As part of its retrospective series on the NBA golden era of the 1990s, SB Nation ran a feature today on the short, complicated and otherwise brilliant career of Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf.
Picked third overall in the ’90 NBA draft, the point guard known as Chris Jackson at LSU converted to Islam in ’91 and changed his name in ’93, the same season after which he won the league’s Most Improved Player award. The next year he helped the Denver Nuggets pull off a historic playoff upset over the top-seeded Seattle Supersonics. Then in ’96, pretty much at the height of his ability — the author compares Abdul-Rauf’s game to current-day stars Stephen Curry and Kyrie Irving — Abdul-Rauf became a subject of a national controversy when his private routine of protesting the “Star-Spangled Banner” before games became public knowledge. And seemingly as quick as his lethal first step, Abdul-Rauf went from a starter to a backup to an outsider, unable to get an NBA roster spot and playing the final 10 years of his career in various places overseas.
Here’s the link to “Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf: Here, gone and quickly forgotten”