Glover: Georgia (And Revenge) On My Mind
By Dion Glover August 8, 2018
Note: There are several BIG3 players with ties to Atlanta, this week’s destination for Week 8 of the 2018 season, but perhaps none will feel right at home as much as Trilogy’s Dion Glover. Glover, who hit a pair of game-winning shots last year during Trilogy’s run to the 2017 BIG3 Championship, was born in Marietta, Ga. He played collegiately at Georgia Tech, was a first-round pick of the Atlanta Hawks and he still lives in the Atlanta area. So who better for this week’s BIG3 Diary?
Georgia has always been a football town, so of course I played football as a kid. You had to play football. But as I got a little older, I saw things start to change. Shareef Abdul-Rahim was a big-time talent from Georgia and then it just took off from there. Myself, Jumaine Jones, Donnell Harvey… all of a sudden, Georgia was a breeding ground for talent. Basketball has really grown – it’s probably outgrown football in the state, I would say.
When I was in the eighth grade, it was decision time: Going into high school, would I play football or basketball? My AAU coach, Karl McCray, was the one who told me to give up football and lean toward basketball. He said he thought I could be special at basketball. And I was fortunate enough to make it to the NBA, so I guess he knew what he was talking about.
I never got to win an NBA title, but it was pretty great last year being part of the Trilogy team that won the first BIG3 Championship. It was a great group of guys. We leaned a lot on Al Harrington and Rashad McCants and James White. Team captain Kenyon Martin did a great job of putting guys together who were 1) unselfish, and 2) knew and understood their roles. It was just all about winning.
We joke a lot – I know it might not be the same scale as the 1972 Dolphins, but we always say: We’re the only other professional sports team to go undefeated!
This year, unfortunately, hasn’t gone as well. Injuries have played a big part in Trilogy’s struggles. Also, all the teams have gotten better. All of these teams did a good job of adding players. The talent level picked up. Nothing against last year. I just think the addition of talent and the fact that returning players knew what to expect this year really added to the competition.
Had we stayed healthy, we’d have been right in the mix again. We gave away some games we should have won this year. We should have beaten Power and we could have beaten 3’s Company. In our final regular-season game, at least we’ll have a chance to get some revenge against another playoff team, Tri-State.
We’re definitely thinking about revenge after losing to Tri-State in the first game of the season. We know this is gonna be another tough game. JO – Jermaine O’Neal — is in much better shape and playing well. Nate Robinson is playing fantastic. David Hawkins is playing out of his mind – I think he’s the MVP of the league this year. So we’ve got our work cut out for us on Friday, but I know we’ll be ready.
And I know Rashad McCants will be ready. Remember what happened after that Week 1 game, when McCants was wearing a mask and Nate grabbed it? I remember — I was trying to get in between everybody, make sure no punches were thrown.
I don’t know what to expect this time. Rashad is a competitor and so is Nate. It’s going to be a great matchup, a great game. I know the mask thing and all that played a big factor last time, tempers flared. I can’t wait for Friday. I’ll be ready to compete, but I’ll also be watching as a fan. I can’t wait to see those two. I think my guy’s gonna come out ready this time.
And here’s a bit of a secret: At the end of the day, we’re all great friends. Tempers are flaring on the court, but it’s all about competition. When Nate and rashad got into it, they handled it the right way. Nobody threw a punch. We got back to the hotel that night and they joked about it. It’s all in the moment. Nobody wants to fight or throw punches or anything like that. That’s just what happens sometimes when two guys are ultimate competitors.
It feels good bringing the BIG3 to Atlanta. This is a great game, great concept — everything about it. Not just the games, but the great things we’ve been doing in the community – whether it’s Ricky Davis feeding the homeless or Jerome Williams and the Young3 running clinics for kids. I love giving back to the youth and just sharing basketball with them. The game meant so much to me growing up, so any chance I get to try to impact somebody’s life through the game of basketball, I’m all for it. So I’ll definitely be assisting JYD this Thursday.
I expect a great turnout for the games on Friday. I’ve got a lot of family and friends in the area who want to come – the toughest thing I’ve got to do this week is see if I can get tickets for all of them. I know that whoever does make it out Friday night will be treated to some great basketball.