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  • Writer's pictureKevin Scarbinsky

Nate Oats and Alabama can't afford this kind of thoughtless misstep

First things first. Let's not hyperventilate. There's been enough malicious mouth-breathing in the last week on the subject of Alabama basketball. All the more reason for everyone in crimson to do his thing while doing his best to avoid giving more oxygen to the mob outside the locker room.

This team does not want or need any more of that smoke. And then Brandon Miller, of all people, ran through it Saturday afternoon and lit a match.

Wrong spot at the wrong time. Again.

If you tell me the choreography behind Miller's pregame introduction is not meant as a pantomime of a police pat-down but a faux frisking of the kind MMA referees perform on fighters as they enter the octagon, I believe you. I'm not a fan of a sport whose goal is bodily harm.

If you tell me Miller and a walk-on have performed this ritual all season – Miller extending both arms to the side, the walk-on pretending to inspect him for foreign objects and substances – I'll believe that, too. I vaguely remember seeing those 2 seconds of swag before and not giving it a second thought.

That's entertainment. It's going down for real in a gym near you every night at every level, and why not? Fun should be part of the festivities. This is still just a game, right?

Not at Alabama, it isn't. Not since the early morning of Jan. 15th when Michael "Buzz" Davis allegedly shot Jamea Harris to death with a handgun allegedly owned and handed to him by then-Crimson Tide basketball player Darius Miles - after Miles allegedly retrieved his gun from the back seat of a car driven to the scene by Miller. ...

Read the rest of Kevin's thesis that Oats and Alabama have to do a better job of crisis management. Only in The Lede.

Brandon Miller and an Alabama teammate do their MMA-style pregame intro before the Feb. 25th Arkansas game.



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