Bruce Bowen is my pick for today’s #TBT sports blog.
Not only did fans love Bowen’s clever nickname the Rash, but they admired his tireless defending on the basketball court that helped his team win three NBA Championships.
Bowen did not get drafted out of Cal State Fullerton in 1993. Instead, he bounced around in his early professional basketball days.
After playing for teams in France and in the CBA, and later for the Miami Heat, Boston Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers in the NBA, Bowen finally found a home for eight years with the San Antonio Spurs.
Bowen discovered his special skill with the Spurs. He established himself as a terrific, tireless defender. Spurs teammate Sean Elliott originally referred to Bowen as the Rash. Elliott cited Bowen’s irritating pressure on the other team’s leading perimeter scorer and said, “Bowen’s just all over you like a rash.”
Bruce Bowen: Five-Time NBA All-Defensive team
As a five-time NBA All-Defensive First team, Bowen was vital to the Spurs’ success. Not only could Bowen knock down three pointers from the corner, but he could also be counted on to annoy, hound and harass high scoring opponents like Ray Allen, Vince Carter and Kobe Bryant. A frustrated former Dallas Mavericks coach Don Nelson even called on the NBA to investigate Bowen for his overly aggressive play on his Mavs’ top scorers.
The defensive-minded Bowen blended brilliantly with his offensive-minded Spurs teammates Tim Duncan, Man Ginobli and Tony Parker. The Rash celebrated three NBA World Championships with Duncan, Ginobli and Parker in 2003, 2005 and 2007. The San Antonio Spurs organization recognized Bowen’s unsung contributions to the team’s success by retiring Bowen’s #12 jersey in 2012.
Bruce Bowen is now a well-spoken NBA talking head on ESPN. The bow tie clad announcer shares with sports fans how he became a key member of three NBA Championships teams.
Bowen laughs that his on-court talent, named after an unsightly skin irritation, ended up serving as his ultimate claim to fame – the Rash.
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MIKE – thee ultimate talking head on sports!