We Want Shirley: A Personal Reflection

1198163837(In our continuing quest to bring Paul Shirley stateside and in a green-and-white uniform where he belongs, senior editor Paul Kix reminisces about the good times he and Shirley had in Ames, Iowa.)

I knew Shirley well in college. I hosted a student-run TV sports show and wrote a column for the school newspaper at Iowa State. We talked sports on occasion, but when I had him on our shabby show the best moments came when Shirley just got to be himself.

Riffing on his lack of talent (though he was a solid defender and a good rebounder), talking forever about his love of the prog-rock band Tool, he was easily the most engaging athlete I ever interviewed.

After one show we talked for a while about his future. He never thought he’d make it to the NBA; he was just hoping to get into the mechanical engineering graduate program at Stanford. He would have found it really funny had I told him that one day he’d be an author.

But I’m not surprised it ended up this way. If for no other reason than the comic relief, let’s make Flannery’s proposition happen, Ainge.