I’ve gotten some reader feedback since I joined the LB forum. You have the letters, the emails, the occasional lewd photo included with the note, "Remember this Thigh?"
It’s been kind of overwhelming.
Now, it’s not like I never got emails before this. I mean, sure, I got the occasional spam, and the standard, "You have been outbid on the 8x12 signed Fred Carter photo *RARE* *WOW*!!!" eBay note. But I have no precedent for this recent exposure. And today, I’d like to share one email that I found particularly inspiring.
Date: Sat, Feb 25, 2012 at 3:17 A.M.
I can’t help but notice that your Remember this Guy series is void of backcourt players. You have Big Mac filling the middle. I like that. You got a banger in Scott Williams. We have our situational lefty and our swingman.
But what about the backcourt?
And don’t you dare slide Ron Anderson in at the 2. You and I both know that starting isn’t in his genetic make-up.
Your Remember this Guy series is lacking a floor general. Sorry.
Had to be said.
You know what, Emily? You’re right. Where are all the ball handlers? Who is going to feed MacCulloch on the low block? That’s an oversight that neither you nor I should tolerate. We need a point guard, Emily. We need a leader. We need…
Name: Kevin Ollie
Born: December 27, 1972
Sixers Tenure: 1999-2000; 2000-2001; 2004-2008
Semi-Believable Dialogue from Sometime in the Last Decade:
"The Sixers signed Kevin Ollie today."
"So did the Nets."
They say that UCONN is grooming Kevin Ollie to be their next head coach, and by "they," I mean my friend, Pete, who told me two weeks ago in his apartment that, "They say that UCONN is grooming Kevin Ollie to be their next head coach." Now, it's not hard to see why. Kevin Ollie had the reputation of being a smart basketball player. He was heady. He wasn't flashy, no; but he was steady. And the intelligence - my god, the basketball IQ - I heard that Kevin Ollie got his Master's in help defense, thanks in large part to a forty page thesis written on the defensive shuffle. It's title:
The Defensive Shuffle and Its Integral Role in Help Defense: by Kevin Ollie.
What do you want from me? It was a research paper.
Somebody, probably a sports reporter, decided that Kevin Ollie was a ‘true student of the game.' And it took off. We believed it, because we weren't given any other option. When it comes to Kevin Ollie information, we, as a society, live in an oppressive state.
"Did you hear Kevin Ollie shot a 23 on the back nine at Augusta?"
"I did, Bob. Heard it on the People's Republic Radio Broadcast this morning."
The media, or my local congressman, or my mom - someone - someone told me that Kevin Ollie was a highly intelligent player. That Ollie had this reflective, enlightened insight on the court, like he was the Voltaire of back-up point guards. And who I was to question authority, or Phil Jasner (R.I.P.), or my mother?
I was told that having Kevin Ollie on the court was like having a second coach out there. Which, by the way, is like my least favorite ‘announcer's speak.' Although...ok, hold on, hold on. Let me preface this, ok; let me preface this - full disclosure here. I have used that same line on my brother in video games.
Look at that Terrell Brandon. Look at the way he runs the half-court offense. Look at him find Potapenko underneath for the easy deuce. It's like I have a second coach out there. I'm putting this one on auto-pilot. I'm getting some purple stuff from the fridge. You can take it from here, TB. Or should I say...Coach.
"Dave, I'm winning 6-4."
Now what did Kevin Ollie know that no one else did? Are you telling me Moochie Norris couldn't teach Brian Skinner how to defend pick n' roll? Kevin Ollie had three different stints with the Sixers. The reason why the last twelve years of my life have been such a blur is because I can't keep my Kevin Ollie tenures straight. He has thrown off all my rods and cones. At one point in the mid-2000s, Kevin Ollie was simultaneously employed by half the NBA franchises, three English Premier League teams, and the Islanders. It's like Sega's LaRussa Baseball when designers put Mike Mussina on every team in season mode. You think we wouldn't notice? That's a pretty heavy workload, even for Moose.
Kevin Ollie was a freelance point guard. He was the king of the 10-day contract. There are temp agencies named after him for god's sakes. And if you don't believe that; well, you obviously have never been unemployed in Topeka. I imagine that Ollie prides himself on his leadership. I say this not as a baseless assumption, but because I've seen his résumé.
1999-2000; 2000-2001; 2004-2008
- Taught Brian Skinner how to defend the pick n' roll
- Scored 19 points against the Kings using a wide variety of head fakes and floaters
- Provided strong leadership in locker room and on road trips
- Member of NBA's Player Union
Proficient in Microsoft Office
And, of course, references are available upon request.
1) In 2004, Kevin Ollie and what player were traded to the Sixers for Eric Snow?
2) Aside from Ollie, who was the last Sixer to have a last name begin with the letter "O"? (Hint: Michael Olowokandi was not a Sixer).
Enjoy the weekend.