Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf Rumors
12 Apr 14
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.
Coast basketball icon Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf is keeping busy during his retirement. The former Gulfport and NBA standout works as a basketball trainer in Atlanta and recently visited his alma mater, LSU. At his retirement tribute at the Great Southern Club by the city of Gulfport on Dec. 29, Abdul-Rauf told the Sun Herald about life after basketball. Formerly known as Chris Jackson, Abdul-Rauf attended the Hometown Heroes camp at the LSU Automotive Sportsplex. Among the former Tigers in attendance were Tyrus Thomas, Stanley Roberts, and Marcus Thornton. The father of five travelled to Washington D.C. last month. Next month, he has scheduled trips to Michigan and Texas. Writing a memoir and becoming a motivational speaker are also in his plans.
Exposure abroad shaded his view in hindsight. Each culture carries its own flaws — “Some are more totalitarian or restrictive,” he said — that offered a nuanced appraisal of the controversy in the Mile High City. “It’s open, but yet it’s scary,” Abdul-Rauf said. “But when you voice things in a way that’s not subtle, you can be blackballed. You can’t say what you want up and till a certain point.”
Suspended for one game, Abdul-Rauf compromised: He prayed with his head bowed as the anthem played. And he learned the openness America prides itself upon doesn’t always greet different beliefs or attitudes warmly. “Athletes aren’t supposed to speak out,” Abdul-Rauf said of the lesson learned. “You’re just supposed to dribble the ball up the floor, excite the crowds and not have any opinions. Politicians can say things we can’t say because that’s their place. I don’t think that’s fair.”
Or as Abdul-Rauf, who played for the Kyoto Hannaryz the past two seasons told me, “Needless to say, I’m not a big fan of David Stern or ‘big business.’ I believe there are exploitation issues on both sides. But no worries, the goal of the NBA is to make money so there’s too much on the table for them not to have a season, and I think many will agree with that at least.”
“He never really developed a low mid-range game, which I believe could have made the game easier for him throughout his career and made it less demanding on his body,” Abdul-Rauf said. “And his free throws never significantly improved, which could have done the same. But despite all of those things he was still able to remarkably dominate for a long amount of time.” Consider this: The 15-time All-Star averaged 20 or more points in each of his first 14 seasons in the league. A remarkable stretch in any era. “He was a likable guy by many and I hope his retirement years bring him wisdom and happiness,” Abdul-Rauf concluded.