Congratulations to the Huskies of UConn and Kevin
I remember playing against KO in
the CBA. (Continental Basketball Association) He was playing for the
Connecticut Pride and I was playing on one of the seven CBA teams I played on
over my career.I believe I was playing
for the Fort Wayne Fury the year we encountered Kevin and the Pride.
He was always a leader, a hard worker and a heck of a player.With grit and determination, as well as the
leadership skills he possesses, the Pride was no question a tough team to beat.As a matter of fact, I believe they beat our
team more then we beat them.
The scouting report on Kevin was just that, KO is a great
leader, motivator and worker he is like having a coach on the court.Play him tight, but give him room.Frustrate him, but he is unflappable. Get in
his head, but he is always a calm player.Give him different looks on both offense and defense, but he adapts quickly
during a game.
So what did the scouting report say really?He was a very heady player that has great
talent and has basketball smarts.
KO played for the Oklahoma City Thunder and check out what
Kevin Durant said about him in an interview...
Kevin Ollie "taught me the ropes and changed the culture of
Oklahoma City."He said, "Kevin Ollie,
he was a game changer for us. I think he changed the whole culture in Oklahoma
City. Just his mind set, professionalism, every single day. And we all watched
that, and we all wanted to be like that. It rubbed off on Russell Westbrook,
myself, Jeff Green, James Harden. And then everybody who comes through now,
it's the standard that you've got to live up to as a Thunder player. And it all
started with Kevin Ollie."
He was known the same with the Cleveland Cavaliers as
well.Jim Paxson, Cavaliers GM at the
time, said this about KO... "We thought he could come in and be a bridge for
us at the point guard position," Paxson recalled, "and also be a good
influence on our younger players, the primary one being LeBron James."
Paxson cited Ollie's "professionalism and approach to the game" as
qualities the team valued.
Much praise for a player who did and does it right.Not a surprise he is in the running for a
head coach job in the NBA.(STAY AT UCONN!)
Congratulations, I remember a really nice person and I am a big
fan of yours Kevin Ollie.