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Mike Gansey on Maine, Joel Abelson, The Big Hugga AND A New Commercial

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Many of you have enjoyed poking fun at me (mostly Scott, but for good reason, but at least it's not Pep's Pizza) because of the West Virginia Lottery commercial I was in years back. But now I am proud to say I am part of one with the "Logo on my chest". Yes Jerry West.  If you don't know what I mean please read what Lanny Smith has said, my former roomie in Idaho. Get healthy buddy!  Mike Had The Hustle

Take that Scott!


I am currently on my way to the best road game atmosphere in the D-League: Portland, Maine.  I write this from a Southwest flight to Manchester, New Hampshire. I am currently sitting next to Big Bad John Bryant and yes there is no one sitting between us two in our row. We left Erie at 10am this morning and drove to the Pittsburgh Airport and have already connected through Philadelphia. When we get to Manchester we still have an hour and a half drive to Maine. Estimated time of arrival is only about 10pm. Just an easy days travel of 12 hours. But what really bugs me is when I was inside the Pittsburgh Airport I was looking up at the Departure screen and what do you know?  A direct flight from Pittsburgh to Portland!

Which got me thinking about the Maine Red Claws:

Maine will have a totally different team than when we played them last. Now I know there is so much change with rosters in the D-League year after year, I could have made a list of every team if I wanted.  With all the players they have had on there roster this season, what team could they put on the floor?

Maurice Ager
Alexis Ajinca
Morris Almond
Paul Davis 
J.R. Giddens
Trey Gilder
Lester Hudson
Russell Robinson
Billy Thomas
Bill Walker

Why stop there when they can match up with the roster of the Idaho Stampede this year...

Lance Allred
Andre Barrett
Sundiata Gaines
Jeff Graves
Coby Karl
Patty Mills
Cedric Simmons
Lanny Smith
Donell Taylor
Anthony Tolliver

What a game that would be?  I'm sure you could pick out of a hat the starting 5 for these teams. However, the most intriguing battle would be the assistant coaches duel between Randy Livingston and everybody's favorite Joel Abelson

Austin Ainge and Bob MacKinnon are great head coaches in there own mind, but it would be safe to say Idaho has Abelson and his enormous basketball knowledge so that must be the difference.  He reminds me of a young John Wooden/Phil Jackson? The bottom line is he is the Verizon Guy and can steal scouting reports and play-calls through the phone lines!


What do Lil Wayne and Luke Bonner have in common?  You might be very surprised by what you hear.

Welcome to the D-League Luke aka "Big Hugga" Bonner. Many of you know him as the younger brother of San Antonio Spurs Forward Matt Bonner, but to me he is quite the rapper. I was fortunate to play with "Big Hugga" one year at West Virginia before he transferred to UMass. But let me tell you!  "Big Hugga" and Fort Wayne Assistant Coach Steve Gansey used to have some classic freestyle battles back in the day.

Until next time...