Rebel Reunion

Of all of the illustrious basketball players to suit up for UNLV, only one has gone on to win an NBA title. And it’s not a name familiar to most Rebel fans: John Q. Trapp, who played one season at UNLV (1967-68), was a reserve forward for the 1971-72 Los Angeles Lakers championship squad. Now, with the Miami Heat and the Dallas Mavericks in this year’s NBA Finals, a second Rebel is guaranteed to receive a championship ring, since each team in the Finals employs a former UNLV player. Here’s the tale of the tape:

Shawn Marion

Team: Dallas Mavericks

Position: Forward

Height: 6-7

UNLV career: 1998-99

How he made it to the NBA: Drafted ninth overall by Phoenix in 1999

UNLV stats (per game): 18.7 points, 9.3 rebounds, 2.5 steals

2011 playoff stats (per game): 11.2 points, 6.3 rebounds, 1.1 steals

Strength: High energy on both ends of the floor

Weakness: Inconsistent outside game

Nickname: The Matrix

Fun fact: After the season, Marion will shoot a reality TV pilot called The Ladies of My Life. The show focuses on Marion’s relationship with his mother, Elaine; his twin sister, Shawnett; and his two younger sisters.

Words from the wise: “We’ve got to have him pissed,” Mavericks center Tyson Chandler says of Marion. “We’ve got to have him slashing all over the place and being aggressive. We don’t want the happy ’Trix.”

Joel Anthony

Team: Miami Heat

Position: Center

Height: 6-9

UNLV career: 2004-07

How he made it to the NBA: Signed as undrafted free agent by Miami in 2007

UNLV stats (per game): 3.7 points, 3.5 rebounds, 2.3 blocks

2011 playoff stats (per game): 3.3 points, 5.1 rebounds, 2.1 blocks

Strength: Defense—he’s one of the NBA’s top shot-blockers

Weakness: Limited offensive skills

Nickname: The Warden

Fun fact: On Jan. 18 against Atlanta, he pulled down 16 rebounds without taking a shot. Only two other players have had a similar stat line since 1967—Hall of Famers Wilt Chamberlain and Dennis Rodman.

Words from the wise: “He’s the hardest worker we’ve had in 30 years,” former UNLV coach Lon Kruger says. “The first to the floor, the last to leave.”

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DTLV

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