Gay is one of the best prospects in the NBA, period.
Chris Herrington of the Memphis Flyer took the night off from being a journalist to sit in the stands and cheer with friends. He picked a good one:
I couldn't have asked for a better game to take off the media pass and act a fool. It was great fun to be on my feet with the fans when Rudy Gay hit that game winner last night.
What made it even better was the awesome video the blasted from the Jumbotron seconds after Rudy hit the shot: Rudy dancing and smiling to Usher's "Yeah" while Kyle Lowry and Hakim Warrick backed him up like the Pips to Rudy's Gladys. I don't think the team has shown that before - and should probably be judicious in its use -- but in that moment, it was perfect; the exclamation mark on one of the best moments ever at a Griz game.
The whole sequence was a hoot: Rudy hitting the shot right in Tim Duncan's face, a player who hit a similar game winner in Pau Gasol's face once upon a time. Rudy getting mobbed by his teammates. Looking up at the video. Looking down the see Rudy already at the scorer's table with the radio headset on.
Talking to a friend today who was also at the game, we discussed how important Rudy Gay's emergence is. In the short term, it's even bigger than wins and losses. Sure, it's disappointing to be 8-17 right now, but ask yourself this:
Would you rather this team be 13-12 with Rudy Gay showing only modest improvement or would you rather be 8-17 with Gay looking like an absolute star? In the big picture, the latter is the more promising situation.
(Photo: Joe Murphy/NBAE/Getty Images)