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Rafer Jamel "Skip to My Lou" Alston (born July 24, 1976 in Jamaica, Queensmarker, New York Citymarker, New Yorkmarker) is an Americanmarker professional basketball player currently with the NBA's New Jersey Nets.

Streetball legend

Alston grew up in Jamaica Queens, New York and is widely regarded as one of the best streetball basketball players of all time. He is often referred to by his streetball nickname "Skip to My Lou", a name he received for skipping while he dribbled the ball.[82460]

He has been associated with shoe manufacturer And 1's "Mix Tape Tour" promotional streetball team. And 1 has become well known because of his tape, which is captured by his coach and sent to And 1. And 1 had printed 500,000 copies, and the tape was used as a free gift when their products were sold. Alston was a poster boy for the street league, and he carried his reputation into the National Basketball Association.

He played basketball under coach Ron Naclerio at Benjamin N. Cardozo High School in Bayside, Queens, New York.

NBA career

Alston played college basketball for 3 seasons: for Ventura Collegemarker (1994/95, 1 season), then for Fresno City College (1996/97, 1 season; in the 1995/96 season he was redshirted at FCC) — both community colleges in California, and finishing at Fresno Statemarker (1997/98, 1 season).

Alston struggled early in his NBA career, but was able to very successfully transition from streetball to the professional game. After sitting on the bench for most of the time he was with the Milwaukee Bucks, he was traded to the Toronto Raptors, Following a tumultuous tenure with the Raptors, he emerged as a starter for the Miami Heat in 2004. He did not disappoint, averaging 12 points and 4 assists on a young Miami team, lead by rookie guard Dwyane Wade, that made it to the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals of the NBA Playoffs. During that season, in a March 26 game against the Dallas Mavericks, he hit a game-winning shot in overtime with 0.5 seconds left over the outstretched arms of Shawn Bradley to catapult Miami to a 119-118 victory. He would again sign with the Toronto Raptors during the summer of 2004, yet his career did not blossom in Toronto the way he hoped.

Alston was traded to the Houston Rockets for guard Mike James on October 4, 2005. Although Alston frequently was criticized for his attitude while in Toronto, it is believed that Rockets coach Jeff Van Gundy conferred with his brother, Miami Heat coach Stan Van Gundy, who coached Alston during the 2003–04 NBA season, about Alston's work ethic and attitude. Jeff Van Gundy's reputation for toughness and his ability to get the most out of players previously considered "trouble-makers" or "temperamental" (e.g., Latrell Sprewell) led to optimism on the part of the Rockets' staff. In the 2006–07 season, as the Rockets starting point guard, Alston averaged 13.3 points, 3.4 rebounds, 5.4 assists and 1.6 steals per game. He finished the season ninth in steals among all NBA players, fourth in three pointers made, and 23rd in assists.

On November 12, 2008, Alston was suspended for two games without pay for his role in a fight after a non-call foul with Matt Barnes and Steve Nash. Alston was traded to the Orlando Magic for Brian Cook on February 19, 2009, and replaced the injured Jameer Nelson in the team's starting lineup. On April 30, 2009, Alston helped the Orlando Magic defeat the Philadelphia 76ers 4-2 in a best of 7 series in the NBA Playoffs first round. Alston had 21 points to go along with 10 assists. The Magic then defeated the Boston Celtics and Cleveland Cavaliers to advance to the NBA Finals, where they lost to the Los Angeles Lakers.

On June 25, 2009, he was traded to the New Jersey Nets along with Tony Battie and Courtney Lee in exchange for Vince Carter and Ryan Anderson.

Legal troubles

On Sunday morning, August 5, 2007, Alston was arrested in downtown Houston on misdemeanor charges of assault and public intoxication. He was arrested again in the early hours of Tuesday, August 28 in New Yorkmarker on charges of allegedly slashing a man on the neck during a nightclub altercation. Neither the club owner, police, nor security tapes have provided any evidence of the incident occurring.

The charges brought against Rafer Alston for the incident that took place on August 5, 2007 were dropped on February 29, 2008.

"We went into court, and the DA office indicated that all charges be dismissed based on their investigation," Al Ebanks (Alston's Lawyer) said.

"They did not feel this is a case that should go forward.

We're obviously pleased with the outcome, as pleased as can be when the case had no merit and understand should never have been charged in the first place."



"Al and a lot of my family members were worried if I could go on with the season, would it be on my mind," Alston said.

"When you know you didn't do anything, I just waited for it to be over and came in and focused on basketball.



"You can deal with things when you know you didn't do it.

Now the whole case is over with, and they want to keep it silent.

I was on the front page when it happened.



"Now when it's dropped they want to keep it silent.

That's OK.

I can deal with that.

That's not who I am."

He was arrested again on August 7, 2008, and charged with DWI.

NBA career statistics

Regular season

1999–00
Milwaukee
27 0 13.4 .284 .214 .750 .9 2.6 .4 .0 2.2
2000–01
Milwaukee
37 2 7.8 .357 .267 .692 .8 1.8 .3 .0 2.1
2001–02
Milwaukee
50 7 12.0 .346 .380 .621 1.4 2.9 .6 .0 3.5
2002–03
Toronto
47 4 20.9 .415 .392 .685 2.3 4.1 .8 .3 7.8
2003–04
Miami
82 28 31.5 .376 .371 .769 2.8 4.5 1.4 .2 10.2
2004–05
Toronto
80 78 34.0 .414 .357 .740 3.5 6.4 1.5 .1 14.2
2005–06
Houston
63 63 38.6 .379 .327 .692 4.0 6.7 1.6 .2 12.1
2006–07
Houston
82 82 37.1 .375 .363 .734 3.4 5.4 1.6 .1 13.3
2007–08
Houston
74 74 34.1 .394 .351 .715 3.5 5.3 1.3 .2 13.1
2008–09
Houston
48 48 33.1 .370 .348 .789 3.0 5.4 1.2 .2 11.5
2008–09
Orlando
29 28 29.0 .413 .317 .707 2.9 5.1 1.8 .1 12.0
Career
619 414 28.6 .386 .354 .729 2.8 4.9 1.2 .1 10.3

Playoffs

1999–00
Milwaukee
4 0 4.0 .000 .000 .000 .0 .3 .0 .0 .0
2000–01
Milwaukee
5 0 1.6 .000 .000 .000 .0 .2 .0 .0 .0
2003–04
Miami
13 0 22.7 .319 .231 .840 2.2 1.7 .4 .1 7.0
2006–07
Houston
7 7 44.1 .338 .320 .769 6.9 5.0 1.9 .4 10.9
2007–08
Houston
4 4 31.5 .438 .440 .800 1.5 4.5 1.0 .0 14.3
2008–09
Orlando
23 23 32.2 .380 .319 .750 2.4 4.1 1.4 .2 12.2
Career
56 34 26.7 .365 .311 .764 2.5 3.1 1.0 .1 9.0

References

External links




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