Issue 89: Sound the Trumpets, Blast the Mahorns

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I don’t know about you, but I can’t jump very high. When I was in peak physical condition, I could scrape the rim with my fingertips, though I certainly wasn’t wow-ing anyone with my leaping ability.

More likely, an observer would say something like, “hmm, that tall gangly man seems to be a little uncomfortable. I wonder if he stepped in an ant pile?”

Today’s Cool Cat was similarly a non-rocketship, yet certainly had a productive NBA career regardless.

Despite standing a robust 6’10”, Rick Mahorn wasn’t much of a jumper. Luckily, he didn’t need to be, because he had a big ol’ booty he used to push other people around.

Ahh, push it…push it real good

Mahorn played for 18 seasons in the NBA, suiting up for the Washington Bullets, Detroit Pistons, Philadelphia 76ers, and New Jersey Nets. Throw in a year in Italy about two-thirds of the way through and call it a career.

Mahorn is one of the rare occasions where he made return trips to not one, but TWO different teams. He rejoined the Pistons when he was 38, and played his final season in Philadelphia at age 40.

His career averages were pretty nice: 6.9 points and 6.2 rebounds. And had he committed just one more foul, he would have ended with 3,500 total, which is a fun round number but otherwise irrelevant. I just like that quirkiness.

Mahorn was most notably on the Pistons “Bad Boys” teams in the late 1980s, and won an NBA championship in 1989. In fact, Pistons announcer George Blaha called him the “Baddest Bad Boy of them all.” That’s an accolade you can be proud of.

Mahorn also took home two titles as coach of the WNBA’s Detroit Shock and joined Ice Cube’s BIG3 league because he “missed the camaraderie” of basketball. Who wouldn’t want to hang out with a chummy guy like that?

Check one, check two

Beyond his playing and coaching days, Mahorn has extensive experience in the world of audio broadcasting. He currently works as an on-air analyst for the Pistons and serves as a co-host and analyst for SiriusXM and Compass Sports radio’s college basketball broadcast coverage.

During the playoffs, Mahorn is picking up another gig as a podcaster. He’s joining the Krush House Legends, a new video podcast on the Krush House Network, to talk about all things NBA postseason.

Other Krush House guests include comedian Frank Nicotero and Angelica Bridges, the former Baywatch star. Mahorn is in good company.

The biggest reason Rick Mahorn is a cool cat

Much like a real-life cat, Rick Mahorn occasionally likes making people uncomfortable. Of course, a real-life cat does so by hissing and shredding your skin off. Rick Mahorn does it with a propensity for pranks.

I owned a video cassette when I was younger–shout out to VHS!–that was called “The Lighter Side of Basketball.” One segment featured Mahorn teaming up with Charles Barkley to scare other NBA players.

Their method of terrorizing people was to have Mahorn hiding underneath a table with his head lying in wait beneath a silver platter.

Barkley would direct the NBA players around the table, showing them dishes like chicken and creamed corn. Then, when it got to Mahorn, his head would pop out and he’d scream.

It was a delightfully dumb bit, but even years later, I still remember this. Rick Mahorn is probably the only player in NBA history to pop out of a table like that, and we should all root for him because of it.

Other Reads and Watches

Pat Eaton-Robb on Caron Butler’s quest to end solitary confinement in prisons, based on his own experience growing up

Percy Allen on the lasting impact former Seattle Storm coach Dan Hughes had on the league. He retired last week after 44 (!) years of coaching

Kelly Cohen on MVP candidate Jonquel Jones leaving the WNBA for nearly a month to play in the FIBA European women’s basketball championship

Dick Harmon on former BYU basketball coach Roger Reid helping his wife Diane with Alzheimer’s

That’s all ’til next time. Thanks for reading!


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