Chalmers will have his number 15 jersey retired as part of halftime proceedings at KU’s game against Texas, this Saturday.
“[Mario] didn’t just love winning, he also loved everyone knowing how good he was”, said KU coach Bill Self in an interview with AM 790 The Ticket. Having dealt with Chalmers for over three years, Self knows a little something about the former pupil he fondly knows as ‘Rio.
In his years as a Jayhawk, Chalmers was an All-Big 12 player who made his name on the defensive end of the court. He pick-pocketed his way to 283 steals at Kansas, 2nd all time in Jayhawk history. Chalmers led KU to three Big 12 regular season titles, along with three conference titles.
Chalmers’ confidence has taken no deterrence from college to the NBA. But, though his most famous famous exploits in college involved being a pest on defense, it’s his offense that’s made a name for him.
“We knew he could score, but there were a lot of games where he wouldn’t shoot a whole lot…because he really loved winning”, continued Self, “But late in games, we knew he was our go-to-guy.”
His stroke from three can get deadly, as we’ve seen. But, it’s the timing of these shots that’s made Chalmers such a fan favorite. In his time with the Heat, he’s developed a bit of a reputation for late game heroics.
“When the game’s on the line, he’s got a unique way about him”, said Self in a 2009 KU awards ceremony.
Chalmers was picked 34th in 2008′s NBA draft by the Timberwolves. He was soon after traded to the Heat. Half court shots, thrilling performances, and a title later, retiring the pesky Alaskan’s jersey at KU seems appropriate.
Though KU still shows highlights of their former Jayhawk during games, how loud do you think the place is going get when, during Saturday’s halftime, they replay this shot?
H/T to Through The Phog
Mohamed Abdihakim is a journalism student at Florida Atlantic University. He is a Phoenix Suns fan, who is not prepared for the possibility of Nash winning a title in a Lakers jersey. Mohamed is also an editor at Hoops Nation and contributes to Les Snobs. Interests include International basketball, Mad Men, and blues music. Nearly all stats are credited to Hoopdata or Basketball-Reference.
Twitter handle: @Abdi_hakim.