The Next Generation in the NBA
Eventually, the NBA's brightest stars will fade from the sky. Great players come and go. Most new players wait, ready to carry on their tradition. Wilt Chamberlain and Russell were 2 of the best centers the game has ever seen. Bob Cousy, Oscar Robertson and Jerry West were the smoothest guards in the 50's and 60's. Earl "The Pearl" Monroe and Walt Frazier dazzled fans in the 70's. The 80's, of course, belonged to Magic Johnson and Michael Jordan. The next generation is now ready to step into the spotlight. The exciting young players I've chosen have only been in the NBA a few years, but have made their presence known. Damon Staudamire and Grant Hill are the Next Generation in the NBA.
On Damon Staudamire's right arm is a tattoo of mightymouse clutching a basketball. It is an appropriate symbol. Damon, the 5'10'' point guard for the Toronto Raptors, is a small kid in a big man's world.
But size hasn't stopped him from accomplishing big things. He was named the NBA Rookie of the Year after the 1995-96 season. Like his favorite cartoon character, Damon knows that size is not everything. "A lot of people think that being short is a disadvantage, but I don't see it that way" (Benagh, 71.)
Damon Staudamire was born on September 3, 1973, in Portland, Oregon. His father, Willie, had played college ball at Portland State. And the Detroit Lions had drafted his uncle. It's no surprise that one of his heroes was Nate Archibald, a 6'0'' guard who's nickname was "Tiny." Damon is even smaller than tiny. But he has proved that basketball is not just a game for giants. If a player is quick and smart he'll be good.
At Wilson High School Damon...