Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Giants of Basketball Style: Lawrence "Long Socks" Moten

I'd like to take a timeout from the usual subject matter of this blog to pay tribute to a true Giant of Basketball Style: Lawrence Moten. Despite barely making a ripple in the NBA, Moten still holds the men's Big East career scoring record. He poured in the points for the Syracuse Orangemen (now just the "Orange") from 1991 to 1995, inspiring an adolescent me with his unconventional game and fashion.

The early and mid-90's were not a time when those who wore knee-high socks were looked upon with favor. I faced this prejudice as a member of my 6th grade traveling basketball team in '89-'90. My refusal to push my socks down and meticulously shape them into a "casual" appearance isolated me from my peers. (Well, that and the total lack of confidence.) Still, though, I persevered in my lonely, principled stand until the following year, when I began middle school and immediately repressed everything that made me stand out.

At least I could take comfort in seeing Lawrence Moten on TV, rocking the knee-highs all alone and scoring with ease. He looked so cool with those long, white socks accentuating his slender, 6'5" frame. As a chunky, 5'11" white guy, I knew I would never look that cool in those socks, but still I kept a pair or two through high school. By the time I got to college, I had the confidence to regularly pull them all the way up and stand alone on the court (in style terms). Without the shining example of Lawrence Moten, I doubt I would've had the courage to make that bold fashion choice. So here's to you, Mr. Moten, and your amazing socks!

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