At Power Memorial high school, there became a tradition of the big centerman wearing number 33, starting with a player named Waverly Davis, at the recommendation of a teammate named Richard Lombardi. Then came another good big man named Melvin Kellogg who wore 33 for Power Memorial.
Then, in 1961, a freshman named Lew Alcindor would join Power Memorial. And he would wear 33. And his team would win 71 straight games with him wearing that number. And he would go on to win three NCAA championships wearing that number. And, after he changed his name to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, he won six NBA championships wearing that number. And the number was renowned throughout the world of hoops.
And Kareem would be my choice as the best NBA athlete to ever wear number 33. And it all started with the big man at a New York City high school wearing number 33 as a tradition.