I had the honor recently of sitting down with The MSG Network for an on-camera interview that appeared over the weekend in their documentary film about the close relationship between NBA pioneers Nat “Sweetwater” Clifton and Joe Lapchick.
Clifton, who previously had starred with the Dayton Metropolitans, the New York Rens, the Dayton Rens, and the Harlem Globetrotters, was one of the first three African American players to break the NBA’s color barrier in 1950 when he signed with the New York Knicks.
Lapchick, the former New York Original Celtics star and Basketball Hall of Fame member, was Clifton’s coach.
The film is very good. Poignant. Bittersweet. A classic reminder and a nod of respect as well as a breath of fresh air for any Knicks fan. Any fan of basketball, social breakthroughs, sports culture, and history, for that matter. Well done.
Many readers know that former New York Rens star John Isaacs is a vocal advocate for the retirement of Clifton’s jersey by the New York Knicks organization. We agree that that seems befitting.
Here are some highlights of my cameo appearance in the film.
Also appearing in the documentary are a rich gang of experts, historians, and old-timers like Isaacs, Richard Lapchick, Earl Lloyd, Cal Ramsey, Howie Evans, Bob Wolff, and many others.
Did you get a chance to see it? Should the Knicks retire Clifton’s jersey? What are your thoughts?
[Updated 8/6/2014, Deleted By Server Malware (late 2014), Restored 11/19/2014]