East Coast meet West Coast …
I’d like to introduce you to James Dailey, a player I met out here in the Bay Area that I only wish could have played with and against Roz, Bobby Ford, Jeremiah Williams, Mike and Dave DeCusatis, Curt Conrad, Dave Stafford, Alfie Rossignoli, Doug Blessing, Eric Key, Gary Minngia, Roger Yoh, and, what the hell … Al Sobotor and even John Stott. All you all.
You would have liked and respected James’ game. By the way, J.D. is still alive, and very much doing well here in Oakland CA. Just wanted to clarify because when I wrote about Bobby Hollinger the other day Dennis Westley thought Bobby died.
J.D. is a guy I met out here in Oakland, late 1990s, which put me in my mid-30s at the time. I was still playing pickup basketball back then but J.D. had no idea when I first met him. James is 6-foot-5, was about 30 years old at the time, and was still in pretty good shape.
We found out we had basketball in common, and because I’d just moved to Oakland from San Francisco, I was looking for pickup games. Big James smirked when I told him I was looking to play, but he invited me to Club One in downtown Oakland. My guy didn’t think I could play, plain and simple.
That began a terrific relationship between J.D. and I, both on the court and off. The power forward and the point guard both knew how to play, is how I’ll put it. We won a lot of games at Club One.
You Back-Easters would have really liked and respected the hell out of J.D’s game. J.D. was legit … grew up here in the Oakland/East Bay area and played against all the big boys out here before high school, during high school, in
college and after. Yeah … that means Gary Payton, Jason Kidd, though JK was younger, the legendary Hook Mitchell, Antonio Davis, Greg Foster, Brian Shaw, J.R. Rider … that group. Pretty good, huh?
J.D. started out at Laramie Community College in Wyoming, then finished his college career at Division I St. Mary’s, where he led the team in scoring as a senior. J.D never shot the 3-ball in college, but the second he left school, he began stretching his game.
In his prime, J.D. could do it all. He could post you up, he could step out and make 3-pointers, and when the situation called for it he could tenaciously defend on the interior. Oh, man would he and Steve Rossignoli have had some battles … I’m telling you!
Here’s to James Dailey, a player with Oakland pedigree and a Division I game!