We first met Mike Bibby when he was a high-school junior at Phoenix Shadow Mountain High, one of the most highly recruited players in the nation. He was the son of onetime NBA player (and coach) Henry Bibby, with whom he was not close at the time.
|Mike Bibby, one of Arizona's greatest basketball players|
Bibby was a respectful and soft-spoken kid who seemed most comfortable on the court, where he absolutely dominated the high-school ranks, setting all kinds of records during his career.
Then, as a fiery freshman at the University of Arizona, he led the Wildcats in 1997 to their first and only (so far) national championship.
We thought Bibby would be a perennial NBA star after he moved up to the Show thirteen seasons ago, but it didn't quite turn out that way.
Instead, he has had a solid, if rarely spectacular run--averaging 15 points a game over his career with several teams (most notably the Sacramento Kings) that made him a mega-millionaire.
A seven-year, $80 million contract has a way of doing that. (What a flippin' country!)
Yesterday, in an unusual move, Mike Bibby agreed to accept a buyout from the Wizards that means he will have to give the team back his entire $6.2 million salary next season. In turn, he now gets to play the remainder of the season with the Miami Heat, that loaded-up team expected to contend for the NBA title.
A move such as Bibby's in a universe where gazillionaires mindlessly spew BS about needing a bigger contract to "take care" of their families is just about unheard of. We are fairly certain, however, that Bibby and his family (wife and four kids) never will lack for anything in the material world.
Bibby will receive the rest of his $5.7 million this season, and has the chance to win his first NBA championship if the Heat fulfill the great things expected of them in the playoffs.
Wouldn't mind the local dude getting his ring--but not too keen on the Heat and their array of superstars.