Spurs forward Tony Massenburg, 37, has played for a record 12 NBA and three European teams since graduating from college. The 6'9", 250-pound Virginia native reminisces about the places he's been.
1. SUSSEX, VA. (1981-85) Averaged 17.5 points and 12 rebounds as a senior at Sussex Central High. Has fond memories of Mama Massenburg's cooking, which he still goes home for. "Between her fried chicken and my grandmother's sweet potato pie, I try not to come back too thick," he says. Stayed: four years. How it ended: signed with University of Maryland.
2. COLLEGE PARK, MD. (Terrapins, '85-90) Massenburg was team MVP as a junior and senior and got his degree in human ecology. Stayed: five years. How it ended: drafted in second round by Spurs.
3. SAN ANTONIO (Spurs, '90-91) Rookie seldom saw action. Stayed: 35 games. How it ended: waived.
4. CHARLOTTE (Hornets, '91) "I have no fond memories of Charlotte," says Massenburg, who played three games there. "I lived out of the Hyatt by the arena. I wasn't feeling it." How it ended: waived.
5. BOSTON (Celtics, '92) "I enjoyed the clam chowder at The Four Seasons, but that's about it," says Massenburg. Stayed: 20 days. How it ended: released.
6. OAKLAND (Warriors, '92) "My first time out West, and my impression was: I can play here but not live here. Me and Chris Gatling would hop in his convertible and drive to San Francisco." Stayed: 20 days. How it ended: released.
7. REGGIO EMILIA, ITALY (Reggio Emilia '92) Stayed: averaged 22.8 points in four games. How it ended: granted release.
8. MALAGA, SPAIN (Unicaja-Mayoral, '92-93) "It's a bit of a resort town, on the coast. I had a ball. We always ate at Mama Luigi's, and the owner fed us until we were blue in the face." Stayed: 30 games. How it ended: granted release.
9. BARCELONA (F.C. Barcelona, '93-94) "The New York of Spain, a lot of places to shop, great restaurants, architecture. And they got me into plantains and rice, which reminded me of home cookin'." Stayed: 25 games. How it ended: granted release.
10. LOS ANGELES (Clippers, '94-95) Made the team and became a starter in the NBA for the first time, averaging 9.3 points. "The hot spot, believe it or not, was TGI Friday's. Magic Johnson used to throw a party every Friday." Stayed: 80 games. How it ended: taken in expansion draft by Toronto.
11. TORONTO (Raptors, '95-96) "Canadians have a good disposition. But they'll eventually lose the team. Canada is hockey country." Stayed: 24 games. How it ended: traded to Philadelphia.
12. PHILADELPHIA (76ers, '96) "The 76ers were the worst team in the league," says Massenburg. "Horrible top-to-bottom. Knowing I wouldn't be there long, I spent a lot of time on South Street and at King of Prussia Mall shopping." Stayed: 30 games. How it ended: became free agent.
13. NEW JERSEY (Nets, '96-97) Got a one-year, $247,000 deal. "I lived in a condo in [Jersey] but spent my downtime in New York City, mostly at the Shark Bar," says Massenburg. "They have great Southern food: catfish, collard greens and fried chicken." Stayed: one year. How it ended: contract expired.
14. BOSTON (Celtics, '97) Got three years, $2.7 million. How it ended: traded in October before season started.
15. VANCOUVER (Grizzlies, '97-99) "Nobody was hot on Canada, mainly because of the taxes," says Massenburg. "And there are things you can't get in Vancouver, like Cap'n Crunch." Stayed: 61 games. How it ended: traded to Rockets.
16. HOUSTON (Rockets, '99-'00) "I love the restaurants," says Massenburg. "The city has a very Southern feel." Stayed: 10 games. How it ended: released.
17. VANCOUVER (Grizzlies, '00-01) After signing, he says, "I didn't want to leave [Houston]."
18. MEMPHIS (Grizzlies, '01-02) Relocated with the team. "Memphis is growing," says Massenburg. "They have great BBQ and great live music." Stayed: two seasons. How it ended: waived.
19. UTAH (Jazz, '02-03) "I got to know Karl [Malone] pretty well," says Massenburg. "We went hunting and snowmobiling a couple of times. He's got a huge ranch compound. It's ridiculous." Stayed: 58 games. How it ended: became free agent.
20. SACRAMENTO (Kings, '03-04) "The spot I frequented was Vlade's [Divac] restaurant, Tunel 21," he says. "The food was not my Southern food but very good." Stayed: one season. How it ended: became free agent.
21. SAN ANTONIO (Spurs, '04-05) Averaging 3.0 points in 10.7 minutes, Massenburg is poised to appear in playoffs for the third time in 13 NBA seasons and says, "This is where I could see myself settling down."
THE BEST JOKE I CAN TELL IN SPORTS ILLUSTRATED By Del Harris,
Two blondes are in California. The first one asks, 'Which is farther away, the moon or Florida?' The second blonde replies, 'Duh! Can you see Florida?'