Rafer Alston evokes the particular identity of the New York leaders

Rafer Alston evokes the particular identity of the New York leaders

The broadcast of the documentary “NYC Point Gods”, co-produced by Kevin Durant, is an opportunity to shed light on the particularity of New York City, as a breeding ground for extremely talented playmakers over the decades.

The documentary features many such as Kenny Anderson, Mark Jackson, Stephon Marbury, God Shammgod, Kenny Smith, Rod Strickland and Dwayne “Pearl” Washington. Among them, there is also Rafer Alston, then nicknamed “Skip To My Lou” at the time when he surveyed the playgrounds of the “Big Apple”.

This list could also be enriched by Jackie Jackson, Tiny Archibald, a legend of Rucker Park before shining in the NBA, Lloyd B. Free, Kareem Reid, Jamaal Tinsley or more recently Kemba Walker or Cole Anthony.

A common DNA

For Rafer Alston, these leaders all have a common DNA and an identity that is none other than the fruit of their environment. As Mark Jackson said more than ten years ago: “You could put ten playmakers side by side and see from miles away which ones are from New York and which ones aren’t.” Rafer Alston, for his part, tried to define the typical New York point guard.

“Toughness, creativity, a sensitivity for the dramatic side, and our whole game consists of driving towards the circle. We were playing outside so much that shooting wasn’t something we were good at, to say the least.” he said on the VC Show, hosted by Vince Carter. “The New York game was about driving towards the circle, but always with this passion side, this side goes inside. It was like that before me, during my time, after, and even today, there is always that”.

New Yorkers are temperamental gamblers due to the fierce competition in every neighborhood of the city. Regularly, Rafer Alston remembers having had to challenge the best players in NYC, which necessarily pulled everyone up.

“We are known for having so many tournaments. Almost every day, we knew there was a big game in such place and that’s what makes the beauty of growing up during this time. You had to face one of those other good leaders at some point in the week, and that, every week and sometimes you had to go challenge them at home. Going to Brooklyn and playing Stephon Marbury, going to Harlem to challenge God Shammgod, they had to come to Queens at some point to fight me. It gave us a regular opportunity to prepare for what was to come in college, where we all had the luxury of playing.”

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