Chris Gatling was the Warriors’ 1st round selection in the 1991 NBA Draft. Out of Old Dominion, the 6-10 forward spent four solid years as the Warriors’ energy guy, gobbling up loose balls more quickly than a Hungry Hungry Hippo. Gatling’s four-year stint with the Warriors was his longest stay with any team of his career, though he may be best known for shaking Shawn Kemp’s hand after Kemp viciously dunked on him. Indeed, GAT’s time with the Dubs was nearly longer than the big scar atop his head.
The man with tattoos of the Energizer Bunny and the Tasmanian Devil became the ultimate “throw-in-to-make-salaries-work guy.” His Melvillian odyssey around America commenced with the trade that sent Tim Hardaway to Miami. After Miami, Gatling was traded to the following teams: New Jersey, Dallas, Milwaukee, Denver, Orlando and finally back to Miami. In his career, he was signed and released three times by the Heat. Interestingly enough, Gatling was an All-Star with the Dallas Mavericks during the 1997 contest.
But upon retiring from the NBA, Gatling wasn’t done. He went to Moscow to play, where he enjoyed hanging out at TGI Friday’s and just living the life. He didn’t even mind playing in the (apparently) racist Russian league, justifying himself in the following manner:
“My Italian friend told me I would be fine over here because — and don’t take this the wrong way — I’m not BLACK black,” Gatling — who has a light pigmentation — says. “You know, I could be a Latino, or whatever.”