A few things to understand. I’m really, really digging the Albany Patroons’ return to the Capital District. And after last night’s game against the winless – and still winless – Rochester RazoarSharks, I’m smiling like the Joker.
Plus – there was a nice reunion of sorts.
Let me explain.
I’ve written in the past about Jamario Moon, the forward who played for the Patroons in their second iteration during the 2005-06 and 2006-07 seasons. He would later graduate to the NBA, playing for the Toronto Raptors, Miami Heat, Cleveland Cavaliers, LA Clippers and Charlotte Bobcats. And now he’s back, ready to give another run in the gold and kelly green.
What you see here is a photo from the 2006-07 season. See the jersey he’s wearing? That’s #33 (he wore #10 the year before). A few years ago, I acquired that jersey in an eBay auction.
And last night, I wore it to the Washington Avenue Armory for good luck. Hey, any luck the Patroons can use is good luck in and of itself.
By the way, I’m getting more proficient in my super-slow-mo shots with my BlackBerry KEYone camera phone. Now I can adjust the slider on the video, to get those nice slams and 3-pointers and layups.
For example… here’s Albany’s Shane Rector juking out a Rochester player and dropping a jumper.
Nice. I’m really digging this slow-mo shot.
Hey look, there’s former LA Laker Smush Parker, he’s going to hit a three-pointer from long range distance! Look out below!
All right, and now it’s time for a big-ass dunk from Torren Jones, on a nice alley-oop feed from former Siena Star Edwin Ubiles –
All right, you’ll get the next dunk for sure.
Meanwhile, the Patroons just kept beating and beating and beating on the RazorSharks. And for the second half, I went back into heckling mode. Trust me, Phil Valenti was not happy being called ‘Sergio” all night. Maybe if he played like a basketball player and not like a 1970’s jeans designer, things would be better for him. And Nick Waddell was just as useless as before.
Meanwhile, the rest of the Patroons were shredding the Sharks like they were day-old garbage plate lunches. Smush Parker and Torren Jones scored 18 and 15 points, respectively, and Jones eventually atoned for his muffed dunk in the first half by blasting a swing-around-the-rim dunk in the second half that made the crowd explode.
The crowd cheered again when J-Moon dropped another couple of dunks. Just like old times.
Let’s put it this way. J-Moon’s return was so spectacular, it even mangled the proofreader at the Times Union. Have a glance at this.
That’s right, folks … “Jamario Moonon” made a “threee” pointer. And I’ll skip the part about how Tim Wilkin noted that Edwin Ubiles played for the “Washington Bullets,” when the Wizards haven’t been the “Bullets” since Ubiles’ grade school days. What, did Ubiles suit up with Wes Unseld or something? Geez, Big Hearst….
After the game – which Albany won 110-95 – I wanted one more reunion. I needed a photo of myself with the returning Jamario Moon.
And I got it.
Man oh man, it feels so good to be an Albany Patroons fan again.
And let me explain this – even if I sound like a gushing fanboy.
When it comes to local sports teams, there’s a big difference between the Patroons and all the other pro teams that have come before or followed. The Patroons are beloved as a community team. It brings this city together, black and white, man and woman, young and old. We’re all cheering for our favorite players, we’re heckling and needling the opposition, and we’re toasty warm in the Armory like it’s the Boston Garden of old.
Oh, and one more thing. You see this jersey I’m wearing?
I should show you the reverse. Or better yet … let me show you Jamario Moon’s Instagram picture of it.
Yeah. This is how we do it.
Albany plays the Ohio Cardinals tonight at 7:05 at the Washington Avenue Armory. This is a revenge game from last week. Bring it on. We’re ready.
I’ll be there. And I hope you’re there as well.