“I already know. They’re going to come back harder. We’ve got to come back harder at them.” – Erie BayHawks forward Ivan Johnson on how he expects the New Mexico Thunderbirds to respond Saturday after losing 125-100 to the BayHawks on Thursday night at Tullio Arena.
Head coach Darvin Ham sure hopes his Thunderbirds will come out harder than they did Thursday night.
Ham is largely known for having shattered a backboard on a dunk while at Texas Tech, but he was an undersized power forward (6-7, 220) who played eight NBA seasons and was with the Detroit Pistons when they won the 2004 NBA title.
“I had a big chip on my shoulder which I still have to this day,” he said. “People tell me I’m not going to be an NBA player. OK. I was an NBA player. You’re not going to be successful. I won a championship. You’re not going to be able to do analysis work on TV. I did that. You’re not going to become a head coach. I became that. I just love the challenges. That feeds me. The naysayers feed me.”
Now he’s trying to get New Mexico to play with that same ferocity. The Thunderbirds will carry a four-game losing skid into Saturday’s 7 p.m. game at Tullio Arena. Here’s what a disappointed Ham had to say after having a 30-plus minute talk with his team in the visitor’s locker room at Tullio Arena after Thursday night’s 25-point loss.