Knicks rookie Obi Toppin was extremely honest in his Players’ Tribune piece
The New York Knicks selected Obi Toppin with the eighth pick in the 2020 NBA Draft. A hometown kid, Toppin had a stellar two-year college career at Dayton after spending a year in prep school after high school.
Toppin was the 2020 Atlantic 10 Player of the Year, and projected to be one of the best players in the 2020 March Madness Tournament before it was promptly canceled due to the pandemic.
In four preseason games so far, Toppin has averaged 7.3 points, 6.0 rebounds, and 1.5 assists in 25.4 minutes per game. Toppin very well may be primed to win the Rookie of the Year award.
With not a ton to conclude from preseason, fans should get to know Toppin the person before the regular season arrives and there is more play to assess.
Toppin published an article The Next Generation at The Players’ Tribune. His entire letter is emotional, exciting, and worth a read. Here are some major takeaways from the letter.
Things Knicks rookie Obi Toppin revealed: His dad was a legendary street baller
Some diehard New York basketball fans may have already known this, but Obi Toppin made it abundantly clear in his piece at The Players’ Tribune: His dad was Dunker’s Delight.
And I’ll talk about Dunker’s Delight in a moment, but I think Obi’s words hold a bit more weight on this topic:
"“It doesn’t take a lot of imagination to figure out how he got his nickname. My man could throw it down from anywhere. Cradle-reverse dunk? Easy. 360 windmill? Might as well be a layup. He could fly.”"
Known legally as Obadiah Toppin, he had the hops to throw down abusive dunks, the handles to put a defender in another dimension, and was an absolute figure in the street ball game.
He was a New York park legend.
In his basketball prime, Dunker’s Delight was the type of player you’d see on the Harlem Globetrotters traveling around the country and crowded by kids at the end of games for an autograph.
Park legends like Dunker’s Delight may not necessarily rise to the top tier of basketball stardom, but they influence basketball culture in a way that is hard to measure, in a city that has consistently produced some of the greatest basketball players of all time.
And Toppin got to play with him as a teammate when he was not even a teen yet.
Obi admitted in his piece he occasionally pulls up old videos to remind himself what it was like to play alongside his dad with Court Kingz.
The success of Dunker’s Delight and Toppin making it to the league is a dream realized for the family as a whole. Toppin calls his dad’s legacy an “honor” for him to carry on. It’s easy to see why draft night was an emotional ordeal for him and his family — This was the culmination of generations of hard work.