Incredible exerts from Shawn Kemp’s autobiography…
‘livin in Seattle, Honeybadgers became a big part of my life man. Gary (Paton) was trying to cheer me up after a hard couple of losses on the road in the run up to the ’92 playoffs. He took mes to his favourite barber when we got back to the rainy city after a heavy defeat to Inidiana but it didn’t shake the funk. Then he realised he needed to take drastic action:
‘Shawn was always the kind of player who took defeats hard and carried the weight of the team on his shoulders. Well I knew of a big fellow in Seattle City zoo who didn’t ever let a tough fight get to him, win or lose… I remember the first time Shawn saw Percy, Seattle Zoo’s resident honeybadger. ‘What the hell’s that man?’ he said. ‘Mellivora capensis’ I replied, ‘The Honeybadger”
Gary always knew how to find me on the court but this time he found me in my head and heart. A few weeks later we had the warriors in the playoffs and all I heard in the Locker Room was rumours that Alton Lister was mocking me for sponsoring Seattle Zoo’s honeybadger breeding program. Screw him I told myself, we can decide this one out on the court. Then the moment came and I took it. Picked up the rock, strong drive and boom, posterized him with arguably one of the best dunks in history. Pointing at him as he hit the hardwood I muttered under my breath the war cry of the honeybadger, ‘Mwahh Ha Ha Ha’.
Check the dunk and lip read the badger cry: