Big Nasty isn't the typical StR mancrush -- his stats aren't very good, he's not a wild-eyed youth we dream a team can be built around. He's a cagey-ass old dude who seamlessly alternates between scruffy robot and Keith Sweat. Some of those post moves he pulls are downright silky; other actions, like driving the lane or rolling off a screen, come off like Gheorge Muresan's balky soul. This improbable YouTube capture involving John Salmons sums the sentiment more than words could:
Beyond his 'outsider art' game, part of my... empathy for Nasty revolves around the actual logistics of his Sacramento stay. He enjoyed modest success during the budding of the Kings empire (and might have been Jason Williams' second favorite target behind Chris Webber), but got shipped out as contention hit fever pitch. He made his way back to Sactown... in time for the Kings to get stomped by the 2005 Sonics. Even early in his career, he was unfairly absent from the high excitement of the 1996 Seattle series (which I watched with a skinhead Frenchmen sitting in my living room, I might add -- another story for another time).
The guy played 485 games in a Kings uniform the past decade... and missed all the Game 7s, almost every important Laker game, the nights when the Pacific Division banners got hung, the myriad goosebump ovations from the clackers and the cowbells. Big Nasty will go down as a Sacramento King through and through, and he missed all of that. (Of course, he won a title in Detroit and a big contract in Philadelphia, so I won't exactly cry for him...)
He had such a polemic career -- one that could probably last two or three more campaigns, if he had an All-Star game on his bio. We knew his time here had ended, but I'm pretty damn sad I'll never turn on the TV and be surprised to see that big-ass elbow pad angling into someone's chest again. Hats off to a great Sacramento King and a tremendous dude. He'll always have a fan in me.
UPDATE: The Associated Press reports Corliss will be an assistant coach with Arkansas Baptist College this season.