Years ago, the greatest of all time in basketball, Kobe Bryant, said it best when he said players were getting soft. While many were quick to argue against him, the days of rough players like Dennis Rodman making the brutal saves are long over.
Top-100 recruit point guard Ty-Laur Johnson chose to attend college and play for Louisville. A small market team, but it would give him an easy time being the star on the team and let him stand out. On November 29th, they were taking on little-known Bellarmine, and Johnson opted to play only three minutes in the first half. He went to the locker room at half-time when Louisville was down by five points.
Johnson had put up double-digit scoring three times in only six games, so it would seem he would want to be out there. Staying on the bench for the remainder of the game, it must have been something major to keep him from helping his team, right? Not quite.
At the post-game press conference, coach Kenny Payne explained why his star wasn’t in there to help the team. “You ready for this? I probably shouldn’t tell you this. We didn’t have the tights he wanted, so he didn’t know if he wanted to play. Oh yeah, you heard it. We didn’t have the tights he wanted, that we’ve never had for him, and he decided, ‘I don’t feel like I can go.’”
This kind of excuse is one that’s almost expected in the NBA. With most earning millions per season, they won’t risk that golden goose unless everything is just so, and given that teams will give it to them, ya can’t blame them. Johnson, on the other hand, is a mid-level talent. While top-100 recruits for his class, his team isn’t playing that great. They snuck out a five-point victory against unknown Bellarmine, and his presence on the court was clearly missed.
Mamas, don’t let your babies grow up to play basketball.