTON, each vociferous declaration from the completely insufferable STEVEN A. SMITH, and each slightly retarded observation from overweight ex-jock CHARLES BARKLEY, the NBA loses more and more of its audience. And yet, the NBA seems content to allow these men to alienate and bore their fans to death. Fortunately, there is a silver cloud on this gloomy horizon. His name is GREG ANTHONY. He is the articulate, even-tempered, likeable voice peeking through the chatter of his brainless cohorts. Last season, Anthony was given more time in front of the cameras and his demeanor gave the NBA what it needed most from its talking heads – lucidity and dignity. Anthony was a refreshing change of pace last year, and capped his admirable season with superb commentary during the draft. Now, if you are wondering who Greg Anthony is, and why I am so fond of him, continue to read.

Greg Anthony, like myself, was born and raised in Las Vegas, Nevada. We are about the same age, and I had the honor of first meeting this extraordinary man over twenty years ago. I consider him a role model to any young person that is lucky enough to know him, and I feel that those who are not familiar with him are missing out.

Anthony was raised in a very tough, low-income neighborhood in North Las Vegas. He was a gifted basketball player, routinely embarrassing me, and other players from more affluent neighborhoods, on the court. He became a local star at Rancho High School, a notoriously dangerous place to try and get an education. But Anthony would never allow his difficult environment to hinder his dreams. He was not satisfied with being the just best basketball player in the state, he was also academically driven, an honor roll student.

After high school, Anthony attended the University of Portland. He had a very successful freshman season as the team’s starting off guard. But he was not happy there. He wanted to return to his hometown and help his community. UNLV coach JERRY TARKANIAN, allowed Anthony to transfer to the school he grew up rooting for. While sitting out the following season as a red-shirt for the Runnin’ Rebels, Anthony became involved in school politics. It has long been his desire to become the first African-American U.S. Senator from Nevada. In 1990, he served as an aide at the World Economic Summit in Houston and as Vice-Chairman of the Nevada Young Republicans.

As a sophomore during the 1988-89 season at UNLV, Anthony developed into an excellent point guard and led the team into the NCAA tournament. The following season he teamed with fellow future NBA players LARRY JOHNSON and STACEY AUGMON to win the NCAA championship. UNLV defeated Duke by thirty points, still a championship game record for margin of victory. As a senior in 1990-91, Anthony led the Runnin’ Rebels to an undefeated regular season. They were, however, defeated in a highly anticipated rematch with Duke in the final four.

Anthony graduated with a Bachelor's degree in political science. He was drafted #12 by the New York Knicks in 1991 and became a valuable reserve for the Knicks, playing in all 82 games. In 1992-93 he started 35 games and the Knicks were 27-8 record in those games.

Anthony never forgot his pledge to give back to his community. In 1993 he established the Gregory C. Anthony Foundation to fund academic scholarships at 18 Las Vegas area high schools and he began his quest to help raise money for those suffering with Multiple Sclerosis.

The next few seasons in New York were tough for Anthony. He saw his playing time slowly diminish as he played behind DEREK HARPER. In 1995-96, Anthony was the first pick of the Vancouver Grizzlies in the NBA Expansion Draft. He became the new team’s starting point guard and had his best season as a pro, averaging 14.0 points and 6.9 assists per game. More importantly, he was the team’s mature leader, leading them with dignity as they struggled to find wins.

He played two more seasons in Vancouver before signing with the Seattle Supersonics as a free agent in 1997-98. That season he served as GARY PAYTON’S back-up and averaged 5.2 PPG and 2.6 APG in 80 games.

The following season, Anthony signed as a free agent with the Portland Trailblazers and played there for three seasons, 1998-02.

Anthony’s final season, 2001-02, was played for the Chicago Bulls. He played remarkably well as the team failed to win many games, averaging 8.4 PPG and 5.6 APG. Unfortunately, injuries and age forced Anthony to retire from the NBA season after that season.

He never reached the star level many had predicted for him after his illustrious college career, but Anthony was a good player. He earned the respect of the players, coaches, and fans of the league, and he used his earnings to help the less fortunate.

Anthony has become a valued NBA analyst for ESPN and it is believed that he will someday land in the front office for a team that needs leadership. If not, he still might fulfill that dream to become a US Senator from Nevada.

1 comment:

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