Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Jayhawk To Win NBA Title

Cleveland's upset over Detroit ensures that for two years running, a Jayhawk will receive an NBA championship ring: either Drew Gooden and Scot Pollard of the Cavaliers, or Pollard's old classmate Jacque Vaughn of the Spurs.

(I think we asked this last year, but can anybody remember any other Jayhawks winning NBA titles, besides JoJo White?)

Unlike Wayne Simien's spectating role last year with the Heat, at least two of these guys (Gooden and Vaughn) will play significant minutes. Drew's in the starting lineup and Jacque is 2nd-string PG behind Tony Parker. And if Cleveland coach Mike Brown is smart, he'll give Pollard some minutes as well; I think he could guard Tim Duncan more effectively than any of their other big men.

I'm particularly sentimental about Scot and Jacque, who played on the best KU teams never to make the Final Four. (Their '97 team was ranked 1st in the nation almost that entire season, with Duncan's Wake Forest team ranked 2nd; both teams tragically fell short in the tourney). Both of those guys, if I'm not mistaken, still live in Lawrence. Seeing one of them get a ring will be very cool.

Pollard lovers, check out this hilarious Q&A on the Cavs website, wherein Scot extols the virtues of Allen Fieldhouse and attempts to revive the "high ten."


  1. I think Wilt won a title or two.

    Thanks for the Q&A link; that's funny stuff. I especially like that the questions are "thankfully" mostly about things other than basketball, like raccoon problems. . . .

    Oh, and my apologies DGL, but go Cavs!

  2. Wilt? Trust me to overlook the obvious. I guess last time we asked the question, it was whether any 'Hawks had won the title since JoJo. I'm thinking the answer may be no.

    Spurs in 6, even though LBJ may put up about 45 points a game.

  3. The KU athletics department concurs: only rings so far are Wilt's, Jo Jo's, and Wayne's. . . . and soon: Droooo!

  4. Finally some MSM news outlets have jumped on the bandwagon of our KU-in-the-finals angle.

    Fox Sports:

    "Drew Gooden, Jacque Vaughn and Scot Pollard will all be representing their alma mater this series. It's a Rock Chalk Jayhawk NBA Finals. Toss in the fact that Brent Barry's playing in it, Jon Barry's commentating, and their brother Scooter was once a star in Lawrence for Larry Brown, and you've really got a full house of KU connections. Now someone please get Adonis Jordan, Rex Walters and Jared Hasse some front row seats. It's the least we can do."

    And Keegan gets Pollard to talk about about Drew's unusual coiffure:

    "'I’m not a big fan of it,' Pollard said by phone from San Antonio, where the Cavs open Game 1 of the NBA finals tonight. 'That’s Drew. I’m sure I've had a few hairstyles some people didn’t like.'...

    ... 'We joke about it,' Pollard said. 'Something happens in your brain when you go from California to Kansas for college. It makes you weird.'"

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  6. A few errors on that quote from Fox: it's spelled "Jerod Haase," and Scooter Barry was never a star.

  7. Plus, they missed a couple of connections mentioned by the KU Athletics Dept., most notably the following:
    "San Antonio Spurs General Manager R.C. Buford was an assistant coach under Larry Brown at Kansas from 1984-88, including the 1988 NCAA title season."

  8. Also, Popovich was at KU under Brown as well, I think just for one year. Brown was the one who brought all those guys to San Antonio.

    But the R.C. Buford connection doesn't end there. His son Chase will be walking on for Self next year, and his golf pro wife was an LHS grad.

    Good showing by Drew last night in Game 1, but not nearly good enough -- that flagrant was especially dumb. He or someone on that team besides Lebron will need to put up some serious numbers to have a chance in the series.

    Hey, a little love for Jacque, as well: no numbers to speak of, but a nice assist or two and some excellent help D on LBJ.

  9. ... and coincidentally, Slate has an essay in praise of Buford today.