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Friday, March 21st, 2008 at 11:48 am  |  121 responses

Links: The Greatest Basketball Player in the World

Everyone’s always looking for the greatest undiscovered basketball player. What if we found him?

by Lang Whitaker

Every year, SLAM produces a special Streetball issue. A few years ago, as we were working on an issue, I stumbled across a kid named Jesse Dunn. This story ran in SLAM presents Streetball back in 2005. There’s nothing I can add to the saga after the way it ends, only that Jesse’s still floating around somewhere out there…

Too Good To Be True
Jesse Dunn is the best streetball player you’ve never heard of. Believe that.

by Lang Whitaker

The secret cannot be kept much longer. Even as you read this, it’s leaking out, as it has for the last two years. First word of mouth, then e-mails and message boards, and after this magazine drops, you can bet the rest of the media will be all over it.

Out in L.A., he is known as “Neo.” At Rucker they call him “Legal Tender.” At Mosswood it’s “Shaman.” At The Dome in B-More, they tagged him “Mute” because he had them drowning out the go-go music. In Atlanta, they just called him “Damn.”

I saw it last fall, late one night at Run ’N Shoot in Atlanta. The gym was mostly empty, save for a bunch of Atlanta-based NBA players and their regular pickup game. Training camp was starting in a few days, and these guys were trying to ease into shape. I was there with then-Hawks star Shareef Abdur-Rahim, following him around for a profile in SLAM.

The pros were halfway through their first game when he walked in. He paid his $7 entrance fee with change, plopping down a handful of quarters, dimes and nickels on the counter, then strolled over to an empty court on the side. I remember thinking he was homeless.

“Of course I remember that night!” recalls Spurs veteran and former Hawk Kevin Willis. “First of all, he was wearing a t-shirt and these dirty-ass blue jeans, and before he went out there he took his shoes and socks off. Who the hell plays barefoot?”

The pros kept playing, but I wandered around their court to get a better look at this guy. He wasn’t really tall, but he wasn’t short, either, and his physique was somewhere in between skinny and fit. To warm up, he walked on his hands the length of the court and back. His balance was perfect. Then he did a bunch of somersaults, maybe five or six. He then walked over and, standing flat-footed, jumped up and grabbed the rim, swinging there for a few seconds. He dropped down and picked up a basketball and instead of spinning it on his finger, he simply balanced it there, the ball motionless, effortlessly floating atop his digit.

He walked to the free-throw line, toed the stripe, dribbled twice, then cocked the ball back and heaved it, one-handed, at the basket — the basket at the other end of the court. Swish.

The ball fell to floor and rolled toward me, so I picked it up and threw it back to him. He did it again. Swish. And again. And again.

After the sixth consecutive make, the pros took notice. “I’m serious, it was at least 20 straight,” says Shareef. “He wasn’t shooting jump shots, either! He was throwing it, like a baseball or like a football. Someone asked if he was Mike Vick.”

Vick is actually a pretty good comparison, because he wasn’t just tossing it up near the basket. He was aiming, with a football-like follow-through and everything. After 10 from the free-throw line, he started moving around a bit, never taking a shot any closer than halfcourt, and never missing, either.

“Hey, young fella!” The bass voice of Dale Davis echoed through the gym. I turned around to notice the pros had stopped, and were all paying attention. “You wanna run with us?”

The guy looked right at Dale, spun the ball in his hands, then reared back and fired the ball high into the air, where it sailed over everyone’s heads, nearly skimming the ceiling and then ripping through the net on the court where the pros were playing. It was at least 150 feet away.

The run ended 90 minutes later, heads shaking all around. He had missed four shots over six games, making 35 (I kept track). All 39 shots he attempted were from beyond halfcourt, and none of the attempts were conventional jump shots. Instead, they came off the dribble: he’d take the inbounds pass, yo-yo the ball, run to his left or right and then pull back and fire. Three. No dummies, the NBA guys started doubling him in the backcourt, and he would simply dribble backward, drawing the two guys closer, then lob it up the court, where his teammates had a four-on-three break. The defense then decided to show a double-team but refused to commit, which would leave him with enough room to flick it up over the top. He was unguardable. He never celebrated, never spoke a word on the court. He just scored.

And he did all this barefoot, in blue jeans and a plain white t-shirt.

Now, I must stop here to admit that even I realize this story probably sounds too good to be true. The thing is, it WAS too good to be true. “Never seen anything like it,” co-signs Shareef. “We were all just like…Damn!”

They started calling him Damn that night, about halfway through the games. When they finished, he went over and grabbed his shoes, a tattered pair of Hakeem Olajuwon signature model Spaldings, sat on the floor and laced them up. The NBA guys, halfway between disgusted and amazed, just stared at him.

I immediately hustled over.

“What’s up, man?” I held out my hand and helped him to his feet. He was maybe 6-1, 175 pounds. “My name is Lang and I’m a writer at SLAM.”

“SLAM?” he asked. I expected him to continue with something like I hear from most ballplayers when I say I’m from SLAM, something like, “I love SLAM! Can I get in SLAM?”

Instead, he said, “Hmm. Never heard of it.”

He turned and started walking toward the door. I ran after him.

“Hey, hey man, what’s your name?”

“Why?”

“Because you just dominated a game full of NBA players. I’ve watched basketball my whole life and what you just did was the greatest thing I’ve ever seen. Ever. Better than Jordan, better than Wilt’s 100. No one has ever shot the ball that well.”

He kept walking. So did I, for selfish reasons: This could be the greatest basketball discovery of all time, and I’d certainly never heard of him before now. Imagine him in the NBA! His handle was decent enough, equally solid with both hands, and he never, ever had to look at the ball. Defensively, his balance and timing and footwork were…perfect, pretty much, and he seemed to know where his man was going before his man did. But that shot — if he played 48 minutes and shot this well every night, he might average 100 points per game.

I decided to try a different attack, sidling up next to him and lowering my voice slightly.

“Look, you can walk out of here and disappear, and I can’t stop you, but please just tell me one thing: Why aren’t you in the NBA? You could be famous. You could be rich.”

He slowed slightly and turned and faced me. Walking backward, he said: “Man is condemned to be free; because once thrown into the world, he is responsible for everything he does.” There was a slight country drawl to his voice.

“Sartre,” I said. He was quoting the French existentialist Jean-Paul Sartre. (My father-in-law is a psychology professor, and he’d recently lent me Sartre’s book Being and Nothingness.)

For the first time, he stopped walking. He smiled.

“You wanna get something to eat?” he asked.

“You like Waffle House?”

Jesse Dunn was born on April 1, 1976, in Montevallo, Alabama, a small town with a population of about 5,000, located nearly 30 miles south of Birmingham. He lived with his father, also named Jesse, and never knew his mother.

He grew quickly, was 5-10 by the time he was in fourth grade, and since he could pass for an adult, Jesse dropped out of school in the fifth grade to work with his Dad in the steel mills up the road in Birmingham. His life changed forever when he was 16 years old. “Me and Daddy were driving to work, going up I-65. He was driving, I was asleep in the passenger seat — Daddy always drove to work, I always drove home.

“Anyways, I heard a noise, loudest bang I ever heard, heard it really before I even woke up. I just remember opening my eyes and seeing this BMW flying through the air right at us.”

A rig transporting cars to a dealership had jack-knifed and flipped, sending its payload spraying across the highway. One vehicle went through the Dunn’s windshield. Jesse Sr. was killed instantly. Jesse Jr. didn’t get a scratch.

“It really freaked me out,” he recalled. “Why did I get to live and why did he have to die? It made me totally re-think my life and the consequences of living.”

It sounds harsh, but in a sense, losing his father gave Jesse life. A few months after the accident, Jesse got a settlement check from a law firm. He was 17 years old, basically alone in the world, with a fifth-grade education and $400,000 in the bank.

Jesse quit the mill and started searching. He went to the library, checked out every book they had on life, death and all things in between. For almost two years, he sat at home and read all day and night. No TV, no music, nothing but knowledge. Eventually he got around to Sartre. “He wrote that being isn’t existence, but being is what it is, in itself,” Jesse said. “That was the only thing that really made sense to me, that resonated in my mind.”

Jesse had played a little football growing up, but sports had taken a back seat when he started working. Once his existential epiphany was all worked out, Jesse wanted to get in shape; his body had recovered from years working in the mill, but he didn’t want it to fall apart.

On the morning of December 5, 1999, Jesse decided to go for a walk, get his blood pumping a little bit. It was winter, sure, but one of those crisp Southern mornings where the sun fights the cold air all day long. He’d gone a few miles when he found himself at the Brierfield Ironworks, a state park known mostly for hosting Civil War re-enactments. Jesse came across a cement basketball court, an indifferent rubber ball resting in the mud alongside.

“I still don’t know why, but I picked up that ball and threw it, just like you saw tonight.” Jesse turned and asked the waitress for another cup of coffee. “And it went right in. It felt like this was what I’d been born to do.”

After 21 years on this earth, Jesse had finally found something that felt perfect. He only took one shot that day, but he knew, just knew.

Tired of Alabama, his mind stirred from all his reading, he took his ATM card and hitchhiked out West. First New Orleans, then Houston, then Phoenix, then L.A. He stopped all along the way, to see the country and play ball—at parks, playgrounds, open gyms, wherever. When his clothes got dirty, he bought “new” clothes at second-hand stores (“I couldn’t see the use in buying more expensive stuff”). He swung north — San Francisco, Portland, Seattle — then across the top of the country over to New York, before working back down the Eastern seaboard.

According to Jesse, he played as well across the country as he had that night in Atlanta. “But basketball wasn’t why I was there. I was simply exploring the moment, attempting to connect experiences. I wanted to see things, experience things. Basketball was simply a way to stay in shape.”

I asked him if realized that he had been developing a legacy. Though he hadn’t stayed in a city for more than a month, even one single amazing performance of pickup ball is enough to cement anyone’s reputation for life. “Nah, not at the time,” he said. “But after a few months, I’d show up at places and after one game people would say they’d heard about me from their cousin or their nephew or whatnot.”

I asked him why he wasn’t playing basketball full-time, why he wasn’t playing professionally.

“I don’t…” he stopped and sighed. He stirred two spoonfuls of sugar into his coffee. He took a sip and began speaking slowly. “I understand that my shot, that thing I can do, that’s a gift. I mean, I never really practice it, I didn’t hone it, it’s just there. I think it’ll always be there.

“Now, am I obligated to share that gift on some larger stage? I don’t believe so. I’ve thought about it a lot. I know I could make a lot of money, but I don’t need money. Daddy gave me money. My shot might entertain people and might make other people lots of money, but I don’t think people should look up to me. Look within yourself, man.”

But imagine the platform you could have, I argued. Would it do more good to preach his philosophy to one person over a midnight chicken melt plate at the Waffle House or during a nationally televised press conference? He leaned over the table and looked me in the eyes.

“All I want in this life is meaning. I want everyone to be happy, but right now I’m focused on me. For me, basketball is just a game. I hope to find that meaning eventually. All I know is that right now, it’s not in basketball.”

I paid the tab and offered Jesse a ride. He wanted to go downtown to the Greyhound station, to head back to Birmingham. It had been nearly four years since he left, and he said he wanted to feel something familiar.

When we got to the station he gave me a pound and I asked for his number, you know, just in case. He laughed and I immediately felt guilty. But still, I didn’t want to just let possibly the greatest basketball player that’s ever lived walk away, just like that.

“Give me your number,” he said. “I’ll be in touch, I swear.”

I gave him my card and promised we’d talk Sartre again one day. He shut the door and I rolled down the window.

“One more thing,” I called after him. “Why did you take your shoes off?”

“They weren’t comfortable.”

Two weeks ago I got an email from Jesse.

Lang:
What’s up, man? Still in that moment? I’m in Amsterdam, heading for Paris next week. After Europe I’m gonna hit Asia, then back to the States next year or so. Been thinking a lot about hoops, maybe trying to play some pro ball. Nothing definite, just thinking — don’t get too excited! When I get back to the States, I’ll holler at you. Until then, be good…
JD

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  • ezail

    first???

  • http://www.nba.com hursty

    cool lang, that article was stylin’. 1st as well…

  • ciolkstar

    Wow. That story about killing the run n shoot is amazing… keep us posted Lang.

  • http://www.nba.com hursty

    Jesus lang that man is a freak, amazing even if it was a quarter of the truth. damn.

  • Comet

    Ah. It’s all about that goddam birthday of his. Nice story though lang.

  • http://tadone.blogspot.com/ TADOne

    I had to look at the calendar to make sure it wasn’t April 1st. Great story if true Lang. Actually, great story, period.

  • http://TheStartingFive.net Michael Tillery

    Damn! I feel different after reading this. I don’t even know what to say. What did you learn most from him Lang? Were you comfortable that his responses were absolute? Did he mention any other books? Man I would drill him for questions to the point he thought I was a stalker…

  • http://www.nba.com hursty

    any word back from Jesse yet Lang?

  • fab

    youre kidding right? i dont believe a word !!

  • evanernest

    The first part of this story was in the streetball issue a couple years ago, right? The Run n’ Shoot part? It’s stuck with me ever since I read it. Simply the most intriguing hoops anecdote ever. S’like “The Natural”, except 10 times more unbelievable, and yet, true. Gotta hear more, Lang.

  • http://fjsdklf.com Jukai

    Wow… like, seriously? Really?

  • evanernest

    Whoops, I should’ve read the preface before the story. Too excited to reread after all these years.

  • Pingback: The Prince Returns To Closure’s Sweet Release…Or Not (Piece added below) | The Starting Five

  • AB_40

    Amsterdam that’s 20 minutes from here with the car, yeah I live in holland maybe I;ll hear some things about him this summer when I play on some courts there. He sounds like he’s smart and not media obsessed that’s nice. Wish him the best in his pursuit of Meaning

  • http://www.slamonline.com James the balla

    Thats crazy if its true … but i cant see it. Tell Jesse to come up to Canada and see how the long shot helps you!!!!!

  • rob stewart

    Great article!

  • http://rovingpanda.wordpress.com/ Wilford Brimley

    Sidd Finch?

  • arthur

    unbelievable. In a good way.

  • http://www.truthaboutit.net/ Truth About It Dot Net

    Wow… if only there was a You Tube.

  • the biggest shaq fan eva

    cool

  • http://www.clutchfans.net nick

    I love it. This man has discovered the existential jumpshot. He is Ubermensch.

  • http://www.ravingblacklunatic.blogspot.com Allenp

    Now that was easily one of the most entertaining articles ever placed on this site. Easily. Very well written. I need to get my Sarte game up in case I ever meet Jesse.

  • kevbo

    if he really is like Vick maybe he should just sorta keep in the shadows

  • http://www.labyrinthina.com/coral.htm ED LEEDSKALNIN

    Jesse Dunn is UNreal.

  • andacagar

    first off I dont beleive it’s possible for everything to go down like that but, that was some great writing. Regardless of it being true or not, that story was very insprational. Serious man not to sound silly but that was deep. I love to hear about people with talent/special gifts that look beyond the glamour and the glitz. Greatest piece that I’ve ever read on this site and I’ve been coming to this site since forever. Great article. You got me wanting to know more about Sarte.

  • http://idunkonthem.blogspot.com/ albie1kenobi

    reading this article is like going on a journey. unbelievable. the most amazing part of the story to me was the image of $400 grand in the bank with a 5th grade education and alone in the world. that’s completely surreal. if you do nothing but read (gain knowledge) for two years, you are ahead of most people in this world intellectually.
    this article really put me in a completely different mood and thought than before i read it. jesse, wherever you are, keep doing your thing. you are awe-inspiring.

  • Brown14

    Good timing Lang, i reread this story just the other day and went searching through youtube for any videos of Jesse, but nothing on there. Such a shame, it’d be crazy to see footage of him. Its a greatr story, here’s hoping he shows up somewhere where people have a camera soon…

  • peteb80

    Thanks Wilford Brimley.

  • http://myspace.com/yungjames187 J-Smoove

    this aint true

  • rhillips

    sick story…both ledge

  • http://www.slamonline.com Ryan Jones

    Nah, he’s real. Lang just got some details wrong…

    #32 Jesse Dunn
    Sr. F
    6’8 – 220
    West Bolton, VT (Mount Mansfield Union HS)
    Individual statistics

    Men’s Basketball 2003-04 •TEAM PAGE | ROSTER | SCHEDULE | TEAM STATS

    2003-04: Scored a season-high 14 points at Bradley (Nov. 23)…had a career-high three blocks against Suffolk (Dec. 2)…pulled down a season-high seven rebounds against Curry (Dec. 29)…scored 11 points in NU’s 76-59 victory over Hartford (Jan. 14)…equaled that number in the Huskies’ 81-78 win over UMBC (Feb. 14).
    2002-03: Played in 20 games during an injury-shortened season…started the first five games…netted 14 points with a career-high nine rebounds in a win over Fordham (Nov. 30)…had season-high 15 points to go with six boards and three assists in win over Sacred Heart at the San Juan Shootout…made season-high three three-pointers in 14-point effort vs. Loyola (Jan. 2)…returned to home state and had 12 points at Vermont (Jan. 8)…broke a bone in his arm against Maine (Jan. 15) and missed the next 11 games…returned for Albany game (Feb. 26) and played 20 minutes.

    2001-02: Walk-on was NU’s leading scorer over the last 11 games of the regular season, averaging 13.1 points per game and earning a scholarship for the 2002-03 season…fourth on the team in scoring (7.6 points per game) and was the team’s top free throw shooter, making 80 percent (32-of-40), including 14 of his last 15…three-point percentage of 40.6 percent (28-69) was NU’s seventh-best single-season figure for players attempting at least 25 treys…played in 21 of NU’s 28 games, starting nine contests…shot 4-of-5 from three-point land, including a four-point play, and was 5-of-5 from the line with 17 points, four rebounds and no turnovers in 24 minutes vs. Vermont (Jan. 17)…continued surge by tallying 17 points, including 10-of-11 free throw shooting and five rebounds, against BU (Jan. 20)…scored 20 points with five rebounds in NU’s win over Hartford (Feb. 1)…poured in a career-high 29 points vs. Maine (Feb. 3), the most points in a game by a Husky for the season…had 10 points against UNH (Feb. 5)…scored 11 points in NU’s 79-59 win over Albany (Feb. 12) to cap a run of four straight games in which he averaged 20.3 points, making 54.9 percent from the field (28-51) and 50.0 percent from beyond the three-point arc (15-30)…tallied nine points and six boards at BU (Feb. 14)…averaged 3.0 three-pointers over the last seven regular season games.

    2000-01: Received a medical redshirt due to a broken ankle.

    1999-2000: Played a total of four minutes in five games as a freshman walk-on.

    High School: Played two years of basketball and three years of golf at Mount Mansfield Union High…captained basketball and golf teams during senior year…led team in scoring, rebounding, free throw percentage, blocked shots and three pointers…named Team MVP…voted second team All-Metro Conference and honorable mention All-State…named preseason Top 12 for the state of Vermont in USA Today…scored 32 points in a game twice…Played in the Alhambra Game, which pits Vermont’s finest against New Hampshire’s, and the North/South Vermont Senior All-Star Game, scoring a game-high 25 points.

    Personal: Born Aug. 18, 1981…enjoys playing golf, listening to music, fishing and playing the guitar…received 2000 Scholar/Athlete Award…has made Dean’s List every quarter at Northeastern…majoring in Marketing with hopes of someday owning his own business…Class of 2004.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Ryan Jones

    I mean, unless that’s a different Jesse Dunn. Look like him, Lang?

  • peteb80

    I like how on the Followers page Ryan’s Jesse was born October 7, 2003. Truly mythical.

  • peteb80

    Also, I just went to the nearest court to look if Jesse was there, but surprisingly he wasn’t.

  • namik

    great piece Lang. Seriously.

  • b55

    okay, where did everyone start doubting?
    as for me it was the 150-footer.
    Jesse Dunn, born April 1.
    Nice writing.

  • riggs

    Dude was an april fools joke on the world.

  • http://slamonline.com Lang Whitaker

    That’s a different one, Ryan. The Jesse I met wasn’t as tall.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Ryan Jones

    My bad.

  • http://whitehoteboysworld.blogspot.com Eboy

    Damn.

  • http://tadone.blogspot.com/ TADOne

    You know, I didn’t catch the birthdate till the second time around. Lang is sneaky.

  • http://idunkonthem.blogspot.com/ albie1kenobi

    from the story is doesn’t sound like dude played organized ball.

  • jeremy

    Awesome article Lang…I hope he plays in the league someday…

  • James76ers

    I hope Shareef and Double Dale dont mind being a part of such frivolity

  • Jamez

    this is BS

  • Akimana

    I like how he was 5’10” in the 4th grade. But then Lang says he’s not that tall.

  • t-rocc

    i remember reading that article in that issue – and have often thought about it since. really cool to hear that you got an email from the guy – i hope we have a chance one day to see what definitely sounds too good to be true…

  • http://www.myspace.com/mikebone Akuma

    I remember reading this article when it came out. After watching The Wire, I’m a little skeptical about this story. It’s one of those too good to be true stories. By too good I mean this has all the elements that make a great story like the other-worldly talent, the early tragedy, being completely naive to one of the most recognizable names in in Sports Journalism (Slam, of course). In reality these things rarely come together in one person. I’m not calling you out Lang, and I really hope I’m wrong but in the words of Gus, “Maybe you win a Pullitzer, maybe you gotta give it back”.

  • http://www.rich-imaging.com Dutch Rich

    Slamonline.
    Where reporting the news gets confused with fiction writing happens.
    Whatever it is Lang I was truly entertained. Thank you!

  • nastruthomas

    this is lame. and a lie. no one ever in history of time could make any shot anywhere. lies, and pathetic too

  • nastruthomas

    im pretty sure a person born in 1976, story ran in 2005, makes him 29 then, 31 now, makes him NOT a kid.

  • nastruthomas

    oh HE was born april 1st…ok sorry didnt see it was all a joke

  • http://www.rich-imaging.com Dutch Rich

    Truth is overrated, stop having a conversation with yourself.

  • http://www.joelkimmel.com Joel Kimmel

    Jesse Dunn sounds like Nick Scoby from the White Boy Shuffle by Paul Beatty. Never misses.
    But is he better than Ricky Rubio?

  • http://www.rich-imaging.com Dutch Rich

    Hmm sounds like a fun read.
    Hey Joel btw nice pieces you’ve been blessing the site with. You whip em up pretty fast.

  • AZ

    so is it true or is it not?

  • peteb80

    Come on people, this is totally unrealistic. Lang could never recognize Sartre quotes like that.

  • Michael Lee

    im sitting here reading this on my phone riding the bus home…and im listening to my iPod on its shuffle setting and as im rading this article Real by Lupe Fiasco comes on…sounds like the perfect theme song for Jesse Dunn huh?

  • nastruthomas

    yes, i actually just heard the dude is entering the 3-on-3 Unite For Brotherhood Tournament with Sydney Dean and Billy Hoyle. Vegas has them locked to take home the 10,000 dollar grand prize

  • http://www.theserioustip.com Jordi

    Imagine yourself in the moment you read this. Whether true or fiction, it is that moment that makes this story special.

    Living in the moment. The difference between being and nothingness.

    Great work, Lang.

  • sickness

    now….basketball has a history of folklore and embellishment.my belief is, that if this dude did exist, there WOULD be the proverbial youtube clip or,perhaps an”and 1″ sort of scenario.i’ve played streetball for years and have cultivated RIDICULOUS range(i’ve made threes in organized city league hoops with my toes in the mid court circle….that being said, WHO WANTS TO PLAY WITH A DUDE THAT SHOOTS BEFORE ANYONE EVEN CROSSES HALF COURT?NO ONE!!!!!nice story, and a fun read…..keep up the good work.

  • KA

    i remember this article.

    the 1st time round i read it.

    :)

  • LAN

    dont believe, cant believe, not possible, hope its true though

  • southernplayalisticpimp

    i actually played against him recently. he was actually pretty good.

  • http://www.ngunioamosotho.com Nguni

    Great article. i remember reading this in thinking it’s the most amazing story i read. had always wondered what happened to dude, bt i’m glad to hear he still around. well, keep us posted lang when he does come back to the US. hope he makes it to the league.

  • BK

    They should make a movie outta this!

  • nastruthomas

    they did. It’s called Rebound. and they added a heroin addiction for dramatic hollywood effect. rather sad how things ended up for ol’ jess–. Earl.

  • Jesse Dunn

    Do not doubt me, I’m the JUGGERNAUT BITCH!

  • GGG

    Great article

  • MC TyG

    that’s what slam is all about.
    I’d love him to teach nba players some humility
    Could you imagine Deshawn and Lebron arguing about Sartre and existentialism?

  • sab

    “After 21 years on this earth, Jesse had finally found something that felt perfect”…. but he was 23 at the time!! :)

  • Addam

    Did Stephen Glass write this? It’s a great story.

  • nastruthomas

    youre right, this is the best article i ever read…riveting…informative…factual…truthful…all the makings of a great News Article.

  • Slobodan Chutzpah

    Gobsmackingly amazing. Him making the NBA and being as good as advertised would be the greatest NBA story of all time. Seriously.

  • http://slamonline.com Logan Light

    … entertaining to say the least. Thanks Lang. If this dude is real, I’ll be glad to brag that I knew about him before the stardom.

  • charlie

    is this the same story from streetball vol2?

  • The Truth

    jesse dunn = nude jesus. Its all a scam. This guy would have been heard of by now…

  • tealish

    Very nice read, but where the story lost credibility was when you gave Shareef a couple lines. Since when does that man speak up?

  • $HARP $HOOTER

    If its real or not it is still a good story! keep it up

  • todddd

    his birthday, guys. his birthday.

  • http://www.rubensborges.wordpress.com Rubens

    Lang is shotting for a book deal, lol

  • M banga

    Lang good article
    The BEST STREET BALLA
    St. Louis, Mo
    South side
    Holla @ me
    msutherland32@yahoo.com

  • the brown guy

    great write up Lang, it all sounds a little unbelievable but regardless thats what makes it a good story. I’ve been studying philosophy for years and it does change your life, not to mention it can make you believe you can hit 35 shots from half court and do it. i used to suck at basketball, now i hit threes all day (thank you tao te ching). but for all the ballers out there planning to start reading sartre, it will make u think differently, and if misunderstood, existentialism will depress the hell out of you. so keep reading until you get it right. basketballs a great way to stay in shape, but the mind is a pretty useful thing too

  • niQ

    i have THAT slam issue. and.. everyone’s been asking where dude’s been.. what was the point of re-printing that article if you haven’t got any NEW news on him?

  • James76ers

    It really says something about ‘streetball’ when a magazine makes up stories to fill the pages. Stick to the real basketball!

  • James76ers

    niQ – I heard that Jesse Dunn disappeared after playing a mysterious board game… and a cryptic clue was found saying he must wait in the jungle until someone rolls a 5 or an 8

  • Jesse Dunn

    Hey guys I am real Lang was’nt lying. Im coming to The States April 1. Watch Out Im going to the NBA. Kobe and LeBron Get ready all of you are done.

  • http://www.myspace.com/julia014 Jesse Dunn

    oh yeah i remember that.. wats up dude.. yea i was hitting a couple threes….

    yea aihgt buddy… why dont you write about something true

  • http://www.nba.com hursty

    shutup nique. not everyone is as talented as you. apart from you and a couple of other clowns, everyone else seemed to appreciate it.

  • Kobe

    Hey Brown Guy You talk like a white boy

  • the brown guy in response

    Hey Kobe, thanks for your well thought out statement

  • crack

    great article pretty funny really so i made this about the article http://www.smouch.net/lol

  • DeVAndrei

    Lang, this is the first time i ever commented on Slamonline having read ur article since the site pulled up. This is the best article i’ve read. honestly. This story is a legendary exposition in the making. I hope Jesse makes it in some way, this story is too great. A Jean Paul Satre, with a Beckett life, living philosphy in dramatic state like Hamlet. Wow this dude is going to do things. I hope for him for real

    One Love from Barbados

  • http://www.joelkimmel.com Joel Kimmel

    Do yourselves a favor and don’t click the link above. Seriously.
    Great story Lang, I’m looking forward to part 2.

  • buddy

    i beat this guy in horse 3 years ago in san francisco.

  • peteb80

    I once beat this guy’s horse.

  • ady33

    i once beat this guys old slazengers

  • ady33

    mmm… make that spaldings

  • nastruthomas

    this article/post is beating a dead horse.

  • http://oytun.co.uk oytun

    Woa, lots of gullible people on here.

  • http://slamonline.com Ben Osborne

    Scott Templeton lives.

  • http://www.nba.com hursty

    @crack, you sad bast@rd. dude….! (pretty funny though).

  • crack

    lol it’s annoying but when 1st saw it i couldnt stop laughing my head off

  • Rome

    This story is clearly the basis for Forrest Gump Part 2!!!

  • Rome

    I dont believe this, I choose to go by the logic, if there no youtube vid for it, it didnt happen! LOL

  • Rome

    why didnt they just foul him since you cant foul out in streetball?

  • http://www.nba.com hursty

    rome wasnt built in a day

  • duke4005

    C’mon people. This is NOT real. It is a comment on playing for the right reasons. This man could be the greatest player ever if he wanted, all the riches in the world, fame, fortune, whatever. But he ENJOYS playing, that is it. He has all he needs, he just plays. No need for photo ops and shoe contracts (hence the removing shoes to play), showing the sad state of peoples’ perceptions of what it takes to be a player today.

  • Slobodan Chutzpah

    Yeah, I’m also beginning to think this story has a bit too much “Jesus” in in to be true. Good yarn though, sounds like something Paul Auster would write.

  • http://www.another48minutes.blogspot.com Gerard Himself

    Lang, you fooled a lot of people hahahaha. However, this is the basketball movie Spike Lee always wanted to make. (Spike, if you’re reading this, call Lang). I’m still waiting to see the first really good b-ball movie in my life.

  • Danny

    Anyone else noticed the other age issue? Born in ’76, first touches a ball in Dec ’99 but Lang writes “After 21 years on this earth…”
    Sounds like the kind of mistake he would make while chuckling to himself and banging out an Onion piece rather than an earth-shaking discovery of a basketball prodigy.

  • http://www.nba.com/games/20080214/DALPHX/recap.html hursty

    HATERS!…. even if youre right.

  • Rome

    I noticed that Lang has not come on here to defend himself yet.

  • http://www.another48minutes.blogspot.com Gerard Himself

    i can imagine he hasn’t posted yet, he’s probably laughing his a.. off to some what some of you have posted.

  • R K

    This is hilarious, the creativity of Lang is admirable and the writting style truly formidable. He has made hundreds of people believe an impossible story … now I understand the new testament. Please teach me how to write like you do!

  • http://fdfsdfs Gus from the wire

    Scott Templeton writes for Slam?

  • http://slamonline.com MLP#9

    JD is awesome! I am fazed.

  • KJS

    What a stud!!!!

  • http://www.newcareerbuilder.info Jesse Dunns Ghost

    I’m real y’all..lol

  • WAWoWAW

    why

  • WAWoWAW

    no

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