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Nick Van Exel's surprising new passion


New, fresh starts ain't never easy. Turning a new page sometimes feels as if the paper is made out of razor-sharp blades or as if it weighs a million tons. But at some point, we have to acknowledge going in the wrong direction. And that's what the Lakers did in 1993.

The curtain on those Showtime Lakers was down, and the franchise wanted to move on from those times with Eddie Jones and Nick Van Exel as the centerpieces of it. Nick The Quick was a college prodigy, an entertainer long before putting on the purple and gold stripes. He led the University of Cincinnati to the NCAA Final Four and Elite Eight in two consecutive years, earning Third-Team All-American honors and being a finalist for the Wooden Award in the early '90s. Van Exel had ball-handling skills at an elite level, and that left hand could've hurt any defense.

Despite that, he slipped down the draft, and the Lakers drafted him in the second round from No 37. in 1993. But the Lakers didn't really click altogether, and Van Exel's wild personality didn't help either. Shaq and Kobe were guys that the Lakers counted on, so Van Exel had to find another spotlight to shine under. They moved him to Denver, which cause one of the best revenge games of the era. 

“Well, this is my last game with you guys. See you again when I come in here with 40.”

Nick Van Exel, LA Times

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Van Exel would continue to torment opposing defenses in Denver, Dallas, Golden State, Portland, and San Antonio and eventually hang his shoes in '05. So you would think that player of that caliber, who's been around the league and who earned a dollar or two, would already find the ultimate pleasures in life. But no. Just a year ago, Nick would discover – iced coffee. It only took him 47 years... Overnight, Nick Van Exel became an ice coffee aficionado who shares his admiration for this cold drink.

“I'm with a little ice coffee this morning. Just wanted to let everybody know, all my Twitter followers, everybody that's in my phone, my friends, my family, really disappointed in y'all that y'all didn't let me know about iced coffee before. Real disappointed, but since it tastes so good, I'll forgive y'all.”

Nick Van Exel, Twitter

Van Exel posted a Twitter video last year suggesting he's hooked up on it. He even gave some tips on making ice coffee and added that he's drinking it every morning as a part of his morning ritual.

Nick never lived up to the hype from his college days and he never won a championship ring, but he sure found his passion and has finally settled down. With a big cup of not so hot coffee in his hands. We won't be the one drink-shaming you Nick, we're all just really proud.

Nick The Quick turned 49 yesterday, and we wish him all the best!

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