"The frustration is unbelievable," says Bass. "What do you do? What can you do?" What he does is to wake up at 4 a.m. and replay the near wins. He also keeps bringing in new talent. "Players disappear and new ones arrive without notice," says one Tam. "Suddenly there they are on planes or in the locker room. Or they are gone just as quietly." So far there has not been any improvement. The constant shifts in personnel have made the team strangers to one another. Talent is not a Memphis problem; playing together is. That and getting the ball in to the Geezer and handling the full-court press. Bass believes Davis is wearing down, unaccustomed as he is to playing. Undeniably, since Denton's return Davis has found it difficult to adjust to facing the basket. "He isn't moving enough," says Bass. "And he doesn't put the ball on the floor well yet."
"Neither does Bob Love, and he just scored 49 points against the Milwaukee Bucks," says Tam Guard George Lehmann. "The fault is ours. On a team with better coordination, Lee Davis would be a superstar."
Not long ago the Tams were returning from a road trip. Davis was carrying a plastic bag containing two Giant Zebra Danios, a Silver Shark and a Mono Scat, which he had picked up in San Diego three days before. But his mind was not on his new tropical fish or the team's last good loss. "Can life begin at 27?" mused Davis.
"Abdul-Geezer," Big Game Hunter said. "Bad dudes are unusual people. They can go on forever."