In recent years, many NBA players have used their pregame outfits to try to send a message to the other team.
That includes the time Russell Westbrook trolled Kevin Durant by wearing an “Official Photographer” vest in the tunnel before facing off against his former teammate and the game where the Celtics donned black clothing in preparation for the Wizards’ figurative funeral in the Eastern Conference Finals in 2017.
On Tuesday night, University of Michigan center Hunter Dickinson channeled some similar energy when he arrived at the Kohl Center in Madison wearing a ski mask in the hopes of “stealing” a win on the road in the impending showdown with Wisconsin’s basketball team.
Hunter Dickinson wore a ski mask to the Kohl Center because he said Michigan was going to steal a win vs. Wisconsin.
📷: ESPN pic.twitter.com/Klle9FYsWy
— Brad Galli (@BradGalli) February 15, 2023
The Badgers headed into the contest as 1.5-point favorites in the Big Ten matchup, but Michigan put up a fight and headed into the locker room at halftime with a 32-31 lead.
Dickinson was a key contributor thanks to the 12 points and 12 rebounds he posted, but when everything was said and done, Wisconsin was able to thwart the heist on its home turf by walking away with the 64-59 victory.
This wasn’t the first time Dickinson had taken aim at his interconference foes, as he managed to rustle plenty of jimmies back in January when he referred to the Badgers as “scumbags” on a podcast, saying:
“I’m sorry, they’re just scumbags. Like, nothing I can say about Wisconsin is going to fire up the matchup even more, so it’s like, it already is what it is; they’re scumbags.”
As result, Wisconsin and its fans took an extra amount of pleasure in sending Michigan home with the L, and the big man saw his choice of attire come back to haunt him following the game.
Hunter Dickinson might be the worst thief ever—lol. https://t.co/ASKwja1DYz
— Dillon Graff (@DillonGraff) February 15, 2023
I wonder if Hunter Dickinson is leaving wearing his ski mask
— Sparta Enthusiast (@SchwiftySparty) February 15, 2023
Hunter Dickinson is an elite villain. Sports needs more villains, everybody wants to be liked. Unfortunately it doesn’t work if you go to the NIT https://t.co/VBJsbEQYvK
— Beneath The Paint (@BeneathThePaint) February 15, 2023
So, to recap, Hunter Dickinson:
• Calls the #Badgers “scumbags” on his podcast in January.
• Shows up to the Kohl in a ski mask because Michigan was “going to steal a win” from UW.
• Loses in *arguably* a must win game, and Michigan’s tourney chances fall even lower.
— Jake Maier (@JakeJMaier) February 15, 2023
You can’t really have a hero without a villain, so while Dickinson may end up regretting some of the choices he’s made over the past couple of months, I’d argue college basketball is more entertaining because of them.