Wayman Tisdale, R.I.P.


SOTC rarely traffics in smooth-jazz talk, it’s true, but let us nonetheless doff our caps for basketball star and bassist extraordinaire Wayman Tisdale, who’s died of cancer at 44. After a beloved college stint with the Oklahoma Sooners and more than a decade in the NBA with the Pacers, the Kings, and the Suns (plus a spot on the gold-medal 1984 U.S. Olympic basketball team), he retired and went on to smooth-jazz prominence starting with 1995’s Power Forward. (Nice.)

In the interests of lighting a candle rather than cursing your darkness, let me add that Wayman is warmly referenced in the indispensible Macrophenomenal Pro Basketball Almanac, the stupendously inventive tome recently unleashed by indispensible basketball/pop-culture blog Free Darko, which specializes in just the sort of jubilant multi-disciplinary Renaissance Man ambition that Tisdale embodied. They may prefer My Bloody Valentine, but they’re carrying the flame regardless.