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Manute Bol, player-humanitarian, dead at 47


The Owner's Favorite
Jun 30, 2009
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Raleigh, NC
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This is sad. He was fun to watch on the basketball court-at 7 feet 7 inches he was, until Gheorghe Muresan, the tallest player ever in the history of the NBA. He was known for being the only player to have more blocked shots than points and for his devotion to humanitarian efforts to relieve human suffering in his native Sudan both while he was playing and after he retired. He died at UVA hospital in Charlottesville while being treated for severe kidney problems and a skin condition. Here's the Yahoo Sports article with more info: http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/news?slug=ap-obit-bol

Here's a picture I found of him with 5 foot 3 inch Mugsy Bogues-the shortest player in NBA history.


Rest easy, Manute-you went too soon but you were definitely one of the good guys. You'll be missed.
Its possible that Manute coined the phrase "my bad."

Of all the many fascinating things I've read about Manute Bol this weekend, here's the most bizarre: a language blog written a few years ago suggested that Bol might have been responsible for coining and/or spreading the phrase "my bad."

(I'm not trying to be flip; for the really touching and moving version of Bol's legacy, please read The Post's obit, or Kevin Blackistone's column from South Africa.)

The "my bad" item, written by British professor of linguistics Geoffrey K. Pullum (the co-author of The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language) quotes one source who recalls first hearing "my bad" in the Bay Area in 1988, after Bol had joined the Golden State Warriors. And indeed, if you run an archives search on "basketball" and "my bad," the first three usages are all linked to Bol.

St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Jan. 10, 1989: When he throws a bad pass, he'll say, ''My bad'' instead of ''My fault,'' and now all the other players say the same thing.

USA Today, Jan. 27, 1989: After making a bad pass, instead of saying ''my fault,'' Manute Bol says, ''my bad.'' Now all the other Warriors say it too.

Sporting News, May 15, 1989: Bol says "my bad" when he means "my fault."

Now, I happen to doubt that Manute Bol's grammatical quirks could really have taken over the country. And a reader from P.G. County has already told me that he and his friends were using the phrase in middle school, well before '88.

Click link for the rest.
Maybe they can create a whole new HOF for humanitarian athletes...

Two memories of Manute. Back in the day when we were still struggling as "Lez Boulez" (as opposed to struggling as The "Withardth") I remember someone making a comment to the effect that he wouldn't last 10 minutes in the NBA with that skeletal frame of his. Whichever talking head was sitting across from him replied to the effect that Manute was mean and tough enough to have confronted and killed a lion with a spear. How many other NBA players could say that? Crickets. Classic.

The other memory is of finding a water stained newsletter in the street somewhere in my (sort of) hometown of Orlando. The only reason I picked it up was because a pic of Manute caught my eye. The caption read "Ubangi Super Spook". Turns out it was a Klan or Aryan Nation newsletter. Not that it really meant anything, but I've never forgotten that. How on earth could they have known that Manute was about one of the most selfless and kind people ever.

He was incredibly inspiring and just an all around good guy. Looks like I've got a new sig.

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