NORMAN, Okla. -- Stacey King waited nearly two decades to
watch his No. 33 jersey get hung in the rafters of the Lloyd Noble
Center with some of Oklahoma's other all-time greats.
The timing seemed just right for him.
"My jersey being hung up here, some might say it's long
overdue," King said. "I really don't care. I don't get into that.
I had a great career here and a great career at the NBA level,
winning championship rings. ... I'm just glad it got done while I'm
here to celebrate it."
King was recognized in a halftime ceremony during Oklahoma's
63-61 victory against Texas Tech, with his jersey joining those of
Wayman Tisdale, Alvan Adams and Mookie Blaylock as the only four to
be honored by the Sooners.
"It's history. You can't deny what has done here, even
before me and before Wayman Tisdale. A lot of great players came in
here before we all came in here," said King, who helped lead
Oklahoma to the 1988 championship game.
"A lot of people associate Oklahoma basketball with Wayman
Tisdale, Alvan Adams and Stacey King, but there are a lot of great
players that played here that sometimes don't get recognized as
being great players. I'm just one of many bricks in the pavement."
King averaged 17.6 points and 7.2 rebounds in four seasons at
Oklahoma before getting drafted by the Chicago Bulls. He won three
NBA titles alongside Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen, but
reflects more favorably on his time with the Sooners.
"This has always been home for me, everywhere I've been. I've
been in the big city of Chicago, won championship rings, but no
experience has ever been better for me than playing at the
University of Oklahoma," King told the crowd after being presented
with a framed jersey by his three sons -- 16-year-old Erick,
15-year-old Garrett and 12-year-old Brandon.
"I've always told people that I enjoyed my four years at the
University of Oklahoma. If I could have been on a seven-year plan,
I would have stayed here seven years. For you little guys,
disregard that. Get out of here in four."
King teared up after walking onto the court following
introductions by his former coach, Billy Tubbs, and athletic
director Joe Castiglione and his eyes got watery again when he
spoke about his mother being too sick to attend and his sorrow that
his father had passed away before the honor took place.
"This is a great honor for myself and my family," King said.
"Nothing can ever take away the memories that I have at the
University of Oklahoma, playing in my opinion -- and I'm biased
because that was my team -- on one of the greatest teams in college
King didn't want to get into the debate over whether he should
have been honored long ago. He remains fifth on Oklahoma's career
scoring list, seventh in rebounds and second in blocks.
"I knew my career here was pretty good. It wasn't the best
here. Wayman put up numbers that I don't think anybody will ever
reach, Alvan Adams was a great player here, Mookie Blaylock was a
great player. You can go down the line," King said.
"I was just a player that happened to play on an awesome team
with great teammates, and I played for a great coach who allowed me
to be myself."
King said he expected to return for a reunion in March with
other players from that national runner-up team from 1988. He blamed former coach Kelvin
Sampson for cutting some ties by letting Oklahoma high school
players leave the state. He hopes coach Jeff Capel
continues to do a better job of connecting the past with the
"It's a different time here now," King said. "There were some
bridges that were burned before, but now there's a lot of healing
process going on now."