January 24, 2011
There was a legitimate groundswell of feel-good/good-times amongst the NBA blogosphere on Saturday night. With 13 games, the TweetDeck was hoppin', and scribes of all NBA natures were tossing out riffs as a fine night of hoop commenced. And the best story of the night had to be taking place in Washington, as D-League darling Mustafa Shakur(notes) had taken in a call-up to the Washington Wizards, and was performing well in limited action against the Boston Celtics. Ardent followers of both the D-League, young NBA types, and the team in our nation's capital were watching his every move.
Shakur's five-point, five-assist, two-block night wasn't anything to send to the Hall of Fame, but his 10-minute stretch did help the Wizards keep their heads above water before they came back to surprise the Celtics. And while the feel-good moment wasn't ruined by Shakur's strange jersey, his game certainly took a back seat to the weirdness that was that uniform.
His number, and last name, were stitched on at the last second by a Wizards employee. And while the stitching held up, it was clear the Wizards employee didn't exactly hold up the number placement to any sort of scrutiny, because the number "22" was a little down, and to the left. And with plenty of spacing between the two "2"s.
The Washington Post's Michael Lee talked to Shakur after the game:
So hastily was he added to the roster that it appeared his jersey wasn't quite ready either. Shakur wore No. 22, but the lettering and his name plate were clearly out of position.
"I don't know. I think they tried to put my zip code on there," Shakur said, eliciting laughter throughout the locker room. "They, you know, messed it up a little bit."
"A little bit." I'd say so. Good thing his game was ably spaced.
(Pictures courtesy D.C. Sports Bog.)