Though the tale has nothing to do with Prince nor Charlie Murphy, today’s sole entrant in a little something I like to call “CSTB’s Guide To The Web” is Seth “Soul Man” Ferranti’s “The Myth Of Purple”, chronicling the exploits of a prison hoops icon.
“Watching Purple was like watching a dream,” says Oscar, a Lorton veteran who has done almost two decades inside. “All action, all Showtime, all the time, back in the day. I’m talking 89, 90 and 91, when I had the pleasure to see Purple at his peak. He was nothing short of magnificent. During my 16 years of incarceration, I have witnessed some good basketball players, some great basketball players and one phenomenal basketball player. That particular player is Purple.”
Laruan, a prison legend himself, echoes his homeboy’s sentiments. “He was one of the best that came through the joint,” he says. “He was the best that came through Lorton. His game talked for itself.”
Tone, another DC cat, backs up Laruan’s assessment of Purple.
“He can play. If he didn’t get caught up or nothing, he could of made the pros. He was a do-it-all type of player.”
“What I mostly remember about Purple,” says Big Sid, a Youth Center 1 Varsity team player and Lorton convict, “was the electrifying moves he displayed on the court and the flamboyant numbers he used to put up, game after game.”
Oscar concurs in reverent tones: “Purple would score 40, 50 and 60 points time after time. When he would score 30 points, everyone would label that as an off night for him.”
And forget the Lakers, when Purple played it was Showtime.
“The gym would be packed, just to see a Purple Show, as other prisoners called it,” Oscar says. “Because Purple™s performances on the court was symbolic to him having his own show.”