Profile | Ralph Sampson, The Forgotten Giant - world cultures

Profile | Ralph Sampson, The Forgotten Giant


A real phenomenon in the NCAA under the Virginia colors (he was voted MVP three years in a row), Ralph Sampson (born July 7, 1960) Coined Boolean #1 by The Rockets in 1983.

Since the first season, this massive 2-meter, 24 point man has sparked panic: 21.0 points, 11.1 rebounds, and 2.4 blocks on average! Already we are talking about him as the new Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. The following year, Houston picked again for the first time during the famous 1984 draft and picks Akim Olajuwon.

Fulcrum when Sampson is already there, but why?

Because Ralph Sampson was a winger. He was not intimidated by distant shots, “from coast to coast” and dribbling behind the back. It is the predecessor of the Kristaps Porzingis with more skill and less shooting. An incredible thing, at a time when situations are so well established and where escaped interiors are rare, even non-existent.

Totally unbelievable: his 1984 Slam Dunk entry. Once again, imagine Kristaps Porzingis participating in a Dunk competition…

The Lakers dominated from Magic Johnson

But make no mistake, Ralph Sampson wasn’t a fairground obsessed, but he was totally fine.

Four All-Star Game picks, top five-second pick in the league, Rookie of the Year…On the individual level, he was collecting accolades and was truly a very talented player, as he proved in the 1985 All-Star Game by winning the MVP Cup. Besides him, only big names: Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Akeem Elewan, George Gervin, to name a few…

Collectively, he also rocked the NBA in 1986. Ralph Samson teamed up with Akim Olgowon to form the first generation of the “Twin Towers”, eliminating the Lakers of the great era with a whistle blow! during the finalsLarry Birds and Celtics put an end to their title hopes (a 4-2 defeat), but everyone sees the Rockets as future champions…

However, Sampson does not yet know that these finals It would be the pinnacle of his career. Because the sequel would be less awesome, because of his squished knees (a triple operation!) and his big frame that’s having an increasingly difficult time keeping up with the hellish tempo of the NBA.

It was a great experience to play together“He will explain a few years later, about his duet with Akeem Aliwan.” I would really like to play with him longer. I don’t think anyone has ever imagined the size of our duo, because no one has ever tried it. There are men who have also been called the “Twin Towers” but not at our level. We were the original Twin Towers. With his qualities and abilities, she was truly unique. »

He was on the 29th…

In 1988, Houston got tired of seeing him in the infirmary and sent him to the Golden State. It will be the beginning of the end for Ralph Sampson. Only three years after reaching finals, only runs at 6.4 points, 5.0 rebounds and 1.1 vs on average. He’s 29, and he really “was”, in a career somewhat reminiscent of that of Brandon Roy, Gilbert Arenas or Benny Hardaway. shooting star.

Without glory, and after two final stints in Sacramento and then Washington, he retired from the NBA at the age of 31. He would try to venture into Europe, but his freelance work in Spain wouldn’t change anything. He’s just a ghost on the field. A large corpse could no longer move back and forth on the ground…

In 1992, Ralph Sampson drew a decisive line in his football career and decided to become a coach. We find him as an assistant in the NCAA or in the minor leagues. While justice absorbed him for non-payment of child support and various frauds, one of his sons, Ralph Sampson III, had a decent career at the University of Minnesota.

As for Ralph Sr., he was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2012, and was honored more for his exceptional college career than his career in the NBA, leaving a nickname for posterity with Hakim Aliwan: “The Twin Towers.” Two of the avant-garde interiors he says.

I could get on the court and so could he, so you had two guys who could maintain a high pace without having to go down the racket. We can dribble, we can shoot and as people often tell me, we were probably a little ahead of our time. »


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