Originally posted on Fox Sports North  |  Last updated 12/12/12
MINNEAPOLIS It's been 18 years since two little boys on Andrews Air Force base began playing basketball together. It's been 18 years, AAU squad after AAU squad, colleges, five NBA teams, and now, improbably, those two little boys are about to face off yet again as pros. There's no way to calculate the odds of Dante Cunningham and Ty Lawson's friendship. Sure, plenty of former college teammates meet up on the court in the NBA. Plenty of former AAU teammates, too. But teammates at age 7? One in a million doesn't sound outlandish. When the two met, Cunningham had just returned to the United States after living with his parents in Germany. Ty, or Tywon, as Cunningham still sometimes calls him, played for the Andrews Magic, coached by his father, George Lawson, and Cunningham joined the team. The Magic went 80-7 during the eight-year span the two played together, and pictures abound of the two future NBA players together in their child-sized uniforms. It still surprises Cunningham how much those photos surface when the two play each other. He laughs, and his eyes widen as he thinks back on the odds of two little boys' dreams coming true how they did. Since the Magic, Lawson and Cunningham have shared so much. They played on rival AAU teams, Lawson for the D.C. Blue Devils (the same team as one Kevin Durant), Cunningham for the D.C. Assault, and then Lawson went to Bishop McNamara High School, Cunningham to St. John's College High School, both in Maryland. The two schools were in the same conference, which meant they played twice a year, and when the two boys headed to college, Cunningham to Villanova, Lawson to North Carolina, they couldn't have imagined what was in store. They met one time in a game, on April 4, 2009, just months before both would enter the NBA draft. It was the semifinals of the Final Four, and Lawson's Tar Heels won, 83-69, en route to a national championship. And then they were drafted, Lawson 18th, Cunningham 33rd, and that's where the odds get crazy. Both boys, now men, had defied so much. Neither stopped growing. Neither was derailed by a flawed AAU system or coach. Neither got in trouble sufficient to derail his career. Everything fell into place, and now, they meet up again, Lawson and the Nuggets, Cunningham and the Timberwolves. It kind of blows your mind to think about. Still no Ricky: In case you missed it, point guard Ricky Rubio will not make his return Wednesday night against the Nuggets. Head athletic trainer Gregg Farnam announced the decision Wednesday morning. It seems unlikely that Rubio will debut on the road in New Orleans on Friday, so Saturday against Dallas seems a decent option. Let the trades begin: No, not necessarily in Minnesota. But Dec. 15, this Saturday, marks the date on which players who signed offseason deals this year can be traded. There are some exceptions guys acquired in amnesty auctions, some players who resigned for bigger money due to salary-cap rules and restricted free agents whose team matched offers to keep them but for the most part, the trade market will open much wider in a matter of days. Follow Joan Niesen on Twitter.
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Wade says Riley did not push him out of Miami

Nationals among multiple teams inquiring on Mark Melancon

McClain does not show up for Cowboys’ training camp

Andre Johnson agrees to two-year deal with Titans

Redskins GM injures hand punching wall in frustration


Report: Aldon Smith checks into rehab

McCarthy discusses 'urgency’ to win another title with Rodgers

Report: Lions extend CB Darius Slay with $50 million deal

Adam Jones: Bengals dominated Steelers in playoff game

Robert Griffin III on QB battle: Only one of us runs 4.3

Gordon defends friendship with 'good friend' Manziel

Texas A&M creates a very sexist version of their fight song for women

Brown, Marshall are apparently serious about their car bet

Lacy, Starks could split carries to start season

Cyborg Santos post-surgery skull photos are eerie

Dr. Phil calls out the Patriots for their cheating ways

Hockey team unveils Clinton, Trump bobbleheads

Bennett compares chemistry with Pats QBs to his love life

Crowell still making amends for controversial Instagram post

Report: LeBron urged Justin Bieber not to perform at RNC

Luck refutes Matt Hasselbeck’s assertion he never showers

Newspaper editor explains use of Jordan meme for MJ article

Five NFL teams set to underachieve in 2016

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Dr. Phil calls out the Patriots for their cheating ways

Everything that's already gone wrong at the Rio Olympics

Amar'e Stoudemire's presence (and absence) changed the NBA

We asked Team USA: What other Olympic sport would you play?

Why Gary Bettman's CTE denial is cause for concern for NHL

WATCH: Inside the Nike SNKRS BOX in SF for Golden Air Celebration

WATCH: Five other uniforms Chris Sale should cut up

QUIZ: Name every Olympic event in which the USA has never won a gold medal

Five U.S. Olympians favored to win multiple gold medals

WATCH: What teams should join the Big 12?

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker