As we stretch our legs this morning and get back into our athlete run-in series, we pause to prepare for tomorrow night's Illinois-North Carolina rematch of last year's national championship game, which Illini coach Bruce Weber says he knows is important because, "Nike is issuing us new uniforms." We're obviously very excited.
To that end, we present you a tale from "Danny From NC," who was on the Chapel Hill campus back when Rasheed Wallace was plying his trade:
Franklin Street in Chapel Hill is home to one of the larger collegiate Halloween parties in the country. Thousands and thousands of people get dressed/boozed up and basically just walk around all night. Packed bars, lots of fights, lots of random terribleness.
One year, it had to be in 1994, months before the Tar Heels go to the Final Four, three friends and I are walking down Franklin Street near Woody's Tavern on Halloween (we're all dressed up like bums). Rasheed Wallace, about to graduate ("graduate" = "complete sophomore year"), is posted up on the side of a building by himself — leaning back against the wall, one leg bent. Probably waiting for someone ... you know, just chillin'.
Needless to say, we love us some 'Sheed.
My drunk suite-mate, about to experience the moment that would define the remainder of his existence, goes up to Wallace in awe and says, "that is the BEST Rasheed Wallace costume I've EVER seen." 'Sheed looks down at him for a second, looks back up, looks back down and goes, "Psssssssshhhhhh."
God bless that man.
We forget sometimes that 'Sheed went to college, honestly. It seems like he was born directly into the NBA, screaming about a call and holding an inexplicable championship belt.
Athlete Run-Ins: Smokin' John Elway [Deadspin]
(Not to be ingrates, but we remind you that we're always taking athlete run-in stories at firstname.lastname@example.org.)