Did I ever tell you about that time I met Dexter Pittman?
It was on August 4, 2009, and I was playing in a basketball league with player/coach Lawrence Chen. I played in a similar league on a different day of the week, so I expected the competition to be about the same. I showed up to the first game and find out we are playing against Dexter Pittman, who was at that time the starting PF/C for the UT Longhorns. As you could expect, the 6'11" dude yammed all over us, and for one putback, he nearly dunked Lawrence through the hoop like a Dunkin' Donut.
In reality, this was not my first encounter with Dexter, but it was when I got a picture with him. I came into contact with the big man in the summer of 2006 at Gregory Gymnasium. I was in there playing some pickup ball when in comes this 350+ pounder. He pretty much loafed around the whole game, tried to cherry pick a few times, and tried to dunk every chance he got (without success). Imagine my surprise when after the game, someone notified me that this guy was ranked as one of the best center prospects coming out of high school and a top-150 recruit. Needless to say, I was not impressed.
Fast forward to this year. After getting drafted into a perfect situation in Miami a couple years ago, where Dexter would practice with/against players like Dwyane Wade and LeBron James on a daily basis, and where he would only have to get in shape and improve to the level of a Joel Anthony to sniff meaningful playing time, you'd be hard-pressed to see any area of improvement in his game at all. However, due to the injury to starter Chris Bosh, Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra inserted Pittman into the starting lineup for game 3 of the eastern conference semifinals series versus the Pacers. This would be Dexter Pittman's chance to truly shine.
Dexter responded with the following stat line: 0-2 shooting from the field with both shots getting swatted and 1 personal foul in 3 minutes and 29 seconds on the court. Sit down, big fella.
And now Dexter Pittman has been reduced to goon status. As he is clearly incapable of doing much else on the court (and with zero detriment to his team if he were to be suspended a couple games), he connected a vicious elbow to a full-speed Lance Stephenson in yesterday's game 5 with his team up 35 points with 20 seconds left in the 4th quarter.
If you don't know the full story, Stephenson is a rookie who made a choking hand gesture towards LeBron James earlier in the series after the self-proclaimed king missed two crucial free throws. Lance has since apologized for his actions, but I suppose Dexter decided to take matters into his own hands. It was pretty much the most classless, flagrant act I've seen on the basketball court since Metta World Peace's assault on James Harden, and frankly one of the worst representations of the great University of Texas I've ever seen.