Nate "Tiny" Archibald, Moses Malone, Clyde "The Glide" Drexler, Artis Gilmore and George "Iceman" Gervin.
They were sitting at a table, hunched over sandwiches dressed in black polos bearing a gold Jerry West and the words "NBA Legends."
I've had the pleasure of meeting some NBAers over the past year. Most have been Heat guys. A few weeks ago it was Dorrell Wright and Qyntel Woods. They were silly, making fun of some guy's voice and outfit. I didn't feel like even bothering. Keyon Dooling months before. Too small to impress, so I ignored him too. I have to balance the pop obsession with the suave, ya hear?
Earlier than that, Eddie Jones and Rasual Butler at a club opening. Eddie was chill, but I'm the smart ass who spent 5 drunk minutes telling Rasual he couldn't play defense until he gave me the goggle eyes of "Who is this guy?". Suave right. But its true, he can't play defense.
Elsewhere, Alonzo Mourning is one of those guys who makes you feel comfortable even though he's so ridiculously intense.
Me and Jermaine O'Neal connected last August. Fo' Real. We chatted for a few minutes, I didn't come across as gawky fan. Fist pounds were proof. Not since the run in with Miguel Cabrera have I felt so capable in the presence of great athletes.
Yet with the legends it was different. As I walked in, my head was numb - not a thought to be found. I stop at the table and they all stand up. All I could say was "Boy, you guys really are tall."
Chances are I'll never be in the same room as five legends of the Association ever again. And instead of leaving a lasting legacy, by giving them a Free Darko business card, I uttered what every short cocky male has ever said when confronted with the type of men who in pre-history were the hunter and you were the prey.
Further proof that social-Darwinism (the only Darwinism that I can claim with my foggy eyes) is full of shit.