Here’s a rare and awesome Nike retro ad called “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised.” The 1995 ad featured the voice of Blastmaster KRS-One and the talents of KG, Jason Kidd, Joe Smith, Jimmy Jackson and one of my favorite players of the 90s, Eddie Jones.
On the surface, three-time All-Star Eddie Jones was easy to love. He could shoot threes, he could make posters, he was one of the best shot-blocking guards, he got steals, he actually got along with a young Kobe, and he was always smiling. What’s not to like? Well, the big knock on EJ was he “didn’t want to be the man” or just didn’t have what it took to be the man. He had a habit of disappearing in 4th quarters and playoffs and just didn’t seem to have that “killer instinct” because he was just too nice of a guy.
During the late 90s playoffs between the Blazers and Lakers, JR Rider even created a public beef with Eddie just to get himself hyped up about playing the Lakers. He told the media he was going out to “destroy and kill” Eddie and Eddie just laughed it off. To this day, I still mess with Rider about picking on him, and Rider’s response was, “it worked.”
Killer instinct or not, one thing Kobe’s mentor wasn’t afraid to do was glide to the basket off one foot from near, at, or behind the free-throw line and either dunk on a defender (ask Shawn Bradley and Andrew Lang) or hit a pretty (crazy) finger-roll.
And because of highlights like these, I still feel bad Eddie never got to stay with the Lakers when they won their championships. He did have a great statistical season and made the All-NBA 3rd Team with the Charlotte Hornets in 2000 but that wasn’t the same person I used to love hearing the Staples crowd chant, “Eddie, Eddie, Eddie” for.
So in honor of Kobe’s mentor, JR Rider’s nemesis and the owner of the sickest finger roll layup ever, he’s a few of my ancient Lakers mixes featuring Eddie and one of the most exciting Laker teams ever.