We took Swee’ Pea to Las Vegas to film him in the place where his career was brought to a sudden stop (getting busted in a crack house by police will do that to ya). But most importantly, we brought him to Las Vegas to film his reunion with Jerry Tarkanian.
Tark is a rare breed, one of very few who fully embodies what it means to be “A Good Man.” He was a brilliant coach, but he–and his entire family, I might add– took a personal interest in the welfare of the kids he coached. He was especially concerned about kids who, without basketball, had no other chance in life. One such kid was Lloyd Swee’ Pea Daniels.
Tark is now very old and has suffered many strokes. He has difficulty speaking. But when he tried to explain why Swee’ Pea was such a special player, such a transcendent talent, words were not necessary– you could see it all in his face. And when Swee’ Pea walked into the room, he lit up like the sun just shone on him.
Swee’ Pea looks up to Tark as a father figure, and it was hard for him to see Tark so feeble. Under Tark’s direction, UNLV was the most prestigious college basketball program in the country, but Swee’ Pea’s arrest almost single-handedly brought down the program and ended Tark’s career as a college basketball coach.
But a few years later, Tark became head coach of the San Antonio Spurs. And this, my friends, is how Swee’ Pea managed to miraculously make it to the NBA. And it really was a miracle.
First of all, there are very few players in the NBA who come straight from nowhere. Usually, you enter the NBA through the rigorous training of the college basketball circuit. Swee’ Pea had never even played a college basketball game– the police sting at the crack house happened only two weeks after he moved to Las Vegas.
Secondly, the man made it to the NBA after he had been: 1) shot three times in the chest; 2) had remnants of bullets still lodged in his chest 3) spent years smoking crack.
So, behold! A still from our movie of the reunion of two legends to start your Wednesday.
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