Last Saturday Kansas University held their first ever Alumni basketball game, which they named “Legends of the Phog.” The legends game featured KU basketball players and coaches from the last four decades of the schools program. NBA Finals MVP Paul Pierce and former NBA coach Larry Brown headed up a star studded lineup. The game was put together mainly by current coach Bill Self, as the NBA lockout allowed several current pros to be available for the game. The game started with a short highlight reel of every former player from their playing days at Kansas. Allen Fieldhouse was completely full as the Jayhawk fans showed their support and appreciation of the players over the long and successful careers.
After the video highlights and introductions the much anticipated game got underway. The game looked like a NBA All-Star game with players having fun and showing off their individual talent. There were several dunks and the defense was of course absent. Throughout the game there were multiple video highlights and recognitions of past success in the programs historic history. Most of which was directed towards the late coach Neil Dougherty, which tragically passed away this past summer. Paul Pierce gave a tearful speech during one of the timeouts about the coach that helped him come to KU. Part of the money made during the game will be donated to charities picked out by Dougherty’s family. The Championship teams from 1952, 1988, and 2008 were also recognized and got huge standing ovations for their success.
The video highlights and recognitions were great and that’s a big reason Allen Fieldhouse was sold out so quickly. But the bottom line is that their was still a basketball game being played and KU fans love their basketball. Even though the game, for the most part, was like watching a practice and which player could make a more spectacular dunk, it still came down to the very end. The Blue team had the ball with time running out and the crowd got to their feet as Paul Pierce was standing with the ball. Everybody knew what was coming, Paul has had several last second shots in his great NBA career and he didn’t disappoint. With the shot clock expiring, Paul shot a 3-point field goal and made it with only 5 seconds left. Then the fans starting chanting for Mario Chalmers, who hit a last second three pointer in the 2008 championship game to help KU win. The White team in bounded the ball to Mario who dribbled it up to the three point line and took a shot almost exactly like his 2008 championship shot and made it. Time expired and they decided to let the game end in a tie as there was no better way to finish such a great event.
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