Pearl Jam Send Along ‘Get Well’ Wish for Former NBA Star Mookie Blaylock
If you know your Pearl Jam history, you’re probably well aware that the band went under the moniker Mookie Blaylock for a period before hitting it big. The name is also one shared by former NBA star Mookie Blaylock, who was seriously injured in a car accident over the weekend. One of the first acts to take note of this was, of course, Pearl Jam, who posted their own well wishes for Blaylock via Twitter.
Blaylock was reportedly driving an SUV Friday in Atlanta that crossed the median and slammed into a van. A passenger in the van perished and Blaylock, who is still in serious condition, has been charged with driving on a suspended license and failure to stay in his lane.
Pearl Jam posted an Instagram photo (seen below) of Blaylock in his New Jersey Nets uniform with the band’s name along the backdrop and the post read: “Sending good thoughts to Mookie.”
According to the New York Times, Jeff Ament was among those enthralled with the name and the player. The bassist told the paper, “I was a huge Mookie fan. He was really unselfish, a great shooter, great fundamentals.” But it also was his unique name that attracted the band.
Ament recalls that the band members used to collect basketball cards and one day got a Mookie Blaylock in their batch. He says, “One of the cards that went to my manager, and ended up in a cassette, was Mookie’s card. Fast-forward a couple of weeks, we got offered the Alice in Chains tour on the West Coast. The cassette was sitting on the desk, and somebody said, ‘What about Mookie Blaylock?'”
Though the band name only stuck briefly, Blaylock’s jersey number, 10, did provide a great title for the group’s breakout album. And Ament says years later he finally had a chance to meet Blaylock and played a game of HORSE.