August 08, 2008
Trey and I knew we'd miss a few key names in our All-NBA Olympics series, but this was a particular oversight. Ball Don't Lie reader "indeedproceed" points us to this HoopsHype post, penned by part-time NBA'er Gabe Muoneke, which makes a strong case for Spurs forward Ime Udoka to win our hypothetical boxing gold. Behold:
THE IME UDOKA STORY
... When the National [Nigerian] Team went to Algeria for the African Championships in Algiers, every team was on edge because the Top 3 squads got the invite to the World Championships. So after we lost to Angola in the semis and had to play Algeria for the third spot, they knew, we knew, everyone knew they had no shot. First quarter… Tactics. African ball, man. Trust me: as corrupt as can be.
Despite all the cheating from the three-man (North African) refereeing crew they just couldn’t beat us. So the coach sent in their best player, who was injured but came in with a purpose. I think his name was Ali Bidane or something. We had the ball out of bounce under. He guarded me. As the ref handed us the ball, he turned, looked at me as if there was not a game going on. And pop! Not an elbow, not even a signature yours truly gutter. He decked me right in the jaw. I couldn’t believe it. And come on. I freely admit when I throw cheap shots. I wouldn’t hide it if I started to. I mean, I’m in the middle of basically Middle Eastern country playing the local team. I know better (read on to see my contradiction). He nailed me, we turned it over, and yes, my Rodman 101 class did well. I looked up court, saw both refs back and calmly asked him in by most polite French, "Pardon me sir, I object to you striking me." Next thing you know… Both teams on the court going at it. Wow [...]
Continued, after the jump.
That wasn’t the real brawl. After we won was the real issue. After the game, they were waiting for us to come out of the locker room. And seriously, I didn’t start it. Kingsley Ogwudire was in front of our team in an all-out tirade in his best Arabic. The next thing you know, there were three Algerian players on him. Everyone was engaged in combat save me, if you can believe it. And lo and behold… Ime! He was taking people out like in Mortal Kombat. Finish him! Incredible. I was so out of it as I had five guys I was fighting (oh yeah, the crowd jumped in as the fight spilled over to the court of the championship game of Senegal and Angola).
In the middle of the whole thing I heard Ime, literally in mid-swing of another opponent say, "Watch back, Gabe" and he calmly, I mean calmly, smeared a guy who, as I turned to see his warning, jumped from the stands with a chair to probably kill me or knock me out to where the crowd would have. I mean, Ime caught the guy in mid air with a fist and calmly continued his dispatching of oncoming people. He and other guys (yes, me too) were whoopin’ so many people the crowd backed up. True to the letter! But Ime had the most notches by far.
Emphasis mine. All mine.
Honestly, I'm speechless. How have I never heard this story before? And more importantly, what will it take to get Ime and Ben Wallace in the ring for ten rounds? I tell you, that would be an All-Star Saturday Night event worth watching!