Goodbye Lute :-(
The entire JerseyChaser staff would like to bid a fond farewell to everyone’s favorite T-loc, Lute Olson. After more than 34 years of D1 coaching (and 24+ at Bear Down U) Olson’s intent to retire was announced on October 23, after much speculation into his recent declining health and the revelation that he had at least one stroke within the last year.
While there has been much debate into what’s going down in Tucson as of late (shady cake beatings, broken promises, patron binges etc), that is for another discussion.
Lute, we wish you the best and want to thank you for years of legendary Wildcat squads and for bashing Kentucky back in 1997 when nobody east of Flagstaff thought you could do it. Your a legend bro.
AND in your honor we have decided to compile a list of the Top 4 Legends In The Lute Olson Era…
SALIM “THE DREAM” STOUDAMIRE (2001-2005)
Perhaps the Biggest Legend in the storied history of Arizona basketball. Known as a dead-eye, no conscious wet-baller, with a relentless desire to give the opposition buckets. Lute refers to Salim personally in his Biography as quite possibly the best guard that he ever coached (although his personality left much to be debated).
Salim’s a legend across all platforms, known for giving those he didn’t like an intense mad dog whether on the court or at Dirtbags (home of many a talented San Diegon and Phoenician). Whether you loved or hated him, who can forget his mind boggling 3 point % (50.4) during his senior season (wait most people didn’t even realize this due to the overwhelming amount of J.J. Redick propaganda).
WE are currently in the process of demanding that the University do the noble thing and retire his jersey so that no other player can diminish its value.
SEAN ELLIOTT (1985-89)
The true definition of a T-loc, Sean Elliott, might be the most dominant player in Arizona history (not just at the University, in the state as well). He would give you buckets from inside and knock down the long ball with ease. In fact, Elliott is still the only player in Wildcat history to lead the team in scoring for four straight seasons and was the consensus National Player Of The Year in 1989.
He went on to have a very successful NBA career, winning a championship with the Spurs and establishing his legacy as a clutch performer.
Elliott might be most remembered for being the first player in NBA history to return to action following a kidney transplant. Needless to say, he left his mark.
GILBERT ARENAS (1999-2001)
Agent Zero just might be the best pure scorer in Wildcat history. His ability to get buckets, is similar to Kobayashi’s hot dog eating … RIDICULOUS.
Here is a brief example to illustrate this claim. During Gilbert’s sophomore season in a game at UCLA, he was held to only 5 points in the first half. The player guarding Arenas (whose name has been withheld for protective purposes) began to jaw at Gilbert, claiming that the only reason Arizona even offered him a scholarship, was because said player decided to go to UCLA. Arenas took offense to this and proceeded to display his own, scoring 25 points in the second half and overtime.
He is one of only six players in school history to amass more than 1,000 points in only 2 seasons. AND we all know that he has been a killer in the league thus far (on the court, not like Jayson Williams)
MIKE BIBBY (1996-98)
Perphaps the best pure point guard in Wildcat history, Bibby was also the highest-drafted player in the history of the program (#2 way back in the 1998 NBA Draft).
His exploits are legendary. As a freshman he led the program to its first ever NCAA Basketball championship, forever establishing his legend not only in Tucson, but across the country.
He has since went on to have a very productive NBA career as a member of the Grizzlies, Kings and Hawks, Averaging nearly 17 points and more than 6 assists per game during his career. It ain’t mine, if it ain’t team dime!
Stay tuned for our College Basketball Preview, coming next week!