According to the Vegter21 research labs, there have been 220 Timberwolves since the inaugural 1989-90 season. Do NOT check that number. Just trust in the science. This illustrious alumni group includes some of the pillars that modern day basketball rests upon. Pillars such as Dan Godfread, Paul Grant, Gundars Vetra, Ndudi Ebi, and of course Calvin Booth.
Yeah, Calvin’s Minnesota stat line is 1 GP, 1 MPG, and 1 RPG. Doesn’t matter. He’s part of the fraternity.
We’re going to be checking in with this group of legends on occasion to see where life has taken them after leaving the friendly confines of Target Center. Without further ado, part 1 of our 220 part series:
Where in the World is Pooh?
February 1990. I’m headed to my first ever professional basketball game. My dad and I settle into our seats at the Metrodome as players are being introduced. “Number 24, point guard, from UCLA, Pooooooohhh Richardson” blasts from the speakers and my jaw drops. I turn to my dad and ask, “What did they just call him?”
“Pooh,” he replied.
“Yeah, pooh. I think his real name is Jerome. Pooh is just his nickname.”
I sat in stunned silence contemplating this. As an 8 year old, fully immersed in the world of playground ridicule, I couldn’t understand how someone would want their nickname to be Poo. That would be like someone asking to be called Farts or Boogers or Butt-face. Intrigue quickly turned to obsession as I watched him play those first three seasons with the Wolves. It was only after he was traded that I realized the error of my ways. One missing ‘h’ carries significant weight in the mind of an adolescent.
Pooh (and Sam Mitchell) left our friendly shores in 1992 when they were traded to Indiana for Chuck Person and Micheal Williams. He spent a couple of seasons with the Pacers before being traded again to the Clippers where he spent the rest of his NBA career. He did spend some time in Italy before finally hanging up the sneaks in 2000.
In an interview with Clippers.com in 2011, Pooh had this to say about his brief time in Minnesota:
Q: In 1989 you became the first player ever drafted by the expansion Timberwolves. What was it like to go to a first-year team as a first-year player yourself?
PR: Wow. That was a major experience. We sold out every game and we had a ton of enthusiastic fans – especially for a team not looking to do much of anything. We played at the Metrodome – sharing that facility with the Twins and Vikings – and we had some huge crowds.
So, what’s up with Pooh since his playing days? “What’s the poohp?” you might ask, if you’re still amused by potty humor like I am.
He’s a father: Pooh’s son Julian is a 6’3” sophomore guard for Fullerton College (let’s go Hornets!). He averaged 14.7 points per game on 41.9 FG% and 39.2 3PT%. He also shot 80.8% from the line versus his father’s career average of 65.2%. Throw that in his face, Julian.
Legal stuff: There was a small incident with the law in 2005. As a professional blogger/journalist, I’m only here to state the facts. No judgements, Pooh.
Pooh’s half-sister, Asya Richardson, was in a rather unhealthy relationship with a gentleman named Alton “Ace Capone” Coles. First sign of trouble, when your boyfriend is calling himself “Ace Capone.” Second sign? When, according to court testimony, Asya is one of three girls that Ace was dating at the time. Wait, there’s more. Strike three for Ace...
Authorities alleged Coles used a rap music company he had founded, Takedown Records, as a front for a drug distribution network that put two tons of cocaine and nearly a half-ton of crack onto the streets of Philadelphia between 1998 and August 2005.
Two tons of cocaine?!?! It looks like Philly got a lot more snow than Minnesota in the early 2000’s. Boom. Nailed the joke.
So where does Pooh factor into this? His childhood friend, Richard Durham, a Philadelphia detective, called him on the night of a federal raid on Ace Capone’s home. Durham warned Pooh that “the feds were coming.” Pooh then called Ace to warn him of the impending raid. According to his testimony, Pooh wasn’t calling out of concern for Ace, but because “I was just calling to make sure my sister wasn't in trouble.”
No judgment here. Just the facts. That’s out of respect for the journalism/blogging business and respect for Pooh. The comment section, however...
He’s a Movie Star: Sort of. Pooh made an appearance in Will Ferrell’s Semi-Pro in 2008 as a player for the ABA Spurs. He’s also consulted on other productions and even played the part of Sherman White in “Rebound: The Legend of Earl ‘The Goat’ Manigault.” Two takeaways: 1) Young Wilt’s trash talking reminds me of someone and 2) I had no idea Don Cheadle had those hops.
Here’s Pooh talking about his time with Adam Sandler
Follow Pooh: Pooh’s on Twitter but he needs our help. At time of typing, he only has 258 followers. That’s not enough for a legend of his status. First ever pick by the Wolves, first ever subject of our soon-to-be-award-winning ‘Where are they now’ series, movie star, and big fan of Ricky Rubio.
Ricky is doing a great job for the TWolves!! I love what he's doing! Point guards make other players confident and better!!— POOH RICHARDSON (@Poohvision24) January 1, 2016
He’s not a frequent Tweeter but let’s help him change that. Show Pooh some love, give him a follow, let him know how much he means to the fraternity.
Thanks Pooh for launching me towards Timberwolves fandom. Wherever you are in the world, I hope you’re doing well.
More to come...