Monday, June 8, 2009

Great Moments In Canadian Basketball Starring Bill Wennington

It has been said that too often the blogosphere focuses on the negative aspects of society. Once in awhile to prove those negative nellies wrong we try to focus on the positive. One of these positive features is our “Canadian Icon” series which showcased basketball great Bill Wennington.

This was a controversial choice for some who felt that Wennington was a supporting player on the Chicago Bulls dynasty in the 90’s. They felt that any awkward, untalented and uncoordinated tall white guy could have replaced him on this team. Well the one minute featured in the video above is proof that not only did Wennington wear the uniform, he actually got it sweaty on occasion. “The Play” as it will surely be called also has to rank as one of the top 7 moments in Canadian Basketball history.

1. James Naismith Vandalizes a Springfield YMCA Gym Wall with a peach basket in 1891.
2. Mike Smrek plays a minute of garbage time as a member of the Los Angeles Lakers in Game 2 of the 1986 NBA First Round against the Spurs
3. Steve Nash wins the 2005 NBA MVP
4. “The Play”
5. Steve Nash wins the 2006 NBA MVP
6. Leo Rautins breaks his knee while passing the ball to Dr J in a 1983 preseason training session
7. In anticipation of being drafted in the 2003 NBA Draft, U of Hawaii Junior, Carl English rents out a downtown Toronto Club to celebrate. He goes undrafted.

Let's take you back to the first round of the 1995 NBA Playoff Series between the Charlotte Hornets and the Chicago Bulls. Michael Jordan has made his return from his one year in baseball exile (or 1 year gambling related suspension). Wearing the number 45 Jordan is still working out the kinks. The play starts with the only recorded NBA rebound for Toni Kukoc. The Croatian, also known as "The Waiter", leads the fastbreak up the court and serves up an alley oop to crew cutted Canadian Centre Bill Wennington. Not only does Bill deliver the dunk, he also serves up a facial on Hornets star Alonzo Mourning. Remember this is 'Zo before the kidney operation when he was good.

Let's forget about the Hornets basket where Bill completely misplays 'Zo and return to the offensive end, where Jordan receives the pass from Kukoc. MJ, instead of taking his trademark fadeaway jumper which always resulted in a plus one looks to pass. Wennington on a backdoor cut, receives the pass from Jordan and delivers a turnaround dunk back into Mourning's face. It was not a "Good Mourning" for 'Zo.

That is 50 seconds of pure offensive basketball from Beef Wennington which proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that he is the epitome of the term "Canadian Icon".

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