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Commentary: A slice of Bacon for Latimore

Shane Bacon
By Shane Bacon
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Wednesday February 26, 2002

Nothing in the world would ever make me think the Will Bynum decision was an intelligent one, but I guess I looked past our 6-foot-8, 230 pound paper-weight at the end of the bench.

Besides the fact that you, Mr. Latimore, are leaving the best team in the world for a nice summer job at McDonald's, you are also going to be ineligible to play next year, which will make you not only the towel boy for another college but also the biggest hamburger flipper ever to grace the golden arches.

The decision to quit the team makes no sense. Sure, the small kid in the 12th row was getting more playing time than you, but why not sit on your hands for another month and a half, get your ring, and live happily ever after? You don't think Fil Torres and Jason Ranne get antsy too?

OK, sorry for the harsh beginning, you're a smart guy, but let's look at the things you are screwing up.

First, you won't be able to play Division I basketball until fall 2004, so until that time, the only competition you'll be looking at is a pick-up game at Barney's YMCA in Hella-nowhere, Alaska. What D-I team is going to be looking for a guy to pick up and wait an entire year to play? You can bet that team couldn't Q-tip the lint out of his former team's ears.

I hate to admit it, but if you're not starting on this Arizona team, as good as it is, people aren't going to be looking for a mediocre power forward to play 20 minutes per game. The entire nation is becoming 6-foot-8 guys, so one that can't handle sitting the bench isn't very appealing to a big-time coach.

Second, don't whine. I'm sorry you can't start, but Arizona is amazing. You should know, after all, you have the best seat in the house. Your former head coach Lute Olson said the reason Hassan Adams wasn't playing was because he wasn't practicing hard enough. You have two excuses for that: A. You didn't pick up your Daily Wildcat, which is sinful enough as it is. B. You weren't paying enough attention to see that Adams started busting his ass to get more playing time.

So what if you aren't playing much, you are on the best team in America, and that should be reason enough to stay. You think Bynum is having fun practicing with Georgia Tech every day and not getting a lick of game time? Hell, that sounds like as much fun as flossing with Nate Newton's jockstrap after he finished doing lunges.

Third, you are letting down the team. Sadly enough you are another body on the bench, which means that when Channing Frye and Isaiah Fox are in foul trouble, or God forbid, hurt, you are next in line and that is your responsibility. We are down to 11 eleven guys that can play, and six of them are under 6-foot-4, so UA can't afford an injury.

Look, you had the potential to be recruited by the best coach in the nation, something this short white guy would give up his speaking ability for (and I don't shut up). Also, have you looked in the south stands lately because I haven't been to a game yet that the "I love Latimore" sign wasn't frantically waving like you were Brad Pitt in a furry leopard thong.

Still don't believe me? Walk around campus tomorrow and check out the shorts every guy in Tucson wears. Yeah, those Arizona shorts you get for free dropped my debit account down $59.99, which means I'd have to write this story four more times before I could even consider grabbing another pair.

Fourth, remember that tingle you felt when you walked on the McKale Center floor for the first time? Yeah, I still get that feeling and my seats couldn't make my nose bleed more if I was catching the game with a Sherpa on the summit of Everest.

I'm not better than you, I'm just another sports fan trying to remind you of what you're giving up.

Your former faithful, Mr. Bacon

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