By Brian Taylor
That was the battle cry that year from hip-hop legends Flava Flav and Chuck D. “Fight the Power”, “Do The Right Thing” and Mars Blackmon were in full effect. That year was one of college basketball’s best, with Dikembe and Zo’ being diaper dandies at G-Town, the Rick Fox/J.R. Reid Tar Heels in full effect and Satan Jr. (Danny Ferry) was raining threes at Duke.
In a bit of a surprise that year, the Michigan Wolverines came out on top when the tourney’s smoke cleared, and the two guys left standing were the diminutive, yet speedy Rumeal Robinson and three-point sniper Glen Rice. Rumeal’s stay in the NBA was a short one, but it was Rice who made waves at the next level.
Coming out in the ’89 draft which included Shawn Kemp, Tim Hardaway, and even Pervis Ellison, Rice didn’t really get too much buzz because everyone wanted to win the ”Pervis/Stacey King Sweepstakes” (worst prizes ever) and went fourth to the second-year Miami Heat. In South Beach, Glen teamed up with Big East ballers Rony “the Playboy” Seikaly and D.C.’s own, Sherman Douglas.
Miami, still in its NBA infancy, struggled for a few years until they finally made the playoffs, thanks to Glen’s 21ppg average and three-point bombing (they bowed out to part one of Mike’s dynasty, 3-2). After a few more years of All-Star play (Rice lit up Shaq and the Magic for 56), with playoff mediocrity, Glen was sent to Charlotte for an up and coming Alonzo Mourning. It was down at the Hive that Rice’s stats would become kinda phat, reminiscent of a whale.
In Glen’s three years as a Hornet, he made the All-Star squad, with the 1997 Cleveland game getting him MVP status. Rice’s play in the East earned him enough recognition as a “must have assassin” for him the Lakers to trade for him (the Dell Harris/Kobe Shaq days). In that 2000 NBA Finals that most people don’t remember, Glen got his only championship ring.
After his time with the Lakers, as expected, he did the NBA pre-retirement tour, with shows in New York, Houston and the Clip joint, before layin ‘em down for good in 2004 (his knee problems and weight caught up to him).
In today’s league, you’d compare him to a Morris Peterson, except with Gilbert Arenas’ conscience (or lack thereof).
If you want to see one of the All-Star Game’s past MVP’s in action, (or if you’re nostalgic for the Charlotte Hornets) you know what to do….HIT DA LINKS!