HoopsHype Andrew Toney rumors
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It started before he was born, but he was born because of it. For it. His life would come to end it. Close it. Still, for those who weren’t there to witness it, he remains a simple footnote that, at the time, was bigger than life itself. “Andrew who?”—a young’n on the basketball court on the corner of West Fourth and the Avenue of the Americas. The Cage, NYC. March ‘99. I first heard about Andrew Toney in ‘79. I was a sophomore in high school, and a friend from Louisiana whom I played against in a few tournaments swore that there were ball players in “the dirty” (even though back then we just called the South “country”). While I was riding the Mark Aguirre/Isiah Thomas bandwagon, my mellow (that’s what we called cats back then) kept telling me about this dude at SW Louisiana State who could hoop the both of them. I thought he was on drugs. But I listened. Because, ya know, you never know… SLAM
Darryl Dawkins once put Toney’s career in perspective by saying, “if he hits one, you know he’s going to hit another and another and another.” Cheeks added, “When Andrew gets unconcious [there’s that word again], it really doesn’t matter what anybody does.” Toney stayed “unconscious” for three more years. This was Toney’s rise and fall. As deadly as he had become in such a short period of time—by the end of his second year he was widely considered the most dangerous man in the game along with Gus Williams of the SuperSonics and another second-year player by the name Bernard King—Toney became one-dimensional. “All he can do is shoot,” is what the haters said. “And!? Ain’t that the point?” Sixer fans would respond. As long as Ainge was the victim, no one in Philly cared about the rest of Toney’s game. “Let Toney shoot that bitch,” the native New Orleans cats (who grew to have a special love for Toney) used to say as we watched every Sixer game we could. “As long as he puttin’ that bitch in the basket, don’t nuttin’ else matter, Faw.” SLAM
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