Sometimes life comes full circle.
As kids we all worship certain people. Whether it be professional athletes, actors, writers, business leaders or reality television stars — a category newly added to the list for reasons beyond me — there are just individuals that we look up to and want to be around.
On a rare occasion you get to meet those people that hold a large influence over you and spend a few minutes in their presence. On an even rarer occasion, you get to actually work with them when you grow up.
At least that was the case for Suns rookie point guard Kendall Marshall.
Over the weekend, Marshall tweeted out a photo of himself with Jermaine O’Neal. It wasn’t a current picture of the two teammates. No, it was a picture from the 2003 All-Star Game. A game that O’Neal played in and Marshall attended as a fan. An 11-year-old fan that is.
The photo shows a small in stature Marshall sporting a custom Mavericks No. 21 jersey — the team he was obsessed with as a child — standing next to O’Neal. Little did either of them know that just a decade later, they’d be sharing a locker room.
Marshall said he remembered the photo while watching one of the numerous tributes to Michael Jordan in celebration of his 50th birthday. As part of the program they talked about the 2003 All-Star Game, which was MJ’s last. The comment jogged Marshall’s memory of being at the game and meeting O’Neal. It also prompted him to have his dad email him the photo.
The rookie not only shared the photo with everyone on Twitter, but he also shared it with his court mate. According to Marshall, it prompted a laugh from O’Neal, but admittedly made him feel old, as well.
Marshall said the photo brought back memories of sitting in the hotel lobby where all of the All-Stars stayed and waiting to meet all the players he looked up to, literally and figuratively.
Only in his wildest dreams could he imagine that life would come full circle and the person he shared a photo and few minutes with as a fan would be sharing the court with him 10 years later as a teammate.