Legend Looses to Cranes in Championship Game
Josh Kinder, Dodge City Daily Globe

"It was a bitter end to a great season for the Dodge City Legend as they lost their bid to become the third USBL franchise to win back-to-back league titles.

DeSean Hadley drives past a Cranes defender. Daily Globe Photo
The Legend, which lost 100-92 to the Nebraska Cranes in the USBL Post-season Championship at the Civic Center, ended their season with a 21-12 record.

"My guys have nothing to be ashamed about." Legend head coach Dale Osbourne said. "They played a great game last night against Kansas. This was a great game today, and I want to congratulate Nebraska. They deserve to win today. It just wasn't our day."

The loss also marks the end of Legend fan favorite Lazarus Sims' career, who decided before the season that this would be his last. Even at the end Sunday, Sims reiterated that his plans to retire are solid.

Sims, who scored 20 points in his last game, is hoping to continue in the game of basketball as a coach, which quite possibly could be as an assistant at his alma matter, Syracuse. He has an interview already set up this summer to hopefully land a spot on the coaching staff of legendary coach Jim Boeheim, whom he helped guide to an NCAA Final Four appearance as the starting point guard in 1996.

Lazarus Sims looks to score.
Daily Globe Photo
"It's over," he said, referring to what he was thinking as the clock ran down at the end of the game. "I'm just frustrated that we didn't finish it out. We've done too much to not finish it out. It's just frustrating."

Sims has been a part of two other Legend championship teams in 2003 and 2005 and along the way has developed a special bond with the fans in Dodge City, fans he said that he will never forget.

"I've always enjoyed my time here," he said. "Everybody's friendly and outgoing and they put their hands out to us and support us. It's a great experience to play here. I won't forget it."

He said that his fondest memory of the Legend faithful will be that he was always treated like one of their own.

"The crowds, they support you here and when you're out, they come up to you and treat you right, not standoffish because you're basketball players," he said. "They really treat you like you're from Dodge City."