Wednesday 14 August 2013
Hall of Fame 31: Rolando Blackman

He played in Milano only for one year and didn’t enter in the history books like a Joe Barry Carroll or a Bill Bradley, but Rolando Blackman did extraordinary things anyway. 1995/96 Olimpia won the Italy Cup and then duplicated that success in the playoffs. In the finals, it beat 3-1 Fortitudo Bologna. That season, Stefanel Milano started the playoffs from the fifth place. Although the most important field goal of the series probably was the one scored by Dejan Bodiroga in Bologna to win game 3 and the one identified as the definitive field goal was made by Flavio Portaluppi in game 4, Rolando Blackman was likely the most consistent player. He scored 19 points in game 4, 20 points in game 3 and 18 in game 1. He scored 24 against Mash Verona in the Italy Cup final in the Forum. Blackman remained just one year because he was at the end of his run and the family wanted him back in the States. But it was a great year after a marvelous NBA career, with the Dallas Mavericks mostly and finally in New York where he made the 1994 NBA Finals but as a bit player. Blackman was a pure shooting guard, elegant, beautiful to watch, a player worthy 17623 points for his career. Born and raised in Panama, he was the number 9 draft pick in 1981 just out of Kansas State, he had a terrific mid-range jumper and could handle the ball. When he came to Milan he was 36 but he could have easily played two or three more years.