Slamadamonth, SLAM #36: Marcus Camby

Originally published in SLAM 36


It was March 25, ‘93, and the loud, ringing noise could only mean one thing: Louie was late for work. He hit the alarm clock and glanced blearily at it. 10:47. How did it get so late? Hurriedly, he threw on some clothes and ran down the 16 flights of stairs of his Queens walk-up, heading for the subway.

Meanwhile, at Madison Square Garden, Knicks forward Charles Oakley stalked angrily around the deserted court. Damn, he thought. You show up early to get some shooting in, and they don’t even have the baskets up yet. What kind of place is this?

The first train was full. So was the second. Louie looked at his timex. 11:05. This wasn’t gonna happen. He stormed angrily back through the turnstiles and headed out to get a cab. Eventually, one stopped.

11:42. Louie hopped out of the cab at the corner of Eigth Avenue and 33rd street. He ran through the employee garage, wincing when he saw Oakley’s black Mercedes parked in its usual spot. Through the door, up the service elevator and towards the court he ran, hoping against hope that Oakley had just arrived. No such luck.

As he emerged from the tunnel and burst out onto the court, he was greeted by the sight of Pakley, leaning on one of the yet-to-be raised backboards. “What took you so long?” Oak asked, standing and stretching. Louie just headed to the basket stanchion, head down. “You don’t want to know.”

That was the first time Charles Oakley got his head above the rim as a Knick. This is the first time Marcus Camby did.

[Editor’s Note: In the interest of clarity, “this” was during Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals. Camby, who’d been rejected once before by Diktombo, took off just inside the free throw line, flew down the lane and stuffed it down the center’s 14-language-speakin’ throat. Sacre Bleu!]

Russ Bengtson