“I don’t give a flying F what happens at the end of the game. Whether we lose or win, we’re not going out as no . . . uhh . . . soft guys.”
Drew Timme’s message in the immediate aftermath of the second round win over Memphis during the NCAA Tournament, whether it be the self-censored family friendly transcription or the assuredly more colorful version he gave in the locker room at halftime, captured the spirit of the Gonzaga Bulldogs and their talismanic leader at the center of it all.
Over the last three years, Timme has captured the hearts of Gonzaga fans. It’s easy to attribute that love to Timme’s prodigious production and penchant for scoring via whirling dervishes around the basket, but that adoration was cemented because of the joie de vivre that Timme consistently exhibits no matter his circumstances.
On the other side of the coin, the big Texan with a big personality has amassed a trove of haters who find that Timme’s celebrations, exuberance, mustache (yes, even his magnificent mustache, if you can believe that), and especially the fact that he plays for Gonzaga—the most overrated program in the history of organized sports if ignorant internet trolls are to be believed—as criteria that qualify him to be the subject of derision.
Let the haters hate.
What Timme’s detractors don’t see, or perhaps refuse to see, is the leadership and selflessness that endears the big man to his teammates and coaches alike. During the trying and soulless 2020-2021 COVID season played largely in empty gyms and with teams in isolation from their peers and greater community, Timme was vital in keeping his teammates spirits up and the vibes light. A preseason player of the year favorite last season (and again this year), Timme could have played for his numbers to ensure that he would sweep up the awards at the end of the season, but he never yielded to the temptation and stayed true to the Gonzaga way. He could have given in to jealousy because of the hype surrounding his younger frontcourt mate in Chet Holmgren—that has certainly happened before time and time again at other programs and between lesser talents. But that’s simply not who Drew Timme is.
Timme is the program cornerstone. He’s the dude who wants all the smoke. He’s the guy who has at least one friend on every team that Gonzaga plays. He’s the guy who ignites the team with a few choice words at halftime and then backs it up with 21 points in the second half. He is Gonzaga’s all time leader in NCAA Tournament scoring. He may be the guy that leads Gonzaga to its first national championship.
That’s who Drew Timme is.