Imagine it’s Spring 2008. You’re a 22-year-old basketball cautionary tale. A year earlier, you were booted off your college squad for disciplinary reasons. You managed to put together a solid campaign for the Idaho Stampede of the D-Leaguer, but Boise is still a long way from the L. In transit to Des Moines in the dead of winter, you’re delayed in the Denver airport. In a crowded gate area, you find an isolated corner where you plug in your mp3 player and close your eyes. It’s a Fletch/Chick Hearn moment. You conjure up your dream sequence, in which a venerable NBA announcer waxes poetic about your humongous contributions to you pro squad.
If you’re really stretching your imagination, wouldn’t the script sound something like this?
[Over highlight footage of freaky crossovers, ungodly floaters, whirling spin moves, etc…]
How about rookie sensation Mike Taylor?! He just blew up on that road trip. Went wild in New York, scoring 35 points in his first visit to Madison Square Garden. The Clippers scored a wild 140 to 135 overtime win. He started and scored 23 points two nights later against Tony Parker and the San Antonio Spurs. And then he was slowed just a bit after knocking knees with big Yao Ming the next time, but still scored in double-figures against the Houston Rockets. A whirlwind week for young Mike Taylor. Just look at the numbers [accompanying graphic on screen]: In three games, almost 34 minutes a game, he averaged 23, made 66 percent of his shots. It was truly enough to get the attention of his coach.
That’s how Ralph Lawler introduced Mike Taylor last night in the opening segment of the Clippers pregame broadcast.