I’m not sure if you have explored the good old World Wide Web lately, but if you have, you may have heard that Thursday was Tom Brady’s 40th birthday. The big four-oh. At 40, Brady is somehow still one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL, and so, it seemed appropriate for the internet to celebrate this milestone because God knows that Tom Brady hasn’t been celebrated enough.
Anyway, the interwebs, as they do, took the week to extol Brady’s praises, and to recount the best plays, moments, and stories about him. But I realized that I don’t have much to add to that conversation, so I decided to look for another great figure in sports reaching a memorable milestone. Someone that’s not as famous, but still legendary in his own way.
Enter Mo Speights. Over the past few years, Speights has been one of the league’s most enjoyable characters on and off the court. He was drafted in 2008 out of Florida with the 16th overall pick by Philadelphia. He played there for three years before making stops with the Grizzlies, Cavaliers, Warriors, Clippers, and, most recently, the Magic. He was given the nickname MO’ BUCKETS, despite averaging barely more than three made shots per game over the course of his career.
Today, August 4, is Speights’s 30th birthday, and so I decided to take a page out of the Brady Celebration Handbook and honor him on this day by compiling the 30 best Mo-ments.
1. That time in 2007 he played six minutes and scored two points and won a national title.
2. That time he had the best game of his career, against the Sixers--the team that drafted him.
3. That time he had the greatest missed dunk in NBA history.
4. That time he missed a breakaway dunk.
5. That time he missed a dunk and then immediately ran over a referee (it was the same time).
6. That time in 2012 he pulled a Kobe and scored 25 points on 20 shots … against Kobe.
7. That time he made a quiet workout video to no soundtrack so that you could only hear his coach saying, “Good, good,” to all his picture-perfect moves and jump shots.
8. That time he ended Tyreke Evans’s life.
9. That time he briefly ended Big Baby’s life.
10. That time he ended a shoe’s life.
11. That time he basically turned into Tom Brady.
12. That time he fooled Boogie Cousins on his way to an alley-oop from Steph Curry.
13. That time he scored 16 points in the fourth quarter to help the Warriors erase an eight-point deficit.
14. That time Klay Thompson said Mo was basically KD.
15. That time he told the Clippers to stop complaining about the refs … while he was on the Clippers.
16. That time he kept his cool while Austin Rivers, of all people, tried to distract him during an interview.
17. That time he was distracted by Leandro Barbosa during an interview.
18. That time he scored 67 POINTS at a UBA Pro-Am game.
19. That time he said his original nickname at Florida was “Instant-O Mo.”
20. That time he had a career high in blocks against his former team.
21. That time he talked about Steph’s eyes.
I enjoy Mo Speights quotes. After the game, he said of Steph, "He had them red eyes. Them killer eyes."— Ethan Strauss (@SherwoodStrauss) December 3, 2015
22. That time he said he’d lost respect for LeBron.
— Marreese Speights (@Mospeights16) June 12, 2016
24. That time he made a documentary trailer about himself that started with a close-up shot of a Bentley.
25. That time he “saved a game” for the Warriors in the playoffs.
26. That time Curry said Mo could be a “Splash Cousin.”
27. That time he was blocked by the rim.
28. That time he kept it real, very real, about Draymond Green.
29. That time he signed with his hometown team.
30. That time he became an NBA champion.