But this isn't a love story about me and the sports that I enjoy watching. It's a love story about me and the ATHLETES I love to follow. It takes a special kind of athlete for one to like them regardless of jersey, fan following, sport notoriety, or even contract existence. I have a handful or so of these athletes that I consider myself a Fan For Life.
Former UNLV Runnin' Rebel and current Phoenix Sun Louis Amundson is one of those athletes. Ending his career in college as likely one of the most improved players in Mountain West history. Lou began his freshman year barely playing, scratching some playing time together late in the games. His sophomore year he began to show the hustle and dedication that he is known well-known for. By the time he was a Junior he was guarding the likes of #1 NBA Overall pick Andrew Bogut. As a Senior he became the first player in Mountain West history to score 20+ points and nab 20+ rebounds in the same game. I recall walking to class on campus and seeing Louis hunched over with earbuds in, reeling from the run he just put himself through. It's obvious on several levels how dedicated of an athlete that Lou is.
Lou followed up his college career by signing with the NBA's D-League beating out all rookies to be declared the D-League Rookie of the Year. He used that first season in the D-League to parlay himself into a short playing contract with the Utah Jazz. They couldn't figure out how to use him in their system and they released him to the Philadelphia 76'ers temporary use. While the 6ers were scraping for a playoff spot in the NBA they let this evolving player waste his time in Philly on the bench barely receiving any playing time. So there Lou sat with no one realizing his talents as the 76'ers won and lost without developing their upcoming-and-coming talent.
Enter the Phoenix Suns. In the offseason leading up to the 08-09 NBA Season the Suns hired Head Coach Terry Porter who then later acquired Mr. Amundson. Coach Porter, providing all players with the opportunity for playing time according to how well and hard they practiced. Well if anyone has ever seen Lou play knows that he stands out even if he's sharing court time with the league's biggest ever player - Shaquille O'Neal. (On a side note: Louis Amundson pranked Shaq good last season.)
Lou secured an average of just under 14 mins per game in the 76 games he played last season. That versus the 6 mins in 26 games in the year and a half he was in Philadelphia. This season Lou is seeing as high as 23 minutes per game. All a dramatic improvement over the 2 minutes that the Utah Jazz allotted him in his NBA debut, the only game appearance he had with the franchise.
|Season ||Team ||G ||GS ||MPG ||FG% ||3p% ||FT% ||OFF ||DEF ||RPG ||APG ||SPG ||BPG ||TO ||PF ||PPG |
|09-10 ||PHX ||5 ||0 ||18.4 ||0.591 ||0.000 ||0.500 ||1.8 ||3.4 ||5.2 ||0.4 ||0.2 ||1.6 ||1.40 ||2.00 ||6.2 |
|Career ||108 ||0 ||11.9 ||0.531 ||0.000 ||0.435 ||1.5 ||1.7 ||3.1 ||0.3 ||0.3 ||0.7 ||0.65 ||1.80 ||3.6 |
Last Three Games
|Date ||Opponent ||Result ||MIN ||FGM-A ||3PM-A ||FTM-A ||OFF ||DEF ||REB ||AST ||STL ||BLK ||TO ||PF ||PTS |
|Nov 04 ||@ ORL ||L 100 - 122 ||22 ||4 - 6 ||0 - 0 ||0 - 0 ||2 ||3 ||5 ||1 ||1 ||0 ||2 ||1 ||8 |
|Nov 03 ||@ MIA ||W 104 - 96 ||22 ||5 - 7 ||0 - 0 ||0 - 0 ||0 ||5 ||5 ||1 ||0 ||3 ||1 ||2 ||10 |
|Nov 01 ||vs. MIN ||W 120 - 112 ||18 ||1 - 5 ||0 - 0 ||1 - 2 ||5 ||3 ||8 ||0 ||0 ||1 ||0 ||2 ||3|
There is only up for Louis Amundson to go. The Suns looked improved after the trade with the Cavaliers to ship out Shaq. As they continue forward their sixth man Louis Amundson will become better known to others. I don't follow the NBA much, but I also check in on my boy Amundson. His is the only jersey in the league I ever care to own. I don't care where Louis ends up, I will be his Fan For Life.
Louis Amundson is just one of many athletes of which I will be a Fan For Life. Look for more of this series in the coming months.