This is the first of many post about Chicago Urban Legends. Cazzie Russell was from Chicago's Altgeld Gardens housing projects on the far south side. He went to Carver H.S., class of 1962.Where he learned from and played with Tommy Hawkins[Another Chicago Urban Legend].Cazzie stood about 6'6",averaged about 25pts. per game as a senior.A person having a big influence on Cazzie was Larry Hawkins[no relations to Tommy Hawkins or Connie Hawkins!]. Larry was Cazzie's coach and kept him on the straight and narrow.Larry was a great ball player in his own right,can still be found at the University of Chicago helping people. Cazzie was so dynamic he could have went to almost any school in the country at the time. He was being heavily recurited by UCLA,University of Michigan,University Of Cincinnati[which featured the Great Oscar Robertson]who even came to visit Cazzie! Cazzie chose the Uni. Of Michigan, because he felt he would play more there.At the Uni. of Michigan,Cazzie averaged about 24pts. per game,and was a 3-time All American.Cazzie put Uni. of Michigan basketball program on the map!He was the Uni. of Michigan's first Superstar...By the time it was over they built a new arena,Crisler Arena,"The house that Cazzie built".He also was the first to have his number retired at the Uni. of Michigan. Cazzie was the number one draft pick in 1966 by the NBA. Drafted by the New York Knicks.Played his first five seasons for New York. And was part of the 1970 Championship run that featured...Willis Reed,Bill Bradley,and Walt Frazier,which beat the L.A. Lakers and Wilt Chamberlain.Cazzie went on to play 12 seasons in the NBA 1966-1978.Here's to you Cazzie Russell a positive influence on kids back in the day. And Still a positive influence today! One of the great Chicago Urban Legends.
Why did certain Chicago area basketball players make the Chicago Urban Legends list,while others did not? To quote Ozzy Osbourne... "I DON'T KNOW". There's always going to be people who should be on something and left off. That don't diminish who they are as a person,or as a player. Also,just because one made it to the NBA does not constitue being a Urban Legend. NBA is not the tell all ,do all when it comes to basketball. There's like 480 players in the NBA...And I can tell you with a clear mind...not all are the best players in the world! Not even half! WHY? Politics,breaks,being in the right place at the right time,psychological make up.That's the new thing in the NBA[not really new]doing mental, and behavior studies and questions on players to see if there is any problems in the future.Coming soon to a NBA team near you...DNA testing. OH NO! Way to go Eddie Curry! Ok Ok here's a list of players not on the Chicago Urban Legends, not saying they will or will not be on in the future. George Mikan,Isiah Thomas,Mark Aguirre,Maurice Cheeks,Jamie Brandon,Darrell Walker,Terry Cummings,Lee CummingsTerry's brother,Don Ross,Cory Blackwell,Ronnie Lester,Bo Ellis,Lafayette Lever,Alfredrick Hughes,Andre Battle,Larry Hawkins,Eddie Johnson,Hersey Hawkins,Quentin Richardson,Johnnie Selvie....Did I miss anyone? skoolofskills.org
There has always been a question as to where the best basketball players in the Chicagoland came from...Westside! Or the...Southside! Hard question to answer. But, I'll try and bring more light to the subject.Not to take away from players from any area in Chicago. Chicago,as far as I'm concerned,has "The Best" basketball players from any place on the planet! The rest of the world of course, is catching up to us.Isiah Thomas is by far the best NBA ball player to come from Chicago...and he's a westsider.Billy "the Kid" Harris is by far the best Streetball Legend/Pro ball player[Billy played in the ABA,Overseas,shooo,Billy played all over] Billy Harris is from the southside.You ask Billy...He says,Art Sivels was the best he's seen!Art was from the westside.Art Sivels could shoot,fast as ...I don't know what!Could dribble out of this world! Doing moves nobody never seem before!The Globetrotters wanted Art to play for them bad...they would come over his home bagging Art's mom to let him go on the road and show his wears.Art never went on that road show,but, he continue to be a Legend in Chicago.Who has the most players currently in the NBA? Westside or Southside? Southside of chicago has a slight edge in the amount of players currently in the NBA. Who has the most players on the Chicago Urban Legends list? To the view full list ...see below. Southside has a slight edge. With Derrick Rose being drafted number one in the NBA draft in June..gives the Southside another edge.So,overall,the Southside have a slight edge on the westside when it comes to Basketball.I can tell you one thing...You better not go on the westside talking trash! Especially,if you are from the southside. skoolofskills.org