So crazy it just might work
The delicate art of turning a power forward into a point guard.
BY BRETT KOREMENOS
Art by Mike McGrath, Jr. Instagram: @michaelmcgrathjr Twitter: @mikemcgrath
The gym is garden-party quiet, the red seat is uncomfortable, and my stomach is in knots.
Las Vegas Summer League can be raucous when, say, the Lakers or Ben Simmons plays. But this is the Warriors against the Spurs, which, in 2016, draws half-full stands. You can hear every sneaker-squeak and coach’s call.
At the far end of the court is a bearded, 6-foot-4 NBA hopeful from Pasadena, Texas: Tom Walkup. He stands near the baseline in his blue and gold Warriors jersey, boxy, muscle-bound, and looking like a linebacker. He almost glows white, with red hair and beard. He is impossible to miss. And in the basketball world, he is having a moment, ever since a 33-point, 20-free-throw destruction of a third-seeded West Virginia team in the NCAA tournament. Tom combined a bulldog’s mentality with a chess player’s brain; equal parts savvy and physicality.
That run catapulted unheralded Stephen F. Austin—t…
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