K.O. is O.K.

“Dallas, Orlando, then Sacramento, back to Orlando,” Ollie said, pausing here and there as he recalled each stop. “New Jersey — no, no, no, no. Think it may have been New Jersey. No, it was Philly. Philly, then New Jersey. Got let go, back to Philly. After Philly was, um, Chicago. Chicago, got traded to Indiana. Milwaukee, got traded to Seattle. Signed a five-year deal in Cleveland. Umm. Traded to Philly. Played the four years   there, went to Minnesota, then came here.”  (Kevin Ollie to New York Times, 4/15/10)

If you missed it (and I did), the New York Times did a story last week on my favorite UConn basketball player of all time.  Kevin Ollie.

Kevin has traversed the country playing for 11 NBA teams in 13 seasons. He has lasted this long, not for his talent on the court, but for his smarts off the court. The Cavaliers hired him to mentor LeBron. That’s the kind of talent got him his current job in Oklahoma City.

And when the Thunder’s season rolls to an end, Kevin Ollie will do what he does every spring. Come home to Connecticut. To his wife and kids.

UConn has produced better players, but not a better person.

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About Gerry

I've been covering Connecticut news and sports since 1974. I know, I don't look that old.
This entry was posted in Noticed, People, Sports and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to K.O. is O.K.

  1. There is something about a UCONN player if they are Ladies or Gentlemen, that will always bring them ‘home’ to CT. Yet, in the between times of where they are away, they do their best to help others. They seem to challenge themseleves the way their coaches did. This goes for Basketball, Football, Baseball,,, they have learned well, and how to present themseleves.

  2. Li'l Em-Kel says:

    An NBA journeyman who earned a million-three last year.

    • Gerry says:

      Exactly. It’s nice to see one of the good guys get the going rate for contributions on the court and beyond. And yes, the “going rate” is skewed beyond the comprehension of us mere mortals.

  3. Linda says:

    Thanks, Gerry, for letting us know about Kevin. It’s nice to hear about the “quiet” ones who contribute more than points in a game. I get turned off by a lot of the athletes out there and by the public who idolize them. Being able to hit, throw or kick a ball doesn’t make a “good” person, just a rich one.

  4. Kathryn D. says:

    Thank you for the upbeat story!

  5. James says:

    Gerry – Interesting story on Kevin Ollie. When you think about it, it’s amazing that he has lasted 13 years. The average career length in NBA is appx. 5 years and there are only 47 (out of 434) players who have 10 or more years experience. (Yes, your note caused me to look this up. 🙂 ) Indeed, there are only 4 players who have more than 15 years experience.

    Kevin has lasted longer than a lot of other players with greater basketball skills, so it begs the question of just what he brings to the table that has kept him around so long? You didn’t say why he was your all time favorite Husky, but I suspect it’s the same personal qualities that have kept him in the game.

    • Gerry says:

      Kevin’s always been a “team first” kind of guy who knows the game inside out enough to know he’s not the best on the court. He also knows enough to share his knowledge of the game and life in the NBA with those who can use his guidance. Those are among the qualities that make him valuable and likeable. Quite simply, a good person to have around and be around.

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