Before Dwyane Wade, the O'Neal twins, Mario Chalmers, and Eric Spoiled Boy, a seven-foot two-inch giant ruled the Miami Arena. Alan Ogg drew calls of "Ogggggggggggg," and the fans loved him.
Now he's dead at age 42. An infection somehow reached his enlarged heart.
In 1991, then staff writer and now New Yorker calendar editor (and author) Ben Greenman wrote an admiring profile of the guy. It was a beautiful piece of work that aptly captured the city's early affection for the crappy team and this non-star:
"The rookie center with the Gumby physique has achieved a fame that
defies statistics, transcends the simple performance-for-applause
exchange that motivates most players. The rapport the fans feel with
Ogg is ineffable, inscrutable, almost religious."
"For now, Miami has made him their rodeo clown, a welcome distraction
from lopsided losses, and as long as he remains complicitly mediocre,
the honeymoon will continue."
And finally, Greenman wrote this:
"Heat fans, repeat this to yourself every night: Alan Ogg will shoot a
three, Alan Ogg will shoot a three. Say it until it's branded on the
inside of your brain. And then, once you've familiarized yourself with
the product, ask for it by name. Be responsible, be discreet, but one
of these days, when the Heat are down by law or disemboweling the
opposition, call for the triple."