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Gary’s Hoops Scoops: Bad “Bad Boys”

AUBURN HILLS, MI – 1989: Isiah Thomas #11 of the Detroit Pistons takes some time to catch his breath with Michael Jordan #23 of the Chicago Bulls during a break in the action during an NBA game at The Palace circa 1989 in Auburn Hills, Michigan. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 1989 NBAE (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)

By Gary Dickman.

I have to admit that I’m surprised there’s so much going on in sports, considering that there’s really nothing going on in sports. What I mean by that is that there are no games going on, but there’s a lot to talk about in sports. Which I didn’t really think was going to happen. I’ll start with this: Drew Buggs, the now former University of Hawaii point guard, announced that he will play his senior season at Missouri. I wish him the best, as he did a great job for the ‘Bows. He will be missed. I don’t know why he chose Missouri. Buggs said on Twitter that the Tigers “checked all the boxes.” Kind of ironic that a few years ago, UH had another point guard who said he was transferring for his last season – a California kid who, like Buggs, listed one of the reasons of leaving was to play closer to home. And Keith Shamburger, like Buggs, chose Missouri, which I guess is closer to California than Hawaii.

I’m curious as to how Drew will succeed in the SEC. Going up against Kentucky, Auburn, and Florida will be a lot tougher than Irvine, UCSB and Long Beach. I really hope he does well, and I’ll be following Mizzu much more now cause of Drew.

I do wonder when next season will start. A lot of the talk nowadays is about the NBA, NHL and MLB returning. And of course, football is always on our minds. But what about college basketball? The first sport to get cancelled in these crazy times is not guaranteed to start on time next season. As we head into May, I was hoping we’d have a clearer picture of when sports will resume. But we don’t. It seems like pro sports want to get back to playing ASAP, but that’s not possible yet, is it? It seems to me that as much as everyone wants sports back, nobody controls the future. It’s all up to COVID-19, and when the monster can be eliminated. There are dates set for postponed events: golf’s majors, the Kentucky Derby, etc. It looks like it was premature to schedule to think that months from now, sports will resume. I hope there is some kind of miracle, and we do get back to games being played. It appears that when the games resume, it will be without fans for quite a while. I can’t see a way that fans can attend games without a vaccine being available, and that doesn’t appear to be happening anytime soon.

I enjoyed episodes 3 and 4 of “The Last Dance” on ESPN. I could go on and on about different parts of what I saw, but I want to write about one for now. When the Chicago Bulls swept the two-time defending NBA champs Detroit Pistons in 1991, Detroit players left the court with eight seconds left, walking off without shaking hands in front of the a Bulls bench. It was one of the worst examples of sportsmanship I’ve ever seen, and Michael Jordan said it still bothers him today. Isiah Thomas, The leader of the “Bad Boys,” made the rounds on ESPN shows explaining himself after the show. I give him a little credit for saying he’d do things differently today, but he said he shouldn’t  have been left off the original Dream Team in 1992 because of a lapse of emotion. What a convenient excuse for Isiah. Just admit you screwed up instead of blaming his “lapse of emotion.” At least Bill Laimbeer said yesterday that he would do the same thing today. Too often people use the excuse “an error in judgement,” “a mistake,” etc. Those Bad Boys made a conscious decision to show no class. Don’t make excuses, Isiah! You were a great player, but you and your teammates showed that you were thugs by being poor sports. I know these are strong words, but watching this played out again reminded me how a great team ruined their legacy by showing no class. Like the saying goes, they made their own beds, now they have to sleep in them.

I do really love “The Last Dance” – the behind the scenes footage, the access and memories that are presented. I see there will be another docu-series on Kobe Bryant coming out soon. I hope more of these can be made in the future. Imagine something similar made on the 2007 UH football season, or the 2016 UH basketball team winning their first NCAA tournament game ever. That would be great. Maybe in the future.

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