Friday, January 14th, 2011 at 2:20 pm  |  27 responses

Jason Richardson: ‘I Really Wanted to Play in the NHL’

Richardson tells the Orlando Sentinel about his ill-fated childhood dream of playing pro hockey: “His feet just got too big for his hockey skates. ‘I really wanted to play in the NHL,’ Richardson said. ‘At the time, I think were only two or three African-American players. I wanted to be the fourth one.’ Richardson, who turns 30 on Thursday, was exposed to hockey growing up in Saginaw, Mich. His mother bought him skates one Christmas, and he taught himself how to skate at local rinks and on frozen ponds. The pick-up games he played in back then were on ice, with a wooden stick he curved and shaved himself. And it didn’t matter if he was the one who added color to the game. ‘We were the type of kids in my neighborhood who played everything — hockey, golf, basketball, football. We didn’t look at hockey like it was a black or white sport,’ he said. ‘I loved the game. And being from Michigan, we always had frozen water. Some people used to laugh at us, man. It’s uncommon for black kids playing hockey even today. They look at it as a predominately white sport. We didn’t discriminate, as long as the sport was fun.’ The speed and passing of hockey appealed to him as did the, ahem, accidental contact.”

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  • greg

    same thing happened to me i played until i grew and we couldnt afford to get bigger skates, those were the days.


    lmao j rich a hockey player? if you were a hockey player you would have never won the dunkoff!

  • A

    Anyone happen to know what size shoe he wears? Must be big if there too big for skates, skates run big and go up to 15.

  • T-Money

    Hockey is also super expensive, especially when kids are still growing. You basically need to buy new stock every year (easily over $1,000). Not all families can afford that.

  • http://slamonline.com Eldon Khorshidi

    J-Rich wears a 15.5

  • Jer-Dawg

    Slam always gives us the interesting news. J rich on skates? nHL!? I thought it was typo. nFL.

  • T-Money

    Michigan is basically a Canadian province. Detroit is Hockeytown after all.

  • Andrew

    that’s awesome. i grew up in kuwait and played hockey as well, (my dad lived in canada between winnipeg and toronto so visiting him in the summers would make me love the game). hope j-rich and the magic have a great year but lose to the lakers (or the bulls).

  • http://www.need4sheed.com Tarzan Cooper

    Good stuff…… Would he have been the most athletic hockey player ever?

  • JD

    Already read this in Slam couple of years back, why didnt you publish it when you had the chance?

  • Coconut

    They played golf too?

  • DeeDre

    He actually looks like he likes hockey. Lol as weird as that sounds

  • http://slamonline.com The Black Rick Kamla

    did you know black Nova Scotians invented the slap shot in hockey????? watch a documentary called Black Ice

  • http://slamonline.com The Black Rick Kamla

    @T-Money along with pretty much every state on the Northern Border, except in the Northeast

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    Hockey is huge in Buffalo. I used to live in Buffalo, and especially in the ‘burbs, hockey dominates everything. Even baseball.
    J Rich would have been a great hockey player. He’s big, strong, quick, and well-coordinated. Who would be able to stop him?

  • http://skldflf.com Jukai

    @Teddy: in FAIRNESS though, that’s cause you have the Sabres and the Bills. Who YOU gonna root for?

  • Cameron

    @ the black rick kamla, i lived in the northeast most of my life and there was a lot of hockey. So i’m not sure where you heard that

  • http://slamonline.com The Black Rick Kamla

    yeah I was referring to the Canadian province thing

  • rich

    if some of these big quick guys went into the nhl theyd have to remove hitting because guys like drose would kill people because of how explosive they are. they are having enough problems with vicious hits as it is, lebron in there would prolly cripple guys out there as a defensman

  • Yesse

    A black man playing hockey? That’s a new one. I think it would be hard for him to even stay up with skates.

  • Cameron

    @ the black rick kamla o alright..lol

  • http://www.boogiewillaims.com Boing Dynasty

    This forum was lacking class & intelligence, good thing Yesse came along to pepper some sophistication on the topic. Its actually not a “new one”. How did you manage to get an internet connection under your rock?

  • http://www.slamonline.com Nick Tha Quick

    Word to Boing Dynasty. Yesse is The Professor around here.

  • http://Philosophervision@blogspot.com The Philosopher

    Shout out to Anson Carter.

  • Mr McOvaChicken to you

    Glad You dodn’t dawg !
    Glad you didn’t .

  • Mr McOvaChicken to you

    Imagine Bron playin hockey :-) Barkley would have been the perfect goalie though. Shutout after shutout , thanx to his round moud. One !

  • http://www.danchamb.com.br Lz – Cphfinest3

    About the goalie-thing, I never understood why NHL teams don’t sign those massive sumo-wrestlers to be goalies. Many of those guys are big enough to just fill out the whole goal-frame. It would literally be impossible to score on them.