Acie Law – The Final Four hero (Video)
How important can a player that has played 11’52’’ in a game, with 0/2 2-pointers, 0/1 3-pointers, 2 rebounds and 2 turnovers be? According to his team mates, the most important one…
Acie Law’s injury during the semifinal against Barcelona froze everyone in the “reds” camp. The American was urgently transported to a nearby hospital, where it was found that he did not suffer a break, but his sprain was so severe that it would be extremely difficult for him to play. However, Law himself thought otherwise. He told Olympiacos doctor Mr. Giorgos Papagiannopoulos while in the ambulance, that he would have an injection of painkilling meds in order to play. The doctor tried to relax him since the American player was under the extreme stress of the victorious game against Barcelona, but he was dead certain about what he meant.
He did not join his team mates either for lunch or dinner next day. No need to talk about practice. Everyone was on him to proceed with treatments and have the swelling subside. On the morning of the Final, Dusan Ivkovic told his players that they wouldn’t go to the gym for practice, but they would rather board a boat and sail the Bosporus. The logical thing would be for Law to stay behind and get some rest. But he did not want to leave his team mates.
Dusan Ivkovic is not in the habit of playing with his athletes’ health and his first thought was to leave him outside the final twelve. But Law even had captain Vassilis Spanoulis talk to the coach on his behalf and tell him that he did not want to miss this game. When he left the hotel just before the team departed for the Sinan Erdem stadium, he could barely walk the same going a few minutes later on. He slowly walked towards the locker room, listening to his favorite music.
The decision was final. He wanted to have an injection in order to be able to play and nobody would change his mind. At the same moment Giorgos Papagiannopoulos was giving him the injection, the President of Olympiacos Panagiotis Angelopoulos walked by the “reds” locker room and told Law upon seeing him: “Now is the critical moment. Good luck”.
Thirteen players went on the floor of the Sinan Erdem since there was no certainty about Law being able to play. It hadn’t been certain only from a medical point of view, because mentally, well it has been another story. After a while Michalis Pelekanos left to go to the locker rooms and Law’s participation in the final was a fact.
He may not have helped his team competitive wise the way he had done against Siena and in many more games, nevertheless, he was the inspiration everyone needed and the image of him limping at the end of the final to join his team mates in celebration is one to stay with everyone’s minds.
Acie Law – The hero of the Euroleague Final Four… He himself doesn’t even want ot hear this said. He just did what had to be done…