by Marcel Mutoni

For some weird reason, the NBA section at ESPN.com from the 2001 playoffs is currently available for browsing on their site. I had run across it by accident a couple of weeks ago, but figured it was just a technical error that would soon get corrected. Thankfully, as Henry over at True Hoop pointed out, they have yet to get this fixed.

Before they realize their mistake and take the page down, let’s take a look at some of the highlights:

-There’s a picture of Rasheed rocking the cornrows (in a story about his temper.) Sadly, there’s no shot of his famous bald spot with said ‘rows.

-Quite possibly the greatest headline in sportswriting history: ‘Starks has twisted testicle removed’. Simply amazing.

-A startling report about something I had totally forgotten about: Troy Crooms, the man who was charged with kidnapping, sexual assault, burglary and possession of a weapon following an eight-hour standoff at Marcus Camby’s mother’s home (he had taken Marcus’ mother and two sisters hostage before surrendering peacefully.)

-On the page, you can find some ghetto Real Video and Audio that was available back then (they’ve even got some WAV media files!) Ah, the age before Flash and YouTube…

-Did I mention that John Starks had surgery to remove a twisted testicle? I mentioned that, right?

-Things today are exactly as they were then: “Riley’s Heat have been horrible”

-A David Aldridge chat session when he still wrote for the Four Letters.

-There’s a great picture of Jeff Van Gundy quite possibly smelling some guy’s armpit. Naturally, JVG had his trademark look of depression on full display.

-And finally, from Dan Patrick’s Outtakes (which were always great, by the way; not sure if he still does them), this time chatting it up with then-high-flying-Rocket Steve Francis:

Dan Patrick: Cuttino is your best friend, right? Give me some dirt on him.

Steve Francis: Me and Cuttino are airtight. I can tell you one thing, he has no rhythm. He swears he’s the coolest dancer, but he doesn’t move his legs. Cuttino is all hips and fingers.

I don’t know where people ever got the idea that Steve and Cat were more than just ‘friends’.