Top 25 Oklahoma Sports Figures Since 2000 (16-20)
8:00 PM EST on February 17, 2011
Recapping last week's brilliance:
25. Brad Penny
24. The Honeybees
23. Denim Dan's Phone
22. Eddie Sutton's Addiction
Now, on to this week's brilliance certain to evoke heated debate among the dozens of you who read this column.
20. Rhett Bomar
During the summer of 2006, an old friend of mine and I got a little loose one night at a local Norman drinking establishment and mused the upcoming Oklahoma football season. He was a good person to talk to, being that he was a card-carrying "member of the program". This kat had the goods on everyone.
"Jermaine Gresham will be an All-American"
"Adrian Peterson works out twice as much as anyone else"
"Rhett Bomar is a dick that will never lead OU to any championship of any kind"
Wait ... what was that? The kid was the best high school quarterback in the country. He was the future of the program. A blue-chip, dual-threat quarterback.
And apparently a dick that will never lead OU to any championship of any kind.
A few weeks later, Dipshit McGee was booted off the OU football team. Rhett and my legal assistant shared a common goal - do as little as possible and get paid anyway. Armageddon descended on Norman. Life was over. The season? Shot. Our future? Gone.
Of course, in retrospect, Rhett's indiscretions probably saved the program. Paul Thompson moved to quarterback from wide receiver. He led OU to yet another Big XII Championship. And instead of backing up Bomar for another 2 years, Sam Bradford took over an offense that immediately began re-writing the record books.
19. Desmond Mason
I don't agree with this one. Then again, I didn't come up with the name Lost Ogle, and I don't pimp the site for ad revenue. So therefore, I have about as much stroke as a guy with two broken hands.
I am not saying that Desmond Mason wasn't a good basketball player. He was a fine college player. He had an NBA career. But so did Tony Allen. And Eduardo Najera. And Michael Ruffin. He did win the 2001 Slam Dunk contest. So that's something
Let's see what else ... Oh, he paints. I know that. You know how I that? Because the local media would not STFU about his art during his playing days. I am sure he also did/does charity work. And he has good taste in restaurants e.g. RePUBlic for lunch.
So ... Desmond Mason. #19 on this list.
18. Courtney Paris
The Oklahoma Women's Basketball team played for the national championship in 2002. It seems as if everyone forgets about that team. Sherri Coale took a program that frankly should have been Old Yellered 8 years prior to the championship game. Still, the casual fan hardly took notice ... until Coach Coale signed the biggest name in the program's history, both figuratively and literally.
The daughter of Super Bowl champion offensive lineman Bubba Paris, Courtney was a mountain of a woman the moment she stepped on the court her freshman year. She averaged 22 points, 15 rebounds, and 3.2 blocks per game that season. She became the first player in NCAA history to collect 700 points, 500 rebounds and 100 blocks in a season. She was a consensus All-American. And a new era of basketball was born in Oklahoma.
Though she would never lead OU to the promised land, she altered the culture of women's basketball in this state forever. Ten years ago would anyone have thought an OU women's basketball game would draw 10,000 fans? That Oklahoma City would show up in droves to watch OU in the conference tournament?
Courtney was, at the height of her career, the most popular amateur athlete in the state, regardless of gender. Think about that. A women's basketball player ... in Oklahoma ... was the most popular athlete in the state.
17. Sunni Kati Galloway
Is that really her name? I know her first name is Sunni, which ricockulous in itself. But she can't have "Kati" as a middle name, can she? Has her dad been a resident of Oklahoma that long?
A quick internet cheat reveals her name is actually Sunni Kate, not Sunni Kati. Would heave been much better, Patrick, had her name actually been Sunni Kati. You might think it is funny to make me, the new guy, look like an asshole by butchering the lovely Sunni's given name. I, however, do not. I am sure her dad would be very disappointed in me for desecrating his innocent daughter's last name. I sincerely apologize to Sunni Kate for sullying her family name in a such a public fashion.
(Editor's Note: In case you forgot or are new to the site, Sunni Kate is the daughter of OU baseball coach Sunny Golloway. Read about her here.)
16. Russell Westbrook
Lebron James throws up 22, 9, and 5 a night. Jordan would throw up 22, 8, and 5. The Big O would post numbers like that on a nightly basis. But no one saw this coming from a guy most thought the Tuhderreached for with the 4th pick in the 2008 NBA draft.
Westbrook has improved his scoring, assists, rebounding, shooting percentage, steals, and blocks every year he has been in the league. And to top it off, he is currently hitting 85% from the charity striped, a an important statistic for a guy who makes a living driving the ball hard to the basket. He might not be the Thunder's best scorer.
Things he needed to improve on ...
Jump shot? Check
Shot selection? Check
He might not be the Thunder's best rebounder. But he is right now the best all-around player on the Thunder roster, and a necessary compliment for the league's new perennial MVP candidate.
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