The Austin Toros will be playing a pair of games in Cedar Park against the Reno Bighorns. The games are Tuesday and Wednesday in the brand new Cedar Park Center. It's the 9000 seat arena where the Texas Stars play. Tickets are pretty inexpensive, starting at $6, and I'll bet a few PtR'ers are headed to it. So step out and go get yourself a Malik Hairston fix. I guarantee you will see more dunks than in a Spurs game.
You'll also get a chance to sign the petition to get Dennis Johnson into the Naismith Hall of Fame. The Austin Toros and the Maine Red Claws are circulating the petition to get DJ some recognition. Andrew McNeill, at 48MoH, did a really nice article on him interviewing some of the Toros. If you can't get to the game, you can sign the petition online.
DJ was a great defensive player and as Spurs fans we know great defensive players are undervalued. I was just a little too young to remember how DJ played. I just remember he was good. Before the Spurs-Hawks game last week, I asked coach Popovich about Dennis' defensive style and whether it was anything like Jerry Sloan's (I think Sloan might be Popovich's all-time favorite player that he never coached). Here's what he had to say,
I'd put him in the skill category. He was really long, he had these long arms and great anticpation. He'd get in passing lanes and get his hands in there. Jerry would just scare you to death. He'd say, "give me the ball or I will kick your ass", and they'd give him the ball. So, they were a little bit different.
Hmmm, really long. Hmmm, point guard with long arms. Hmmm, who does that remind me of? Hmmm, Pepperdine? Was that a West Coast IUPUI of the 70's? Did you know that Dennis Johnson wore number 3?
George has a long way to go to be a Dennis Johnson. Hell, he has a long way to go just to stand in the shadow of a Dennis Johnson. There are some similarities though.
Anybody care to run out some names for who would be a modern day Jerry Sloan?