It’s not a fact that many sports fans may know, but before Pearl Jam was ever named Pearl Jam, the band was named Mookie Blaylock. The band was a fan of Blaylock’s unique name and playing style, so they were trying to give him a little shout out with the name. Ultimately, they switched their name to Pearl Jam, but never stopped honoring Blaylock. Their album in 1991 was titled “Ten”, after Blaylock’s jersey number. This is all relevant because Blaylock was seriously injured in a car accident last week and it hit close to home with the band.
Since the accident, Jeff Ament, Pearl Jam’s bassist, has been talking with people close to Blaylock trying to get updates about his condition. The band even sent a get-well message to Blaylock through their instagram account that read, “Sending good thoughts to Mookie.”
While speaking with the New York Times, Ament recalled a time where he met Blaylock in Seattle and got to play a game of “H-O-R-S-E” with the NBA player.
“You always worry when you meet people who have been on your radar for that long, rock stars included,” Ament said. “He was one of the one out of 10 guys who exceeds your expectations, in terms of how nice he was.”
This is one of those great stories that you may not always get a chance to see, but it gives you some insight on the kind of guy Mookie is and how much respect the band members have for him. He may still be fighting a tough battle with a lot more ahead of him, but he has support from his family and friends. Some of those friends just happen to be from one of the most successful rock bands of the past twenty years.