It wasn’t Mario’s Miracle, it just looked like it. Not that the Kansas crowd cared.
Mario Chalmers capped an exhibition to a Jayhawks alumni game Saturday by draining a game-tying 3-pointer over a defender. Unlike his 2008 shot vs. Memphis, this one tied the game at 111-111 and nothing more. That was enough for Bill Self, who declared it a tie – and evidently a success.
Allen Fieldhouse was sold out (16,300) for the event which featured pretty much every great Kansas player from the last 15 years and some others from the ’70s and ‘80s. It’s not a bad ticket to watch current pros face off, but the ending was better than could’ve been expected.
Paul Pierce drained a 3-pointer over Brandon Rush with five seconds left, only to see Chalmers upstage the Celtics star with a little clutch shooting of his own. The crowd roared, fans chanted “Mario! Mario!” and everybody got to go away happy.
“It was just like his championship shot,” Pierce told the Kansan. “And everyone got a replay of it tonight.”
The Lawrence Journal-World has a nice photo of the shot – compare it with this one from the Memphis game – along with a nice rundown of notable highlights. Xavier Henry led all scorers with 23 points (scratches head), Cole Aldrich had 19 boards, Brandon Rush was the biggest chucker (19 shots) and Nick Collison played the most minutes (29). Hey, they love Colly in Lawrence.
The NBA lockout created a spot in players’ schedule that provided an opportunity for the game, though it sounds as if some want it to be an annual event. That happens, not sure how they top a virtual reenactment of the best KU moment of the last 20 years.
Might need to have Billy Tubbs coach the opposing team.
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