Friday, January 21, 2005

Sleepless in Seattle, Brian gets Cavs a technical foul and other tall tales

Sacramento -- There is a new phrase in my vocabulary, which has been perpetuated by several close friends. It was running through by head as I was going down 10 flights of stairs at 1:45 a.m. last Monday morning.

Blog fodder.

As I was evacuating my hotel due to a fire alarm and going out into the pouring rain in Seattle in my jammies, I was thinking that would sound pretty funny if I was reading about how it happened to someone else. Thankfully, a lawyer named Frank from "Southern California" offered shelter in his nearby rental car. Why he said "Southern California" is beyond me, like he couldn't have said San Diego, Anaheim, L.A., or Redondo Beach and I wouldn't have known where he was from. Thank you Frank, I'm from Northern Ohio...no, Northeastern Ohio!

Now, back to the Cavs, which is what you are here for. Let's catch ya'll up since I last blogged.

Seattle

Cavs lose to the Sonics, which isn't such a bad thing these days. But had they taken advantage of one beat writer's courage maybe they could've gotten over the hump.

In the second quarter, Sonics center Jerome James got peeved when getting called for his third foul. I'll admit, it was tick-tack. But his reaction was not. He grabbed the ball and chucked it toward a table on the baseline. But he's tall and the table was low, so instead of hitting it, it hit me, right in the melon.

Confused (as usual), and now dazed, I recoiled in pain that would've made an eight year old hypochondriac laugh. However, official Kevin Fehr, who I once took a flight with, remembered what an awesome dude I am, and nailed Jerome with a technical foul.

Did I get an "Atta boy" from the nearby Cavs bench? No. They made fun of me. There was Scott Williams and Tractor Traylor, not swearing to have my back if I went out on the floor to settle the score, but laughing and pointing at me. To make it worse, Zydrunas Ilgauskas missed the free throw.

In a follow up, Cleveland Plain Dealer beat writer Branson Wright ran into Jerome the next night at a restaurant and he took BWright's cell phone and called to apologize. All is well.

Portland

Wearing a sparkling new pair of adidas, I dare to walk around the Nike campus outside Portland. The place is almost surreal, as I describe in this piece.

I kept thinking all these people just hanging out and playing sports on a rainy day are being paid for show or something. That and I feared a broad-chested man in a black suit with a crew cut and dark glasses would appear from a secret passage in a bush and remove me and my sneakers from the face of the earth.

Anyway, the Cavs rally the next night to beat the Blazers, 107-101 as LeBron finally gets the triple-double. Now, I know he said all he cared about was the win, but don't think it meant nothing to him. After the game, he and some Nike people had a little spirited party with his mom, Gloria, who is out here on the road trip and setting fashion trends all the way.

Sacramento

OK, Cavaliers didn't have much of a chance in this one even before the Kings came out hot in torching them. But before the game it was fun to remember the last time I was here when LeBron made his debut, a night he, I, and probably thousands of his fans will never forget. In case you forget, here's my story from that night.

Before the game, though, there was some great chatter. Ira Newble was lamenting his 29th birthday, knowing he was on the clock for the big three-O. Then, big Z was regaling all with his thoughts when first seeing 7-foot-3, 330-pound Ha Seung Jin come in the game the night before.

Now big Z knows what it is like to sit courtside with Paul Silas walking in front of you all game. Seriously, I mean I get great seats at games, but most nights I could better tell you the thread count in seat of Silas' pants than what actually happened on the floor.

Whew, that gets us updated. Have a good weekend all. I'm in day 10 of the roadie and I'm going to finish strong.

As always, hit me at bwindhor@thebeaconjournal.com with comments. Just don't hit me like Jerome James.

Take care,
Brian