High Tops, High Fives and High-Top Fades

By: Nate Rose

While most of my forays to pregame shootarounds yielded few returns — other than an autograph from Craig Ehlo and Sarunas Marciulionis — I did manage to secure one signature I’m still particularly proud of to this day. 

It was the 1994-95 season, which places me at about eight years old. The Kings were hosting the multi-talented Houston Rockets. Earlier that day I gathered up all the cards I owned of players suiting up for the Kings or Rockets and headed to the arena with my dad as well as my best childhood friend. After struggling fruitlessly to capture any attention from the players, I narrowed my sights on Kenny Smith, who was walking off the floor. Receiving encouragement from my dad, I blurted out, “Kenny! Don’t leave me hanging!”

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Smith, who was nearly off the court by this point, turned around, chuckled, and returned to sign my card and give me a high five — a moment I will never forget.