It would be lazy to call Jerald Honeycutt my white whale. Sure, I’ve been writing this piece for seven years. And sure, I started and stopped and stalled more than my first time driving stick shift. And yeah, I’ll even concede that I have four separate Word Documents titled "Honeycutt1," "Honeycutt2," "Honeycutt REAL," and "The REAL Honeycutt."
But this piece didn’t consume me.
It’s not like I stopped living. It’s not like I have ‘Honeycutt’ tattooed on my shoulder blade, or on my hip, or have his initials etched on my ankle with rose thorns intertwined. Throughout these years, I managed to hold a job, and Google Ron Anderson, and memorize every Intercontinental Heavyweight champion from Pat Patterson to Mr. Perfect (his second reign). Sure, Jerald Honeycutt presents a challenge. He’s not George Lynch or Matt Harpring, and he may not have the pizazz of a Jumaine Jones. But Jerald was a Sixer. He has appeared in playoff games. He donned the red and blue. Or the black and gold anyway. The moment I let Jerald Honeycutt slip through the cracks of the Sixers fans’ consciousness is the moment I admit defeat.
No Child Left Behind?
No Sixer Left Behind.
Name: Jerald Honeycutt
Born: October 20, 1974
Sixers’ Tenure: 1998-1999
Semi-Believable Dialogue from 1999:
Sixers traded Scott Williams.
"But where is our innate championship experience gonna come from?"
The people that know me say I tend to lie exaggerate.
"Dave, you once compared Eric Leckner to a Roman Gladiator."
"You said Zendon Hamilton was a taller Elvin Hayes."
While I don’t agree with their assessment – I still think Zendon can thrive in the right system – I do feel obligated to explain myself. My memories and knowledge of former Sixers isn’t just a cocktail of hyperbole and internet research. When I say that I ran the the pick n’ roll (or pick n’ pop) with Armon Gilliam on my Nerf net, I did. And when I say that Dana Barros had the best individual season for a point guard in the 1990’s, well, cut me some slack. It was tough to watch west coast games with a 9:30 bedtime.
And fortunately, while working on my fourth draft, I remembered that I printed out every conversation from my time spent in the old AOL basketball chat room. So now…where all the haters at?
Blink1Ate2 (3/12/99 11:47 P.M.): ne1 know nething about this gerald honneycutt? the guy from tulane
GreenWave6969 (3/12/99 11:47 P.M.): yeah I kno Honneycutt.
Blink1Ate2 (3/12/9911:48 P.M.): whats his game like?
GreenWave6969 (3/12/9911:49 P.M.): Good length can drive. Need work on his j. good throw in 4 hill deal
Blink1Ate2 (3/12/99 11:51 P.M): can he play in larry brown system?
GreenWave6969 (3/12/99 11:52 P.M.): yah
Blink1Ate2 (3/12/99 11:52 P.M.): good, lol
GreenWave6969 (3/12/99 11:52 P.M.): lol
Blink1Ate2 (3/12/99 11:53 P.M.): a/s/l
GreenWaveFan6969 (3/12/99 11:54 P.M): 42/m/LA
Blink1Ate2 (3/13/99 12:02 A.M.): ne1 see the nova ole miss game?
See? What other proof do you need?
I did my research. I performed my due diligence. I walked into school the next day raving about this young small forward from Tulane.
"I watched some Honeycutt game film last night. Kid has good length, can drive. Needs to work on his jumper though. Good throw-in for the Tyrone Hill deal."
My favorite Jerald Honeycutt fun fact is that he started Game 1 of the 1999 NBA Playoffs against Orlando - which would be an awesome little tidbit of information if it were actually true. (Definitely not true). Honeycutt’s stint with the Sixers was not particularly memorable, but that team was. Game 3 of the playoff series – the Sixers first home playoff game in almost a decade - was the loudest arena I’ve ever been inside. The place was bonkers. My friend high-fived every person in the arena. Every person. It took him a while, sure, but he did it. I’m not sure if it stemmed from genuine happiness, or because, deep down, he thought maybe, just maybe, he could end up on a NBA Superstars video.
Regardless. He was there. I was there. Jerald was there.