Former Georgetown Hoya Hollis Thompson was all of two-years old when Sam Cassell made his NBA debut with the Houston Rockets in November of 1993.
So, with Cassell serving as an assistant coach with the Washington Wizards, who have been putting 2012 NBA Draft hopefuls through workouts, including Thompson last Thursday, we are given a chance to crunch the age numbers as the two faced-off in a drill on the Verizon Center practice court.
Cassell will turn 43-years old this November, and Thompson turned 21 this past April; the difference between them — 21 years, 4 months and 16 days — is currently greater than Thompson’s age.
The drill was defensive in nature. Participating players were required to rotate properly on help defense as the ball was passed around. The final component involved the main defender rotating from helping in the paint to closing out on a wing player in the corner (Cassell) using proper technique.
From there, Cassell had free reign to relish the opportunity of scoring on a kid at least 50-percent less in age. And this wasn’t the first time Cassell has dueled with kids — previous battles have come against the likes of John Wall, Nick Young, JaVale McGee, and Andray Blatche — and it likely won’t be the last.
Cassell’s first bucket on Thompson came thanks to his expectantly unexpected craftiness, a scoop shot under Thompson’s obliviously defending arms. The 21-year old demanded another chance, and Cassell scored on him again; this time with a tough shot off the backboard glass — he called it.
“Hey GM! You got this on tape?” yelled Cassell up toward the onlooking Wizards brass, media members other viewing parties. Cassell’s question came after he put on a display of his 42-year old prowess with a strut. Sam I Am may not have invented NBA swagger, but he’s certainly in the Hall of Fame.
Thompson didn’t strike out a third time, however. He closed out on Cassell tight and used his 6-foot-8 frame to bother the one-time All-Star, three-time NBA Champion into a bricked miss.
But hey, two out of three ain’t bad for an old man.