Stuntin’ the Sunday whites, 10-year veteran Chris Kaman carried the Lakers to a 115-99 win over the Phoenix Suns. Get this stat line: season-high 28 points, 17 rebounds and six assists.
He hammered down a dunk, sunk a step-back jumper, swept the boards and hit guards on the run. All of which warranted him the hashtag #KamanLikeAWreckingBall — I know, brilliant, right?
That’s the same guy who played six minutes, notching dos points and a single rebound in LA’s embarrassing 143-107 collapse against the Minnesota Timberwolves two days ago.
That’s also the same guy who blew me off when I asked for his autograph as a middle schooler. The basketball league that I played in did a shooting tournament once a year at Staples Center before Clipper games. Each team could send two shooters.
It was around 2005 or 2006 when I was chosen to go. And it was awesome! Having the opportunity to actually be on an NBA court was incredible. We ended up taking third place (hence the medals). They told us that we’d get to meet a Clipper player.
As I hoped and wished Elton Brand would step out, we got Kaman instead. Cool, I guess. He was their center. I knew who he was at the time, so when my teammate and I went to take a photo with him, we naturally asked for an autograph.
“No,” he said. “Because then everyone else will want one and it won’t be fair.”
He crushed my dreams. Wow, dude. You can’t spare a couple signatures? You’re not Elton Brand. You’re no superstar. (Those were my thoughts in that moment.)
Ever since then, I’ve labeled him as the “mean guy who wouldn’t give me an autograph.” But now here we are. Caveman Kaman, 31 years old, in purple and gold. I honestly thought he was long gone, and that he’d wither away on a bench somewhere random. Instead, he decides to put a smile on everyones’ faces (including mine) and have an All-Star performance.
What I’m trying to say here is, “I see you, Chris. Keep doing you.” But please, if a little kid asks you for an autograph, just do it.