To the nation he was the Top Player in the 2002 class. To NYC, he was the best we ever seen at that time. He had the heart of a lion, the handle of a midget, and the arm wiggle of a octopus.
I've tried many times to explain the Lenny Cooke that I knew. Which was a kid who was either going to be the best to ever play or a dud who never made it. Cooke's fate was all sealed by his attitude towards others. His disrespect for the game that loved him and would've made him the greatest.
Lenny had the support of millionaires who were ready to do whatever was needed to make him successful person. It sometimes feels like a Fairytale.
Like It feels as tho I didn't watch him go to FK Lane High School, La Salle Academy, and Old Tappan HS.
Amare, Melo, JR Smith, and others were victims of Cooke in the early 2000's. Time after Time tourney after tourney, holding him to 35 and 20 was your best bet.
Was that Lenny Cooke at the 2002 Mc Donalds All-American Game in street clothes? Is that him sitting behind the bench being grabbed by fans like hes a rock star? Is that jay-z with lenny? Oh snap, DJ Clue and lenny?
To many who know the whole Lebron James/Lenny Cooke story, which is over hyped. For every story you have, I have a Lenny Cooke Story. Had my back when I almost got into it with somebody in New Jersey.
Or when Gary Irving (Arkansas), Charlie Villanueva (NBA), Lenny Cooke, Franscio Garcia (NBA), and Curtis Sumpter (Nova), all sat down the day before that famous Lebron game meeting and said "Lets all go to Kansas.."
Do people really remember that Lenny who had previously "Punk'd" Kobe Bryant, Tracy Mcgrady as guest speakers jumping up in their faces, while in the middle of the speech saying "You are trash, I'll bust your ass, play me for the money right now."
Google the name, check out one of the baddest to ever do it..currently missing in action. I really think, I will never see another talent like Lenny Cooke from the NYC area in my life time.
Two real good Lenny Cooke stories below..take your time and read..if you love the game.
For Lenny Cooke its all academic (ESPN)
Lenny Cooke Tries for rebound (Daily News)