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Rafer Alston: The And1 Streetballer Who Made The NBA

Rafer Alston: The And1 Streetballer Who Made The NBA

Rafer Alston isn't your normal NBA player. His upbringing into the limelight was different from any other player who made the NBA.

What wasn't “traditional” about Alston is what led to an entire movement for basketball on the streets. This was known as the And1 Mixtape Tour.


And1 Mixtape Tour

Alston played basketball in high school, and he played ball in college. He attended three different colleges, all of which were small.

The last college he attended was Fresno State, where he was red-shirted. In 33 games, Alston averaged 11.0 points and 7.3 assists per game.

These stats weren't bad, but they weren't the type of stats that has NBA recruiters jumping out of their seats.

There was something that would eventually get everyone jumping out of their seats, and that would be a low-quality mixtape that Alston's high school coach reportedly released.

This mixtape showcased Alston's incredible streetball moves. This included killer crossovers and other fast dribble moves that would fake out any defender in his way.

Alston also would perform a skip dribble when he brought the ball up the court. This earned him the legendary streetball nickname of Skip to My Lou.

This video led to Alston joining the And1 Mixtape Tour, which was a team of the best streetballers in the country that traveled around and put on shows.

Alston quickly proved he was the originator and the best fancy trick player of the And1 Mixtape Tour, as everyone wanted to catch his highlights.

The And1 Mixtape Tour was featured on Espn and Espn2 by the show title of Streetball. The tour would go to different cities to not only play street basketball, but to also recruit other members to join the team.

And1 ended up releasing 10 volumes of the mixtape tour, which helped Alston reach legendary status in the streets. But would his skills be enough for an NBA team to come knocking?


NBA Career

The NBA did recognize his skills and in the second round of the 1998-99 NBA Draft, the Milwaukee Bucks selected Alston with the 39th pick.

Alston's first few years in the NBA didn't go as planned. He played sparingly off the bench for the Bucks in his first three years before being first traded to the Toronto Raptors for a season and then the Miami Heat for a season where he saw a little more playing time.

After returning to the Raptors for one more season, Alston would find a home with the Houston Rockets, where he had his most personal success.

Alston played three and a half years in Houston as the starting point guard for the Rockets. He averaged 12.6 points, 5.7 assists, and 1.4 steals per game for the Rockets.

He was traded halfway during the 2008-09 season to the Orlando Magic to take the place of the injured Jameer Nelson.

Alston took over the starting point guard role and played well. He averaged 12.0 points and 5.1 assists per game in 29 games.

The Magic ended up reaching the NBA Finals with Alston playing as the starting point guard. The Magic faced off against Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers, but for Alston, the high he was riding would come to a stop.

In a controversial move, the Magic prematurely brought back Jameer Nelson in the Finals and started him over Alston.

The Lakers ended up defeating the Magic 4-1, and this ultimately was the beginning of the end of Alston's NBA career.

He was traded to the New Jersey Nets and played 27 games before being released. He signed with the Miami Heat and played 25 games before being suspended for missing practice and a game.

The suspension started as one game but was quickly upgraded to the remainder of the season.

Alston was eventually cut, and he'd end up playing for two different leagues before retiring in 2012.

As an NBA player, Rafer Alston was an average player. As a streetball player, Alston is and will always be a legend.

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