ZAP THE ZARDS!
Game Time Start: 7:00 PM ET
Where: Verizon Center, Washington, DC
Officials: K. Mauer, N. Buchert, E. Lewis
Media Notes: Indiana Notes, Washington Notes
Local TV: FSI
Local Radio: WIBC 93.1 FM
- NBA Audio League Pass (available free to NBA All-Access members)
- NBA League Pass Broadband (subscription req'd)
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Season Records: (W-L)
26-18 (Away: 12-12) 11-34 (Home: 6-16)
Upcoming Games: Mar 23 Mar 24 Mar 26 Mar 28 Mar 29 vs at vs at vs 7:00 pm 8:30 pm 7:00 pm 7:30 pm 7:00 pm
Projected Starting Lineup: C PF SF SG PG HIBBERT WEST GRANGER GEORGE COLLISON Projected Starting Lineup: C PF SF SG PG NENE BOOKER SINGLETON CRAWFORD WALL
Jeff Foster, that big ol' Ugg Boot in the sky, retired
Andray Blatche, voted off the island, out
Rashard Lewis, sore left knee/glue factory, out
Semi-Relevant Pictures: Nene dunks on JaVale……and then kicks it with him.
Minimally Relevant Video:
Eight Points, Nine Seconds PreviewReview: Jared Wade: Jeff Foster, a True Indiana Pacer Great, Retires
The second-longest-tenured Indiana Pacer of all time has retired from the
only team he has ever known. Yes, in a sad development, Jeff Foster has
called it quits at the age of 35 midway through his 13th season. He has
suffered from chronic back trouble for years, and after undergoing two
different corrective procedures this year, apparently with limited success,
he has decided that his body will no longer allow him to play the
relentless style of basketball Pacers fans have had the pleasure to watch
for the past 13 seasons.
"It’s with deep regret that I have to conclude my basketball career," said
Foster. "I’ve given my all to the Pacers and the community the last 13
years. I had hoped to be able to finish the season, but unfortunately my
back problems prevented that from occurring. I want to thank the Simon
family and the Pacers' organization for 13 memorable years."
According to the Pacers, Jeff ranks in the top 10 among all players to have
ever suited up for the NBA incarnation of the blue and gold in 11 different
statistical categories. With 764 games played as a Pacer, he's third in NBA
franchise history, behind only Rik Smits (867), and some guy named
Reggie (1,389). Perhaps most special of all, these three guys combined
to play precisely 0 games for another NBA franchise. In that respect, and
many others, Jeff Foster is a true Pacers legend. (The games played figures
are regular season totals. Throw in playoffs, and it is 817 for Jeff, 971 for
Rik, and 1,533 for Reggie).
This announcement really is a shame since Jeff had the game to keep playing
for several more seasons. He just doesn’t have the body for it anymore.
Earlier this season in Boston, Foster jokingly told me that he knew he would
never pass Reggie Miller on the all-time games played list for the Pacers.
"[Tonight], I officially became the second-longest-tenured Pacer behind
Reggie," said Foster on January 6 after the first game he played this season.
"And I am not catching him. I’ve got five more years to go [to catch up]
— that’s not happening."
At the time, it was a funny comment from a guy who is one of the classiest
men, and best financial planners, in the league. Now? In hindsight? It takes
on a different meaning. He seemed very sure that he was on the road to
recovery and eager to play alongside...CONTINUE READING AT 8p9s
Truth About It: JaVale McGee Leaves The Nest
I don’t have many McGee stories, but here’s one.
Last winter I was playing in a rec league at a high school about twenty minutes
from D.C. On Sunday nights, after participating in any number of NFL-watching
activities that would not be described as “performance enhancing,” we would
take the court in chafing mesh jerseys, our shouts and clanked jumpers echoing
all over the gym.
One evening, a few minutes before tip-off, JaVale McGee crept into the gym in
a dark grey sweatsuit, hood pulled up to shadow his face like the world’s most
conspicuous ninja. There’s just no hiding when you’re 7-feet tall and move like
a jungle cat, a lesson McGee must thoroughly understand at this point. We
immediately spotted him, but attempted not to stare as he positioned himself
on a ludicrously ill-proportioned loose chair in the corner of the gym, the seat
so low as to bring his knees and shoulders almost level.
He was there to watch a friend, and a guy that might have been his trainer —
both on our opposing team that night. His friend ostentatiously wore a Team
USA practice jersey with McGee’s number. During the game, McGee mostly
heckled his pals when they returned to the bench, and gave a brief shout when
I caught the trainer with a crossover.
If you wondered what JaVale McGee was getting into on school nights during
the season, there’s your answer.
Any time McGee is on the court, it doesn’t take long for your eye to begin
tracking the simultaneously spastic and graceful movement of the tallest
guy in the gym. His legend as a master of .GIF-worthy blooper is deserved,
but he’s hardly a larger than life center on the lines of Dwight Howard. In the
locker room it was Nick Young or Andre Blatche who held court. I always
found McGee surly and distrustful — he knew we were laughing.
And he didn’t like it, because McGee — and I genuinely believe this — wants
to be good. In Washington, and given the deal they made to move him, I
suspect that the Wizards feel the same way, I began to wonder whether
McGee was fatally flawed — somehow as stunted mentally (in a basketball
sense) as he was gifted physically.
It’s hard to believe that as McGee goes to Denver, a 24-year old with his
size and coordination who ranks thirteenth in rebound rate and fourth in
block percentage, could be considered something of a rescue project.
Yet a rescue project he is...CONTINUE READING TRUTH ABOUT IT