Sunday, March 1, 2015

R.I.P. Anthony Mason

Still grappling with the death of one of my favorite Knick players,Anthony Mason who passed on yesterday of heart failure at the age of 48. Anthony Mason was a product of the same New York streets that produced Biggie, JZ, Nas, Lil Kim, MC Lyte, and Big Daddy Kane, and was part of the same generation which brought hip hop to its highest point of artistry . Like the greatest of NY hip hop artists, he was proud, defiant, crusty, and hugely talented. Thick and muscular, Mason had remarkable ball handling skills and could play any position on the court, but did not take kindly to coaching and preferred to invent his own way of playing. He spent five difficult years with the Knicks, fighting with coaches and teammates, but helped make the team a contender. In many ways, he embodied the spirit of a pre-Gentrification New York when young people had genuine power in many inner city neighborhoods and did not defer easily to adult authority. I am not sure the current version is better than the one he grew up in. R.I.P. Anthony Mason. I was never bored watching you play, and you made every team you played for better than it was before