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John Starks: Talent Or Temper? This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   Ejections, fights, trash-talking, numerous flagrant and technical fouls. New York Knicks player John Starks is not your average, well-behaved, gentleman of a basketball player, although, he does have great talent.

Possibly the reason John acts this way is his journey to the NBA. He was a decent high school player in Oklahoma and went on to play some college ball. He played at Oklahoma State for a few years before transferring, looking for his big break, more action. He soon ran out of eligibility and was working moving newspapers in an Oklahoma newspaper distribution plant. He played for a while with the Golden State Warriors before being cut. He then made the Knicks as a "practice player," used to give the pros a workout at practice sessions. When he learned he'd be released, he wanted to go out in style and attempted to dunk over Patrick Ewing. In the process, he was denied and also broke his wrist. Therefore, due to the NBA rule that teams cannot release injured players, John stayed and was given another chance. He made the actual team and soon became a starter.

He becomes very pumped up and plays with a high level of intensity. He often gets into the game by means of talking trash, or committing a hard foul to prevent an easy basket. He has also gotten into a few scuffles, probably the most famous one is when he head-butted Reggie Miller. I admit this was going pretty far like the flagrant foul that broke Kenny Anderson's wrist, not to mention when he clotheslined Scottie Pippen. But he did it all for winning the game. He's a saint when compared to selfish cry babies like Derrick Coleman or Chris Webber. Starks doesn't skip practice if he doesn't feel like going. He's there constantly working hard. He has calmed down and when he stays cool, he does great things, such as help his team to the NBA Finals.

In conclusion, although he was wild and out of control once, he now is calm, cool, collected, and cash from beyond the three-point arc. l


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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