Dice
Several weeks ago, it was reported that Antonio McDyess was considering a return to the NBA after a year of retirement. 
It made me remember the Dice we once knew: the second overall pick in the 1995 draft by the Clippers, who traded him before the season began to the Denver Nuggets.
His gentle nature was a characteristic that stood out early in his career. Mike D’Antoni — his coach at the time — once commented that "it was refreshing to find a kid who isn’t embarrassed to be nice and sensitive but who is also becoming one of the best players in the league."
Dice wore a mesh bracelet on his wrist, embroidered with a small reptile and the letters F.R.O.G.; it stood for fully reliant on God — far as we know, there’s no Livestrong type of mistrust to his beliefs and causes.
While the league is often dominated by physical play and excessive trash talk, McDyess set his sights on carving out his own niche. On his own attempts at verbal sparring on the court, McDyess observed: “I tried it a few times, but it just wasn’t for me. I can’t be someone I’m not. I try to be a warrior on the court, but where I come from—Quitman, Mississippi—being macho doesn’t get you anywhere.”
After spending his first two seasons in Denver, McDyess was traded to Phoenix. In the ‘98 season, while his former team in was on their way to winning just 11 games, McDyess was making his first playoff appearance with the Suns.
But as a free agent in the off-season, McDyess opted to return to Denver, citing that he was more comfortable with the franchise and the the city.
However, it turned out that he was just too good of a man to break his own promise.
You see, after McDyess had verbally committed to the Nuggets, he arrived at McNichols Arena in Denver during a Colorado Avalanche game to officially sign his contract.
In an interview years later with The Detroit News, McDyess revealed what really happened.
He was having a change of heart while at the arena, and called Phoenix Suns guard Jason Kidd to let him know that he wasn’t comfortable with his decision to return to Denver.
Hearing this, Kidd told McDyess to hang tight as he and teammates Rex Chapman and George McCloud would fly to Colorado and speak with him in person.
Knowing this, Nuggets general manager Dan Issel kept Kidd and his teammates from entering the building.
There was a blizzard that night, but it didn’t matter to Issel, he was going to get his power forward back.
McDyess ended up honoring his commitment and put his name on the contract, returning on a six year contract.
In his first season back in Denver, he averaged 21.2 points and 10.7 rebounds. At the age of 24, it was not far fetched to think that McDyess would dominate the power forward position for the next decade. 
But early in the 2002 season, the outlook for the rest of his career changed when he ruptured his Patellar tendon on his knee. He struggled through the next few seasons and went through additional surgeries after re-aggravating the injury, missing the 2002-03 season altogether.
When McDyess returned in 2004, he was still only 29, but the explosiveness was gone. Instead of fading into obscurity, McDyess reinvented his game and became a key cog on the Detroit and San Antonio teams which contended for titles over the past decade.
Dice never won his championship, nor did his career reach the heights that it should’ve before injuries derailed all of it.
But we still remember, and that counts for something too.
photo via flight time

Dice

Several weeks ago, it was reported that Antonio McDyess was considering a return to the NBA after a year of retirement. 

It made me remember the Dice we once knew: the second overall pick in the 1995 draft by the Clippers, who traded him before the season began to the Denver Nuggets.

His gentle nature was a characteristic that stood out early in his career. Mike D’Antoni — his coach at the time — once commented that "it was refreshing to find a kid who isn’t embarrassed to be nice and sensitive but who is also becoming one of the best players in the league."

Dice wore a mesh bracelet on his wrist, embroidered with a small reptile and the letters F.R.O.G.; it stood for fully reliant on God — far as we know, there’s no Livestrong type of mistrust to his beliefs and causes.

While the league is often dominated by physical play and excessive trash talk, McDyess set his sights on carving out his own niche. On his own attempts at verbal sparring on the court, McDyess observed: “I tried it a few times, but it just wasn’t for me. I can’t be someone I’m not. I try to be a warrior on the court, but where I come from—Quitman, Mississippi—being macho doesn’t get you anywhere.”

After spending his first two seasons in Denver, McDyess was traded to Phoenix. In the ‘98 season, while his former team in was on their way to winning just 11 games, McDyess was making his first playoff appearance with the Suns.

But as a free agent in the off-season, McDyess opted to return to Denver, citing that he was more comfortable with the franchise and the the city.

However, it turned out that he was just too good of a man to break his own promise.

You see, after McDyess had verbally committed to the Nuggets, he arrived at McNichols Arena in Denver during a Colorado Avalanche game to officially sign his contract.

In an interview years later with The Detroit News, McDyess revealed what really happened.

He was having a change of heart while at the arena, and called Phoenix Suns guard Jason Kidd to let him know that he wasn’t comfortable with his decision to return to Denver.

Hearing this, Kidd told McDyess to hang tight as he and teammates Rex Chapman and George McCloud would fly to Colorado and speak with him in person.

Knowing this, Nuggets general manager Dan Issel kept Kidd and his teammates from entering the building.

There was a blizzard that night, but it didn’t matter to Issel, he was going to get his power forward back.

McDyess ended up honoring his commitment and put his name on the contract, returning on a six year contract.

In his first season back in Denver, he averaged 21.2 points and 10.7 rebounds. At the age of 24, it was not far fetched to think that McDyess would dominate the power forward position for the next decade.

But early in the 2002 season, the outlook for the rest of his career changed when he ruptured his Patellar tendon on his knee. He struggled through the next few seasons and went through additional surgeries after re-aggravating the injury, missing the 2002-03 season altogether.

When McDyess returned in 2004, he was still only 29, but the explosiveness was gone. Instead of fading into obscurity, McDyess reinvented his game and became a key cog on the Detroit and San Antonio teams which contended for titles over the past decade.

Dice never won his championship, nor did his career reach the heights that it should’ve before injuries derailed all of it.

But we still remember, and that counts for something too.

photo via flight time

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