When Scott Skiles decided to hire Kelvin Sampson to be his assistant coach in Milwaukee prior to this season, he probably didn’t think it was much of a risk. Sure, Ole Assholeface may have been cast out of the collegiate game for his transgressions at Oklahoma and Indiana, but he still has a solid basketball mind.
But there’s one thing Skiles forgot to count on — karma. And karma has come back to haunt the Bucks this past month. In spades. (I’m not sure what it means to have something come “in spades”, but it sure sounds cool. And applicable.)
Anyhow, just over a week ago, the Bucks were one of the surprise stories of the NBA this year, playing their way into playoff contention after winning just 26 games last season. Then, Assholeface spouted off about the NCAA being wrong in not allowing him to coach at the collegiate level in the next five years.
And that’s when all hell broke loose in Brewtown.
On Jan. 27, leading scorer Michael Redd was lost for the season when he tore his MCL and ACL in a freak on-court accident where he landed awkwardly on teammate Luke Ridnour’s foot.
Then, on Feb. 4, leading rebounder Andrew Bogut learned that he has a stress fracture in his lower back, which will likely force him to miss the rest of the season himself.
With the team needing a scoring punch, the Bucks dealt backup point guard Tyronn Lue to the Magic for shooting guard Keith Bogans that very same day. This seemed like a logical move — until just a couple of hours later.
That’s when starting point guard Luke Ridnour — the team’s leading assist man and the guy who freakishly injured Redd — suffered his own inexplicable injury when his thumb was tangled in a teammates’ jersey in practice and broken. He’ll miss four weeks.
It defies earthly explanation that all of these things should happen to one team in a two-week span. So it seems clear that there is some greater force at work here — and that force is the terrible karma of Kelvin Sampson. The Indiana basketball team has already paid dearly for his sins this season. One can only hope that the entire city of Milwaukee won’t fall under the terrible pall that his presence brings.
Don’t think this is not the first time karma has undone a team — just look at last year’s (and this year’s) Patriots. Spygate finally reared its cosmic head.
It won’t be the last time, either. Right now, the smart money is riding on newly hired Tennessee head football buffoon Lane Kiffin as the next person who will suffer greatly at the hands of the sporting gods. But he’s still got a ways to go before he pulls a Sampson.