The retro fresh folks over at Fear the Beard recently dropped a piece on former Warrior great World B. Free. You've seen the painfully bad, feel good story of 1994 "The Air Up There", but don't sleep on the painfully good World B. Free aka The Prince of Midair.
"LOTS OF CRAP!"
Kevin Bacon shouldn't be allowed to do hoops movies.
I missed World B. Free's run with the Dubs by a few years, but here's what sticks out in my mind about the man:
- World had a 44-inch vertical! Can you imagine if Adonal Foyle had that kind of hops?
- His original name was Lloyd Free, but he legally changed his first name to "World". You better be a straight balla if you do something like that and this man looks to have fit the description.
- Wouldn't it be cool if you could say you played Around the World on the blacktop with World?
- On every elementary school playground there's always some annoying, unguardable kid with the ugliest form on his jumpshot, but for some reason hits EVERYTHING. World B. Free is role model for kids like that:
His style was unique to be sure, and it was one that more than one of us made misguided attempts to imitate on the playground. Raining jumpers released well behind his head, elbows akimbo, and with legs awkwardly splayed, was not--as it turned out--the best way to square one's shoulders to the basket.
- I personally love it when old skool styles make a comeback, but I'm praying World's look doesn't ever come back, more so than those 3 inch John Stockton booty hugger shorts:
Needless to say, an individual so profoundly unusual as to change his name to World also rocked a unique look. Yes, he had a beard, but his signature look rendered the beard an afterthought. He was fond of the previously unthinkable pairing of mutton chop sideburns with a male-pattern-baldness receding dome line. Think George Jefferson meets the Mod Squad.
- And lastly a Warrior on a Sports Illustrated cover? And not just Chris Mullin and Manute Bol on a Sports Illustrated for Kids cover? Unstoppable baby!
Golden State Illustrated.
Head on over to Fear the Beard for more history on World B. Free.
For you old skoolers, what was your you favorite World B. Free moment?