Streetball legends are a thing of the past. Before AND1 and YouTube, streetball players were like unicorns. They jumped over 15 people in a game of 21 or made 15 threes in a row from halfcourt. Tales of their exploits changed with each telling like a game of telephone. But that’s what made them special. You had to see it to believe it. Many NBA Hall of Famers got their start in their respective concrete jungles. And many streetball legends could’ve been immortalized in the halls of Springfield, Mass. had they not allowed the street life to get the best of them.
Gorillas in the game like Pee Wee Kirkland, Earl “The Goat” Manigault, and Joe “The Destroyer” Hammond immediately come to mind. They didn’t have the same fortune (or brains in some cases), as guys like Julius “Dr. J” Erving, Wilt “The Stilt” Chamberlain, and Kareem “The Big Fella” Abdul-Jabbar. However, they still remain immortalized in the stories of oldheads in every hood. With the summer in full swing, we take a look at the 25 Greatest Streetball Players of All Time.
City: Bronx, N.Y.
Homicide didn’t come up with the pedigree of other New York legends—he played ball for two years at Penn Valley Community College before transferring to Divsion I Alabama State, and only ended up averaging 13 points per game for the small school. He was the furthest thing from being on the streetball radar, much less an NBA one. The summer after coming back from college, he played in nine streetball tournaments around the city, dominating the local circuit.
After dropping 47 points during a game televised in NBA TV, the Toronto Raptors invited him to their preseason camp. Williams was part of the last cut at camp, but to come from community college to the cusp of an NBA roster in a few years is remarkable. In the streetball documentary, Doin’ It In The Park he credits streetball for his confidence and making him into a better player.