Hustle and Flow

Memphis Hustle center pulls off real-life “Off the Heezay,” delivers greatest G League assist of all time

November 11, 2022

If you’re a basketball fan and child of the millennium, then you remember ‘NBA Street Vol. 2.’ One of the greatest sports video games ever made, ’NBA Street Vol. 2’ took the template laid by its predecessor—essentially ‘NBA Jam’ but 3D—and improved on it in every way, adding a bevvy of playable NBA icons, unforgettable courts, a killer soundtrack, and, of course, a seemingly bottomless quiver of hip-dislocating moves. While by no means the flashiest maneuver, “Off The Heezay” was one of the game’s most useful and satisfying tricks, allowing players to bounce the ball off opposing players’ heads at the press of the button, linking combos and humiliating your opponent all at once. It was arcade basketball perfection and now, thanks to the Memphis Hustle’s Darnell Cowart, it’s actual basketball perfection as well. Take it away, big fella.

You may not give a rat’s ass about G League basketball. It’s hard enough to care about the NBA these days, with all the in-fighting and drama overshadowing the actual product on the court, but this will make you sit up and pay attention. This will get you going on an early Friday morning after a long Thursday night. Cowart zings the ball across the court, it caroms off an opponent’s head and right back to him, everybody freezes except Cowart and Damien Jefferson, who slices to the basket, taking Cowart’s reheated dish and slamming it home like the maraschino cherry on an ice cream sundae.

Was this purely accidental? Sure, but so many of the craziest moments in sports are. You think the band was supposed to be on the field? You think Steve Bartman wanted all those death threats? This doesn’t compare to those obviously, but it’s in the same chaotic wheelhouse. Mostly though, it’s cool enough to earn the title of Greatest G League Assist of All-Time This Week, and that’s not nothing.