When Spud Webb got off the airplane for his NC State visit, legend has it that Jim Valvano turned to birddog assistant Tom Abatemarco and said “you’re fired.”
Webb was just 5-6 but as Abatemarco knew, and Valvano would soon find out, he had breathtaking athleticism. He had nearly a 50” vertical and he was extremely quick too.
It all added up to a superb career. Webb spent two years at NC State as a JUCO transfer, then was off to the NBA where had a 13-year career, highlighted by an immortal win in the NBA dunk contest in 1986.
During his time with the Atlanta Hawks, Spud Webb teamed up with Dominique Wilkins for make a really fun 1-2 punch. Like a lot of folks though, the Hawks initially saw him as a sideshow and actually asked the NBA for permission to issue him the number .4 rather than 4.