GARY | This is not Phil Jackson and Michael Jordan. It is something in another time zone. No, universe.
The relationship between Bowman Academy boys basketball coach Marvin Rea and his junior star, Davon Dillard, is a cable reality show waiting to happen. The two have been nose-to-nose all winter.
On Saturday, in the Class 3A state championship game against top-ranked and defending state champion Greensburg, both Rea and Dillard will finally be on the same page.
What happens after that, who knows?
Rea's frustration with his 6-foot-5 mega talent got so bad during the regular season that he said, "If Davon wants to transfer after the season, I'll be the first one to sign the form."
Here are the facts. After a less-than-stellar sophomore season, Dillard was the best player on the floor in last year's Class 2A state championship game. He scored 24 points on 10-of-15 shooting, with six rebounds, three assists and three steals.
On Wednesday Dillard was named to the Indiana Junior All-Star Core 6 team. That is a top-shelf honor that only goes to Indiana's best.
But Dillard missed the first three games of this season due to an off-the-court altercation with Anthony Cole. Then, in the sectional opener against Lighthouse, Dillard never got off the bench.
It was coach-driven pine time.
Rea said, "Davon is not injured and he does not have grade problems. He sat because I chose to sit him. And he may sit again. It will be my decision and no one else's."
At Tuesday's practice, Dillard spoke about his relationship with Rea. It's either funny or right to the point.
"Marvin's a good coach," Dillard said. "But he's basically the same person as me. That's why we bump heads."
When Rea heard this summation a few minutes later, he paused for 30 seconds before speaking.
"I'm passionate about what I do; Davon is passionate about what he does," Rea said. "At times, he comes in and jokes around while everyone else is working. You can't do that. When everyone else is working you work.
"He's one of the best high school basketball players I've ever seen. Ever. But he needs to learn how to be consistent. To be the best every time you walk on the floor."
Dillard's raw skill is sick, which is why he's been offered by Purdue, while Indiana and Michigan State are also very interested among many others. But there are moments when he sits on the bench because of basketball IQ.
Against Andrean in the sectional championship, a 59er drove the lane and most everyone believed he traveled. Dillard turned to the official and circled his arms in the traveling motion.
The Andrean player got the rebound and scored.
But Dillard's game has been off the charts in Indianapolis. Many have Greensburg as a big favorite. Point guard Bryant McIntosh is a 6-foot-3 guard who will play at Northwestern. He's averaging 14.1 points and 9.1 assists a game.
Dillard has played against him in the summer AAU circuit.
"I'm not bragging, but I got a good game, too," said Dillard, who is averaging 17 points and 7.1 rebounds a game.
Rea's biggest beef is a junior trying to act like a senior. At Bowman, seniors lead the team, in almost everything.
"Davon wants to pick where we eat," Rea said. "Justin (King) is the one who picks that. This is Justin's team. He's a senior."
Every Eagle will have to be together Saturday night. This is their first Class 3A state final, and Greensburg will be one of their toughest tests.
"People said we only won before because we were Class A and 2A," Dillard said. "I'm excited for this. I love playing on the big stage. The two teams in Class 4A (Indianapolis Tech and Lake Central) we've already beaten.
"We want to show everyone we can win in this class."