Friday, September 18, 2009

Lulu makes my wildest dreams come true!

For the past 3.75 years I became more and more frustrated as former Illini Luther Head saw his role with the Houston Rockets continually diminished until, by season four, he was languishing in virtual invisibility at the end of Rick Adelman’s bench.

Then finally, last season Luther was sent to Miami where he was guaranteed minutes (instead of being supplanted by freaking Von Wafer) and looked to be a somewhat important part of Miami’s playoff push. In my heart of hearts I thought it was too good to be true, and it turned out my fears were justified as some sort of cruel cosmic basketball fate saw it fit for Luther to receive a broken hand only 10 games in with his new team.

This blow hurt especially hard on two levels. First, it meant that I had no reason to watch all the televised Heat games that were guaranteed in my Florida home (I mean seriously, how long can anyone watch Chris Quinn without becoming a little bit physically ill)? Secondly, it severely hurt Luther’s chances of sticking with the Heat, or any other team, as he saw yet another chance for exposure torn away.

Although I felt downhearted at the prospects of yet another Lutherless stretch, I had full confidence that by the start of this year’s NBA season he would have latched onto another team in need of a more-than-serviceable three point threat off the Bench. It had always baffled me how underutilized Luther became in his post-rookie years, as his year one numbers were quite good. Even with all these self-assurances, I must admit that when it hit August and Luther was still not on a roster, a quiet fear began to grow that we may be looking at another Illini bound for Europe or Eurasia.

Then suddenly yesterday a story hit that announced Luther would be joining the Indiana Pacers for a one year stint (there is, of course, tons of contract rigmarole that I’ll purposefully ignore in order to sustain my bliss). Now for many readers of this, that might not seem like a big deal as many of you are Bulls fans. Yet for me, this was almost pure ecstasy as the Pacers are the closest thing I have to a “childhood NBA team”. Maybe it was the fact that Indianapolis was closer than Chicago (probably not), or that I liked to root for the underdog (maybe), or that I was visited by the Pacer Cheerleaders when I was in the hospital (absolutely); whatever it was I have always followed and rooted for the Pacers and now have an extra reason to do so.

So as far as I’m concerned, you Bulls fans can keep his Royal Airness, Phil Jackson and Luke Longly because I’ll gladly cherish Miller, Smits, Larry Legend and Lulu.


  1. Larry Legend has an eye for good shooters

  2. I'll be rooting for Luther too, but keep Luc Longley out of this! Longley Saves Kids from Fire

    We Bulls fans will also "keep" those six world championships, I think.


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