Monday, July 11th, 2011 at 10:30 am  |  22 responses

For Old Time’s Sake: Isaiah (J.R.) Rider

Runnin’ Rebel

No doubt that JR Rider is best known for pioneering the between-the-legs dunk and winning the ’94 NBA SLAM Dunk Contest. Beyond his freakish jumping ability, JR could shoot the 3-ball and score at will as a youngster in the NBA. He was named to the All-Rookie First Team in ’94 and averaged 20 pts/game with Minnesota in his Sophomore season. While off-court issues plagued him for most of his career, he’s still remembered as one of the most acrobatic athletes the NBA has ever seen. Over 563 games from ’93-02, Rider averaged 16.7 pts, 3.8 rbs, and 2.7 asts. Shout out to Yinka Dare for the Mix.


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  • marc

    his handle seems suspect but still cool player. his game reminds of the dudes i see in the park.


    His handle seems suspect? did you see him beating dudes off the dribble and crossing them up? GEEZ what video do you watch?

  • Aamir K.

    lol i guess all the timberwolves luck went into this shot instead of the lottery

  • spit hot fiyah

    lol @ 1:00 sitt down willie

  • Ryan

    Too much talent.

  • http://slamonline.com Ben Osborne

    Classic material


    @Ryan: Agreed, too much talent. His best years were definitely with the Blazers. JR Smith is like his brother from another mother.

  • JL

    one of the highlights came with a caption “Rider arrested”. LOL. Too bad cuz he was good. Those running teardrop line drive layups takes some awesome touch.

  • Marco

    I remember back when he played for Portland, he was the only ever player Air Jordan admitted having trouble guarding.

  • http://slamonline BossTerry

    I’ve been a fan of NBA basketball since the early 90s, and JR. is one of my top 10 favorite players of all time. I could really releate to him and his game while I was playing (as a teenager). Very underrated player, who let off-court problems get him 86ed from the L..

  • Dave Richard

    I don’t think J.R.’s skills were ever underrated; he was correctly assessed as a guy whose personal demons/bad habits/whatever smothered his tremendous athletic gifts. I was very surprised when he played for the Lakers that Chick Hearn always went out of his way to praise Rider’s efforts as a person and player. If Chick pulled for him, he must had to be ok.

  • tavoris

    Rider should have been at least as good as Vince Carter was. He really scored at will.

    @IAMORANGE$EVER – you’re giving JR Smith waaaaay too much with that comparison. He hasn’t even had a season that would be average by Rider’s standards yet.

  • andre anglais

    Anyone know where the nickname came from? Is he a junior?

  • MikeC.

    Touch, handles, hops, power. He had it all. He played D like Melo does (almost always mediocre, but lock-down when he’s pissed off). He also provided lots of off-the-court shenanigan material. Never anything serious (except for that kidnapping beef) but after awhile all the little ish caught up to him. He got busted smoking ganj out of a Coke can pipe on the side of a highway. Kinda the ODB of hoops.

  • JC

    Damn, you don’t see that kind of swagger anymore nowadays…loved him!

  • http://nba-observer.blogspot.com/ aegeansheed

    He’s a myth. He invented the “Roscoe” nick for Rasheed Wallace. What else can i say…Nobody knows what’s a Roscoe. This incident was so weird, as unique was the personality of Rider on the court


    Easily 1 of my fav players from the 90′s. Mad underrated. When he was on, very few could hang w/him. A big part of those mad talented Blazer teams

  • dsleepy

    man he had so much talent it’s ridiculous. it’s really a shame the world will never what could have been

  • doyouwantmore

    Better to be a fifteen-year journeyman than a five-year flash in the pan. The only thing worse than losing is not playing.

  • http://slamonline.com Ugh

    Isaiah Rider – Mad as a cut snake. Has FOTS done Latrell yet? What about Mad Max? Oh, the nineties, where talent meant more than sanity.

  • http://slamonline BossTerry

    @MikeC- actually it was a Sprite can..

  • Micah

    Watched JR play in college. He was a lot of fun. Met him a couple of times as well. He acted like a jerk on both occasions. I loved watching him play though. Shame. He’s broke now.