Juan Dixon is my favorite basketball player. As a senior, he led the University of Maryland to the regular season ACC championship and the NCAA title. Along the way, he outgunned Chris Duhon of Duke, Ben Gordon of Connecticut (once in the regular season and once in the regional finals); and Kirk Hinrich of Kansas (in the NCAA semi-finals). All three were underclassmen at the time.
Duhon, Gordon, and Hinrich play for the Chicago Bulls now. Dixon plays for the Washington Wizards. These teams are meeting in the NBA playoffs. In the first three games, Gordon, Hinrich, and (to a lesser degree) Duhon, abused Juan. After game three, Dixon begged his coach Eddie Jordan not to lose faith in him. Jordan didn’t.
Last night in game 4, Dixon repaid Jordan’s faith by coming off the bench to score a career high 35 points. As a result, Washington evened the series at two games each.
Hinrich and Gordon seem well on their way becoming NBA stars. Dixon almost certainly won’t attain that status. However, last night won’t be the last game that he turns around with his instant offense and overall grit.
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