Lawrence Moten didn’t have much of an NBA career, so casual fans may have forgotten him. But the Syracuse swingman was one of the greatest Big East players of the 1990s, and his alma mater definitely hasn’t forgotten that.
Moten himself revealed that Syracuse has told him they will retire his No. 21 jersey this season, though the date hasn’t been settled. With the Orange entering the ACC, Moten won’t be able to take his bows in front of an old-school rival – his career high of 36 points came against Villanova, for instance – but he has an idea of which setting would please him the most.
“Hopefully it will be a Duke game,” Moten said Wednesday night. “It’s one of the biggest games on the schedule. I envision them putting the court in the middle of the Dome. It’s just my vision.”
Moten projected the scenario after making a guest appearance at a Syracuse Chiefs game at NBT Bank Stadium. He signed autographs, threw out the first pitch and then taped several promos for the team long after almost everyone else had left the park.
Momentum for the honor gathered steam during Syracuse’s trip to the most recent Men’s Final Four, where gathered Orange fans gave a warm welcome to the man who still holds the Big East and Syracuse all-time scoring record at age 40. As a superstar player who stayed all four years, his mark of 1,405 career points is unlikely to be bested.
While the honor is definitely deserved, it’s also a smart move for the school to do it this season. In breaking with the Big East, the Orange will do well to honor a living link to their history even as they transition to a new league. Perhaps a nice jersey retirement ceremony will ease some of the sting and confusion for fans facing a whole new roster of opponents night-in and night-out.
Eric Angevine is the editor of Storming the Floor. He tweets @stfhoops.