Are you not entertained? The hoops player that doesn't bore
Posted February 16, 2013
Marshall Henderson is a basketball purist's nightmare. The Ole Miss guard leads the SEC in scoring, he hits half-court shots at the buzzer to force overtime, but his in-game heroics pale in comparison to his on-court theatrics.
Henderson jaw-jacks with opposing players, he taunts opposing fans, and he's not afraid to chuck ice on his own student section. Heck, the junior college transfers antics even makes gray-haired men sitting courtside feel froggy and ready to throw down in fisticuffs:
When Henderson nods his heads and pounds his chest I feel like I've mistakenly switched over to my Blu-ray copy of "Gladiator." He'd make a great Marcus Aurelius. I keep waiting for him to drain a three, get face-first into a national TV camera, and scream, "Are you not entertained?!"
There's something noble about the ‘act like you've been there before’ attitude. However, in a world where every ill-advised statement caught on tape and every unfiltered tweet gets turned into bulletin-board material, I miss the bravado and braggadocio. The "Fab Five" didn't win any championships, but the Michigan men certainly won my pre-teen undivided attention. And right now, Henderson keeps my clicker on some meaningless SEC contest against Mississippi State instead of an episode of "Pawn Stars" that I've watched seven times over already and still gets me screaming at Rick for offering about 1/8th of what the customer's priceless artifact will re-sell for ("$50,000 one-of-a-kind authenticated piece of art? Yeah, I'll give you $4,000 for it.")
The entertainment-factor that Henderson provides is missing from college basketball right now, maybe it's no coincidence the sport's ratings are sinking the way they are. Give me someone who looks like they are living and dying on every trip and down the court. Give me someone who wears his emotions on his sleeve. Give me Adam Morrison bawling his eyes out at center court after losing. Give me someone who's so charismatic that he divides fan bases into "love him" and "love to hate him." Please, give me this guy again:
I don't know what ignites Henderson's spark that some look upon as passionate while others look at and dub arrogance. Maybe it has to do with his well-documented checkered past. Maybe he's making the most of his second chance at a Division I school and enjoying, or in some cases over-enjoying, every jersey-flaunting moment. What I do know is that Ole Miss hoops has turned into appointment viewing TV. "Are you not entertained?" Yes, yes I am.