By Gary Dickman.
This week seems a little strange. Well actually, the last 13 months have felt strange. This is a different kind of strange. It’s the first week in a very long time, going back to last October, that I have nothing current to respond to involving University of Hawaii men’s basketball. But before I go any further on that, let me check to see if any more players have transferred in the last hour. Nope, we’re good. By the way, on players entering the transfer portal, as of Monday there are over 1,050 players registered. That’s a lot. As I mentioned, nothing new on the UH front.
I love college basketball. I love March Madness. So it makes sense that I don’t like college basketball ending, right? And we’re about at that point. At least we had a season, though. We are getting ready for the Final Four this Saturday, the only round so far that’s being played on the normal day. Thanks, NCAA, for at least giving us that. One thing I’ve noticed so far is that this tournament has lacked something that’s part of what makes it so special. Not upsets, as we’ve had quite a few in the early rounds. But I don’t think we’ve had a buzzer beater to win a game yet. I saw a three-pointer by Alabama on Sunday in the Sweet 16 to send their game with UCLA into overtime. And Virginia Tech hit a three vs Florida in the first round to send the game into overtime. But that’s the closest thing to a last-second shot winning a game in this tournament. At the end of the national championship game every year, there’s a video they’ll show on TV with the song, “One shining moment.” And they’ll show great highlights from the tournament. And the buzzer beaters! So the way this has gone so far, this year’svideo might be a little shorter.
I’m announcing my prediction for who’s winning the championship next Monday: Gonzaga will win it all. And you heard it here first. Well, maybe not first, but you heard it here.
I want to talk about an NBA player who I feel gets a bad rap, someone who’s unfairly criticized and, by the way, is the MVP of this season. I know this is true, because he told the world himself last week that he’s the MVP. His name is James Harden. I’ve said for years that Harden is the most unguardable player in the league. No one can guard him. Since he’s been with Brooklyn, he’s averaging 26.4 points on 47% shooting, 37% on three-pointers. Being a guard and with the attention he gets, those numbers are fantastic. And Harden is averaging 9 rebounds and 11.4 assists per game. Almost a triple double. He leads the NBA in assists. And yet some think he shoots too much, that he’s too much of a one on one player. It shows how unselfish he is with this assists numbers.
Harden tied an all-time Nets season record this week with his 12th triple double. He tied Jason Kidd, who did it twice. Kidd did in 81 games and 50 games. Harden has done it in 32 games. Think about that. As a Nets fan, I had mixed feelings on Harden coming to Brooklyn. I knew he was a great player, but I thought maybe Brooklyn gave up too much to get him. Three first-round draft picks and a few players. I thought it might be too much. And it might be. But when healthy, the Nets have an excellent opportunity to win it all this year. And I know there’s KD and Kylie, who both miss a lot of games. I hope fans can appreciate what James Harden has done, and is doing right now in Brooklyn. It’s never happened before in any pro sport: a player winning the MVP in a season in which he was traded after the start of the season. And I know James Harden will be the first to do it. After all, he already told us he’s the MVP.
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