On January 6th of 2017, 12-year NBA vet and 2-time NBA champion Matt Bonner aka The Red Rocket aka The Red Mamba aka The Sandwich Hunter announced his retirement via a “mildly humerous” video and a short message on “The Players’ Tribune.”
“Thank you to everyone who supported this humble redheaded role player through the years. I loved every team I played for and every city I lived in…Unless a professional “spot shooting” league miraculously crops up, I hope you will continue the support for whatever comes for me after basketball.”
In honor of The Red Mamba (my personal favorite nickname of his), I gathered a few of my favorite WTF Mamba moments.
#1: MATT BONNER WON A DUNK CONTEST IN HS
During his Concord high days, Bonner not only competed in a dunk contest but won it by doing the only decent dunk Kenny Smith did in a NBA dunk contest.
#2: MATT BONNER TAKES THE BALL FROM TONY PARKER AND CALLS AN ISO
Bonner and Parker fought for a rebound and when Matt tried to hand the ball to Tony, Parker did the french surrender and put his hands up. Bonner then dribbled down the court and called an isolation play for himself before Parker took the ball back.
“(Bonner) likes to mess with me once in a while,” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said, smiling. “Matty will never get a call for (an isolation or) anything ever while I’m here.”
#3 MATT “THE ENFORCER” BONNER GETS EJECTED BECAUSE KG OVERREACTED
Back in 2004, Kevin Garnett had to be “held back” after overreacting and flipping out after a questionable flagrant foul by Bonner.
“It was a hard foul. That really didn’t even spark me until I saw him pointing into the crowd like he’s some enforcer,” Garnett said.
I’m assuming KG hit the ground harder than I initially thought because Bonner was not acting like “some enforcer.” Since KG and Sprewell did such a great job of making it a big deal, the refs gave Bonner the only ejection of his basketball career.
#4 RED MAMBA VS WHITE MAMBA
Unless you plan on watching reruns of “Friends,” this will probably be the whitest thing you will see today: Bonner and Brian Scalabrine having a shootout around a bunch of screaming white people wearing the same green t-shirt.
#5 BONNER CROSSES THE MAD DOG
This video might be the 2nd most white thing you will see today: Matt Bonner breaking the ankles of Mark “Mad Dog” Madsen with one of the slowest crossovers you will ever see.
HONORABLE MENTION: BONNER VS CP3
After some contact and a big flopping motion by Chris Paul, Tim Duncan tells Paul to “calm the f**k down” when Paul wanted to have some words with Bonner. Being the nice guy Bonner is, he apologized to Paul and told him Duncan tells me to “calm the f**k down” everyday.
And on that note, I’ll wish Bonner good luck and happiness in his future ventures, which probably includes shopping at Old Navy with Tim Duncan. Actually, he’s joining the Spurs TV broadcast team as a studio analyst. It’s been a fun 12-years watching you play…even though it took me an hour to find five decent plays to show from your career (I’m kidding!).