When The Rain Fell On The Reign Man: The Tragic Fall Of Shawn Kemp – Fadeaway World

    Basketball in the 1990s had a lot of stars, players who were so exciting to watch you couldn’t miss a game when they were on…

    When you first think of these stars, a few names come to mind. michael jordan, scottie pippen, grant hill, shaquille o’neal, and a young kobe bryant, just to name a few.

    Reading: What happened to shawn kemp

    But what if I told you that in the mid-1990s, one of the most exciting players to watch, a high-flying act that was definitely a must-see on television, was a player named Shawn Kemp?

    The “Reign Man”, as Shawn Kemp was known, was arguably the hardest shooter in NBA history and this isn’t just a statement made by a fan, even NBA legends have said it.

    two time champion and leader of the “bad boy” detroit pistons, isiah thomas, had this to say about shawn kemp:

    “I don’t think we’ve ever seen anyone nail with that kind of animosity.”

    Thomas is absolutely right. Shawn Kemp’s dunks felt different and the fans in the arenas who were watching felt it too.

    at one point, shawn kemp’s game was so highly regarded that he was compared to michael jordan…yes, really.

    In 1992, a sportswriter named Mike Kahn had this to say about Shawn Kemp:

    “the natural strength, quickness and jumps, as well as the intimidating expressions after a particularly impressive move, bear a striking resemblance to michael jordan.”

    this was a great compliment, but before we continue with kemp’s career in the nba, let’s talk about how basketball began for the “reign man”.

    Shawn Kemp was born on November 26, 1969 in Elkhart, Indiana. She attended Concord High School.

    On his first day at the prestigious B/C All-Star Camp, Shawn Kemp bested Terry Mills, the prestigious high school star. this gained much recognition from the community and certainly from the high school basketball coach.

    Shawn Kemp would go on to become a four-year varsity starter and was considered one of the top four or five players nationally as a senior.

    kemp also led his high school team to the state championship finals during his senior year.

    The “kingdom man” (or boy at the time) finished his high school career as elkhart county’s all-time leading scorer and the owner of the single game and single scoring records concord race season.

    In 1988, Shawn Kemp was selected to the McDonald’s All-American High School team. Kemp played on what is arguably known as the best American high school team at McDonald’s. He played alongside another NBA great and Hall of Famer, Luto Alonzo.

    although kemp’s team, the west, lost the mcdonald’s game, 105-99, kemp scored a team-high 18 points, proving he can play with the best.

    Shawn Kemp would eventually sign a national letter of intent to play basketball at the University of Kentucky, but poor grades would derail a promising college basketball career.

    shawn kemp did not earn the minimum sat score of 700 and was forced to miss his freshman year under ncaa proposition 48 rules.

    shawn kemp’s high school coach jim hahn had this to say about the idea of ​​kemp not being allowed to play basketball in kentucky:

    “having shawn in a college setting without basketball, the one thing he loves, was, i felt, a huge mistake. It even crossed my mind to advise him to go straight into the NBA, and the only thing that stopped me was the fact that very few players had done it.

    well coach hahn, shawn kemp would become one of the few to make the jump from high school to the nba.

    shawn kemp initially attended kentucky, but left the team in november 1988 after he was accused of pawning two gold chains that had been reported stolen. The chains belonged to his teammate Sean Sutton, the son of then-Kentucky head coach Eddie Sutton.

    Sean Sutton did not press charges, but this incident caused Kemp to transfer to Trinity Valley University in Texas.

    shawn kemp would not stay long in college, after a semester at tvcc, where he did not play, 19-year-old kemp declared himself eligible for the 1989 nba draft.

    Then, with the 17th pick in the first round, the Seattle Jetsons selected the “manchild” who would later be known as the “kingdom man.”

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    as a rookie, shawn kemp wouldn’t surprise many people, he only averaged 6.5 points and 4.3 rebounds in 13.8 minutes. from 1993 to 1998, kemp’s work would definitely catch everyone’s attention:

    – 18.5 points per game

    – 10.5 rebounds per game

    – 1.4 steals per game

    – 1.5 blocks per set

    – 51% field goal percentage

    – 74% free throw percentage

    along with his teammate, gary “the glove” payton, the brash talker and defender, the seattle jets quickly made it known that they were a team to worry about in the nba.

    In 1993, the Jetsons finished with the third-best record in the West (they had the sixth-best record in the West the previous season).

    the following year they had the best record in the league with a record of 63-19. The Jetsons would achieve the best record in the West once again just a few years later in 1996, going 64-18.

    two unfortunate things would happen to those sonic teams when they had the best record in the league (94) and in the west (96).

    First, in 1994, the top-seeded Jetsons fell flat in a historic upset during their first-round series against Dikembe Mutombo. The Nuggets became the first eighth seed to beat a number one seed in the NBA playoffs. they won the series 3-2.

    then in 1996 the sounds looked good. Shawn Kemp was playing at the peak of his powers averaging 19.6 points and 11.4 rebounds per game on 56.1% shooting from the floor.

    His running mate, Gary Payton won Defensive Player of the Year, becoming the only point guard to win the award.

    Their problem was: they met in the final against the greatest team of all time, led by the greatest player of all time… michael jordan and the chicago bulls.

    those bulls won 72 games that year and seemed to be on their way to an easy championship, especially after winning the first three games of the finals.

    but the sounds didn’t stop. Shawn Kemp didn’t quit. Kemp, who played well in the first two games in Chicago (32 points, 29 points), fell short in Seattle with just 14 points on 7 shooting.

    Like I said, Shawn Kemp didn’t quit. he scored 25 on 12-for-17 shooting to save the series. The Sonics won Game 4 in a runaway fashion, winning 107-86.

    In game 5, the sounds once again held off the bulls as shawn kemp scored 22 and grabbed 10 rebounds. the sonics won 89-78.

    shawn kemp and his heroic sonic comeback attempt finally fell short in game 6 as the bulls won 87-75. kemp played well with 18 points and 14 rebounds, but that team of bulls was too much.

    after the loss to the chicago bulls in the nba finals, everyone had high hopes for shawn kemp. his play in those finals was much more eye-opening for critics and fans, but this is where the downfall of the “reigning man” would begin.

    In the 1996-1997 season, it was noted that Shawn Kemp was going through the motions in practice like he didn’t care how he used to do it.

    There were reports that Shawn Kemp showed up drunk for practice. Additionally, there were reports that Kemp stayed up late drinking the night before a game.

    The most notable incident of this happened the night before the most anticipated matchup of the year: February 2, 1997 against the Chicago Bulls. this was the rematch of the final to be played in seattle.

    the night before the game, the “kingdom man” was apparently serving drinks late into the night at a local seattle bar called keg steakhouse and bar.

    bar employees said kemp stayed until 2 a.m. and had nine to 10 drinks over a 3 hour and 15 minute period, mixing single shots of crown royal whiskey with crown beers.

    Shawn Kemp appeared to still be drunk early against the Bulls, and he didn’t attempt a single shot in the first 18 minutes of the game.

    the “man of the reign” would only take 11 shots in the game, scoring 16 points. His body language didn’t show that he was really into the game. the bulls won 91-84.

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    shawn kemp became frustrated with the sounds after the organization did not offer him a new contract. The following season, Kemp signed a massive contract, but with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

    Would the “ruling man” be reborn in the city that houses the rock and roll hall of fame? the answer to that is no.

    The Cavaliers almost instantly regretted giving Kemp a seven-year, $107 million contract. the “ruling man” wasn’t ruling over anything when he walked into training camp overweight and out of shape.

    shawn kemp spent the entire 1997-1998 season trying to get back in shape. The explosiveness that made him popular in Seattle seemed to have disappeared in Cleveland.

    Things would continue to get worse for the “reign” in the following season. The 1998-1999 NBA season did not start on time due to the lockout.

    The season would eventually begin on February 5, 1999, and Shawn Kemp arrived at training camp 50 pounds overweight.

    In addition to being incredibly out of shape, a sports illustrated story claimed that Kemp had fathered seven children by six women.

    To make matters worse, the “rein man” fell into the world of drugs. Kemp’s positive image was going down the drain, and his game on the court was beginning to suffer as well.

    Kemp was traded in 2000 to the Portland Trail Blazers, where he averaged just 6.5 points per game. During the 2000-2001 NBA season, Kemp enrolled in a drug rehabilitation program for cocaine abuse.

    less than a year later, kemp would be suspended for five games for not honoring his aftercare agreement.

    shawn kemp would go on to play two more seasons, averaging under seven in both years.

    The “Man of the Reign” played his final season in Orlando for Magic, but was fired the following season. no team in the nba would offer him a contract.

    shawn kemp’s personal life didn’t get much better after magic let him go. On April 4, 2005, Kemp was arrested in Shoreline, Washington for drug possession.

    shawn kemp and another man were found with a small amount of cocaine, 60 grams of marijuana and a semi-automatic pistol, according to the king county sheriff’s office.

    On April 29, Kemp pleaded guilty to his charges. Then, on July 21, 2006, Shawn Kemp was arrested for misdemeanor marijuana possession in Houston, Texas.

    shawn kemp tried to return to the nba several times, but failed. Even though he would never play in the NBA again, the “ruling man” finally seems to be putting his life back together.

    Kemp currently owns a portion of Amber’s Kitchen on First Avenue in Seattle. It also controls a stake in various locations in Seattle.

    Recently in October 2020, Kemp opened a cannabis dispensary in Seattle called Shawn Kemp’s Cannabis.

    shawn kemp’s career is often forgotten, but if you really look at it, the “rein man” really did reign for most of the 1990s.

    shawn kemp career stats:

    – 14.6 points per game

    – 8.4 rebounds per game

    – 1.6 assists per game

    – 1.1 steals per game

    – 1.2 blocks per set

    – 48.8% field goal percentage

    what do you think? do you think shawn kemp was one of the best players of the 90s? Do you think he was one of the most exciting players?

    if you don’t believe the latter, go watch the highlights of “reign man”, shawn kemp on youtube… you won’t regret it.

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