One of Fly’s coaches from way back gave him a call the other day.
The former coach was Peter Vescey, longtime sports writer and columnist in New York City. Vescey, now a columnist for the New York Post, called Fly about possibly writing a story about him.
“We ended up talkin’ for about 45 minutes,” Fly said. “We talked about everything, like when I played for him.”
That was back in the early 1970s at Rucker Park. Vescey, working for the New York Daily News at the time, was coaching a team sponsored by his newspaper. The team was called “The Daily News All-Stars.”
“We were good, really good,” Fly said. “We won one year, and lost the second year, and then I went to play with Julius Erving the next year.”
Fly said he played for the Daily News All-Stars the summer of 1971 shortly after he graduated from Glen Springs Academy in Watkins Glen, N.Y., and rejoined the team in the summer of 1972 after his freshman year at Austin Peay State University. After his second season at Austin Peay, Fly said he joined a team that included Dr. J. playing at Rucker Park.
Vescey reminded Fly about his talents in their recent conversation.
“He said, ‘You was the best,’ ” Fly said. “I told him, ‘I’d love to have played against Michael Jordan.’ ”
Others would have liked to see it. Some would have picked Fly going one-on-one against Jordan.
As former Detroit Pistons star Vinnie Johnson once said: “There was Fly before Air.”