HoopsHype Tom Hammonds rumors
Where are they? A look at the whereabouts of members of the 1993-94 Nuggets: Coach Dan Issel: Working in the oil and gas industry for a Windsor company. Broadcaster for a couple of Nuggets games this season. Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf: Lives in suburban Atlanta. Gives private basketball training sessions. LaPhonso Ellis: College basketball analyst at ESPN. Tom Hammonds: Went into drag racing after 12-year NBA career. Briefly owned a car dealership in South Carolina. Now in the construction business in Florida. Reggie Williams: Resigned in September as coach of Archbishop Carroll High School in Washington, D.C. Rodney Rogers: Paralyzed as a result of a dirt bike accident in 2008. Lives in North Carolina. Brian Williams (Bison Dele): Presumed dead after disappearing during a sailing trip in 2002. Robert Pack: Assistant coach with the Oklahoma City Thunder. Bryant Stith: Assistant coach at Old Dominion University. Dikembe Mutombo: Humanitarian and NBA global ambassador. Denver Post
Tom Hammonds had to skip Phoenix in February. He wasn't in Charlotte a month later or in Houston a couple of weeks after that. Atlanta, Chicago, Denver -- scratched, scratched, scratched. He hopes to get busy again in Charlotte next month or a week later in Dallas. Hammonds as an NBA road-city delinquent? Nah, his days as a rugged, defense-first power forward across 12 NBA seasons have been over since 2001, when the wear-and-tear got to him and his ankles. But stepping away from his life as a player at pro basketball's highest level wasn't nearly as difficult as sitting out a whole season as a driver and owner in auto racing's most intense and frantic division. Hammonds hasn't shoehorned and strapped his 6-foot-9 self behind the wheel of his land-rocket Chevy Cobalt in serious competition since September, the last time he ran in the National Hot Rod Association's Pro Stock series. NBA.com
"The one thing I miss is the competitive side of what racing gave me," Hammonds said in a phone interview earlier this month. He was at home in Florida when he and his team should have been in Brainerd, Minn., for the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals. "As an athlete, you're trained to compete at the highest level. When basketball was gone, I had my racing to fall back onto. Now it's been tough because I haven't had that the last seven or eight months. I've got a quick clutch foot ready to go." NBA.com
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