Wednesday, July 12th, 2006 at 11:58 am  |  14 responses

EZ Rider

JR has done it again…

by Lang Whitaker

Once upon a time there was a basketball player with endless promise. He could leap out of the gym, he could stick outside jumpers, he could drive around any defender. Unfortunately, he couldn’t tell time or right from wrong.

Isaiah “J.R. for the ladies” Rider, as you guys know, has always been one of my favorite basketball players. He was a cool guy, a better player, and an endless source of trouble and humor. His time in Atlanta ended with maybe the greatest press conference of all time, when Rider entered the conference wearing a floppy madras hat (with matching madras shirt — this was before the dress code, obviously) and said that he was being made the scapegoat for the Hawks problems. Then he went on the offensive, saying that Dikembe Mutombo, LaPhonso Ellis (two of the nicest people in the world) and team trainer Chris Tucker all had grudges against him and had reported him to team management and the NBA for smoking pot. “It’s not fun to be with a team that doesn’t want you around and is looking for a reason to get rid of you,” Rider said. “Everyone wonders why I was moody at times. I had to deal with players going to the league with accusations that were unproven or anything. They had not seen anything. They had not smelled anything. It was just a vicious attack on J.R.”

This time those other guys aren’t involved, but Rider sure is. Just months after he was arrested and charged with kidnapping a former girlfriend, Rider was arrested yesterday morning outside Oakland and charged with felony cocaine possession.

From a slam dunk champ to a slam dunk nut. Hang in there, Isaiah. I still want to write an old school story on you one of these days.

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  • Skillet

    Did anyone ever educe why a man named Isaiah was called J.R. for short?

    Ah, the blazers have never been the same.

  • Clyde Smith

    I totally forgot that I used to have that poster. I miss the East Bay Funk.

  • DD

    Think the JR was for “Isiah Rider, Jr.”

    A short clip from the ’94 slam dunk contest he won…video is grainy and washed out (just like Isiah…) but fun to see a young Shaq get into it.


  • Will

    Please please please don’t throw away slam pages on this guy. a line on NOYZ is more than I could tolerate

  • Tunez

    Definitely a favorite player… does anyone know if he actually got a ring or was he ineligible because he was left off the playoff roster..?

  • Tunez

    thought i’d add a link while I was still on the site

    Isaiah J.R. Rider Mix


  • Adrian Zapata

    I used to have a folder for school with that image of JR on there…. Pretty sad situation, especially since he was such a great talent

  • BigWalt206

    Man, From East Bay Funk to that East Yay (in the) Trunk. Hold your head up J.R. you’ll probably get a shorter sentence because your still (somewhat) well known.

    Harold Minor…MIA

  • http://ihavenowebsite JRM

    Basketball is a team game. J.R. was faithful to himself but ignore the benefit of his team or fans.

  • luckyluciano

    I don’t care what people think of Rider, he did the East Bay Funk Dunk. That poster was the centre piece of my bedroom wall for 2 years. We need more men like that in the NBA. Would you prefer a league full of Riders or Christian Lattners? I thought so..

  • Clyde Smith

    I heard that it was Laetner who showed Rider the East Bay Funk back in 94 (I think?) when JR was a rookie. Laetner led a 3 on 1 in practice one day and JR stepped in to take the charge. CL took off from the free throw line, put the ball under his leg and hammered it home on the bewildered rookie.

    “That’s how we do it out East, baby!” he screamed at JR, who was humiliated by the play. After the practice, Laetner, in an effort to console his teammate, taught him how to smoke drugs out of a pop can and the rest is history.

  • Drew

    I remember 2 things about J.R.
    First was seeing him play in college it was UNLV vs Georgetown it was JR Rider 39, Georgetown 44 in the 2nd half!!! (UNLV had a total of 60 points I think

    The second is when he was drafted and they asked him how he felt to be part of a new expansion team in Minnesota and he said he wanted to be part of the reason why the Timberwolves became a good team rather than joining a contender.. I admired him for saying that but obviously he couldn’t handle the money and the fame and changed..
    sad because he was so fun to watch him and latrell and shawn kemp.

  • Mighty

    I remember he had that play where the ball was goingout of bounce and he ran to save it only to magicaly throw to ballbackwards in the HOOP!

    as a kid I was so amazed and pissed at the same time because he did it against my mitch richmond kings! haha IYF BOBBY HURLEY! i think he was the one beside JR during that play!

  • adrianlewis

    Hey fella’s i was wondering if anyone has a download of J.R.Rider mix, so i can put it on my laptop, been looking for it for a long time and can’t seem to download it from Youtube.
    Thanks for the help