Rafer Alston, also known as Skip to my Lou, recently made a guest appearance on the VladTV podcast. He talked about one particular anecdote from his life that he calls the biggest mistake in his professional career. After becoming a streetball legend in those old AND1 videos, Alston made his way to the NBA, where he played for several distinguished NBA teams.
However, the moment that somewhat marked his career, and he is still ashamed of it, came when he played for the Orlando Magic in the 2009 semifinals against the Boston Celtics. Eddie House made a shot right in his Alston’s face on one possession, which caused a lot of frustration and resulted in Alston slapping House on the head.
Eddie House situation to this day has to be the dumbest things I did in my career. He was killing us, and then he makes a shot while I am closing out, and I thought Eddie said something to me after he ran down the court after he makes the shot. So my reflex, my reaction was go down the court. Right, when I did it, he is in my face even though I am being macho, saying something to him. In my head, I’m like, I just f***ed up.Rafer Alston, via VladTV
Right after Alston slapped House in the head, he knew he made a mistake and that there was a possibility of retaliation after the game, either from House or from the NBA. Alston details how he saw House immediately after the game, and even though he thought they would fight, luckily, cooler heads prevailed, and there were no further altercations between the two.
We shower up, and I came out of the locker room, and he is coming out of his locker room. At this time, I’m like, well, if he wants to do something, then its going to go down. In my head, I’m thinking I know they are about to hit me with a suspension; I just screwed up. It was the dumbest thing in the world until this day. The dumbest, most craziest thing I have ever done was that.Rafer Alston, via VladTV
We’ve witnessed numerous minor altercations like this one in the NBA, and they are no surprise, especially in a competitive environment like the NBA playoffs. Luckily for the Magic, that incident didn’t disrupt the team’s chemistry, and they eventually beat the Celtics but lost to the Lakers in the NBA Finals. However, the Magic decided to trade Alston after that season, and his NBA career was soon over.
Alston also mentioned he squashed his beef with Eddie House a few years after they both retired. Both of them realized there was no bad blood but just good old competitiveness that sometimes makes players do irrational things they later regret, just like Alston did after he slapped House on the head.