Wayman Tisdale was one of the more talented players in collegiate basketball when I met him in New York City a few days before the 1985 NBA draft was conducted at the old Felt Forum, a great part of Madison Square Garden. The media attention and all-out fan-fair that year was solidly focused on Patrick Ewing, the soon-to-be franchise player of the New York Knicks and the consensus college player of the year, along with St. John's phenom Chris Mullin.
Tisdale was a top-notch scorer and rebounder who would've been the head honcho of the draft in most years, but he was being overlooked by the parochial NYC media and BIG EAST influened national media to a great degree because of the fact he was from Oklahoma and would be headed to the hinterlands of the Hoosier State and the NBA doormat of the Indiana Pacers.
We witnessed the same thing a few years earlier when ACC star and Sampson vs Ewing goliath in UVa's Ralph Sampson garnered all the attention and Steve Stipanovich was drafted in relative obscurity.
Tisdale's infectious smile and his warm personality were almost as sweet as his mid-range jump shot. I remember watching his form and loving his game. He was selected immediately after Ewing but before the likes of Benoit Benjamin, X-Man McDaniel, Joe Klein, Jon Koncak, Keith Lee and a few others.
Chris Mullin was selected at No. 7 by Golden State, not a bad pick at all. Utah Jazz came away with the biggest prize of that draft when they selected Karl Malone at No. 13 while Detroit did quite well with Joe Dumars at #18. A.C. Green went at #23 and Terry Porter at #24 to close out one of the strongest first round drafts of all-time.
I hate terrible news. The death of a young player is just that, terrible. They always seem to come in threes but this time, they came in fours. It's basketball and the game is played in four quarters, I guess?
Marvin, the Human Eraser, Webster
and... the late, great, wonderfully talented and passionate Wayman Tisdale.
Wayman Tisdale, a three-time All-American at Oklahoma who played 12 seasons in the NBA, died after a two-year battle with cancer. He was 44.