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|Brent Barry is a veteran of both the game of basketball and blogging on NBA.com. The 12-year pro also chronicled his team's travels last October when the Spurs broke training camp in Lyon and Paris, France. During this Spurs championship quest, Barry frequently checked in en route to his second ring with San Antonio.|
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How can one city afford to cram so much championship caliber entertainment into one week? Not only is Cleveland the host for the NBA Finals but on Wednesday night the House of Blues will host the U.S. National Air Guitar Championships! With the help of Tom James, our media relations guru, we have procured some ducats and will be in attendance barring any unscheduled late night practice! Free Bird!
Matt Bonner is praying that any one of the contestants will suddenly be unable to compete in the “shred fest” and is prepared to Slash the other soloists. During the plane flight from San Antonio to Cleveland he could be seen in the front of the aircraft with his mp3 player resting along side of him and his arms flailing to the tune “Working Man” by Rush. Unfortunately for Matt, my six year old son Quin has been known to tear Matt a new one on expert level on Guitar Hero II so he has no chance to win.
Teammates Digging "Knocked Up"
A hot button topic in the locker room as of late has to deal with the recent release of the film Knocked Up. I have yet to see it but it is garnering tremendous word of mouth; Jacque Vaughn calls it “an instant comedy classic.” Tony Parker said “I laughed for two hours straight. It’s right up there with Wedding Crashers.” And Manu Ginobili and Fabricio Oberto said “lo aprobaron.”* Can’t wait to see it.
Cleveland: No Mistake By the Lake
After leaving the San Antonio airport and arriving in Cleveland we had a short team meeting to go over some of the keys to positioning ourselves to win Game 3. With such a short amount of time between games and the fact that we are traveling, it is very difficult to log court time nor is all that necessary when you’re facing the same opponent. We’ll try to build on some great things we did in the first half of Game 2 and try to learn from some of the shaky things we saw in the final two periods. We know that in order to win any other games in this series no less than a 48 minute effort will do.
The competition is about to take on a whole new life in Ohio. I’m looking forward to spending a few days in Cleveland when the temperature is agreeable. We have always been here when it’s the dead of winter and never get a chance to walk around the renewed downtown area. I would love take in an Indians game, visit the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (again) and learn a little more about the history of the city. Random things like in 1907 when the Cleveland Zoo began a move from Wade Park to Brookside Park which was finally completed in 1914! Well our team has a feeling that one hundred years later it is going to be a zoo inside the Quicken Loans Arena tonight.
*Translated: They it gave it the thumbs up
Yesterday was a media session for us. Following a well played Game 1, the team had a day to rest but was still regulated by league rules to make itself available for all the gathered media outlets. It was another chance to see the NBA.com China host talk to a Slovenian with an Argentinian making funny “farting” noises behind said interviewee.
The scene looks something like this; at each of the four corners of the AT&T Center (promo plug) there are four podiums that have been erected. Each soapbox has been outfitted with all the fixings; noise canceling mics, NBA Finals backdrops, speaker systems and readily available bottled water. These four “interrogation stations” have the names Tony, Tim, Manu and Bruce written all over them. The rest of the team finds some open room on the court to talk shop with our local sports guys.
But time passes and occasionally an outside source will want to ask us a question. Usually that question has something to do with Tony, Tim, Manu or Bruce. Sometimes you get lucky and the question has to deal with all four of them and you can answer sweepingly and be done with it. Other times, the reporter probes. Maybe he wants to know about Tim and what he does in his spare time. What “spare time”, he’s a father. We don’t get spare time anymore.
Or maybe someone asks about our master thespian Manu Ginobili versus his apprentice Anderson Varejao. I was speaking with a reporter who helped me come up with the idea that this would be the first time in NBA Finals history that referees would carry both whistles and yellow cards.
Maybe she asks a question wanting details of Tony and Eva’s wedding. Yes, my wife and I have been invited. And yes, my wife and I are going. However, I have since signed papers (once we repondez s’il vous plait’d) that don’t allow me to parley any inside information. Many of the guests are being blindfolded, spun around in circles ten times and loaded into taxis before leaving the hotel in Pari....Oops, I almost gave the location away! Je vous remercie d’etre venus.
How is Bruce gonna guard him*? Do we really need to examine this match up any more after the ways it has already been dissected? In one word: EFFORT.
Any more questions?
There is a Game 2 coming and we know that Coach Brown is going to make some things very different for us. In the Finals the adjustment between games can be huge because of the unfamiliarity with your opponent. In order for us to continue on the course we set out on with the performance in Game 1, we are going to have to be prepared for something we haven’t seen yet. And there within lies the great challenge of winning these games. Enjoy the chess match that’s about to unfold...
* If you recall my first entry, I am challenging myself to not write the name of the player who wears number 23 for the Cavs during this exercise. This is in no way a slight this player, it is just that so much has been written, prognosticated, examined, scrutinized and opined about this stud that I thought I would, out of respect, give it a rest. Thank you for your understanding.
Hey, I’m blogging. Wow, how cool is this! I’ve heard of blogging and I have read some entries from bloggers, but this is my first attempt at it and I have to say that I am finding it to be quite easy. I’m going to push the * button. Cool! Look at that! It’s not just the number 8, it has more purpose than that! Awesome.
OK. Since I made it this far I guess I should tell you that my name is Brent Barry and I am member of the Western Conference champion San Antonio Spurs. I have been asked by NBA.com to chronicle some of the events surrounding this year’s NBA Finals match up between us and the Cavs. I will try to entertain you with some of the things you won’t find on other highly respected media outlets; things that only someone on the inside might know or see (very Ethan Hunt) and I might end up challenging myself in to not writing a single word about LeBr.... (man, I almost blew it) during my archiving over the next couple of weeks. I don’t think I’m gonna make it.
Anyhow, tonight we begin a quest to win a fourth NBA title for the Spurs franchise. It would be the fourth in nine years. The Cavs have the same goal as we do and bringing a championship to Cleveland, which rocks by the way, would be the first for that city. It has been a long wait for both teams to get this series started but once the ball is tipped tonight the race to win four games will have officially begun.
There are a lot of great story lines surrounding the series. If you want to read about that boring stuff just click on over to the NBA home page and pick from a list of amazing articles detailing everything from Tim Duncan’s “personality” to the fashion sense of Cavs guard Damon Jones. But nobody’s putting this blog in the corner! You’ll hear details of my youngest son having the worst case of diarrhea I have ever seen yesterday! The day before game one I found myself was standing in the driveway with a hose trying to chase down a naked 1 and a half year old who looked like he was wearing brown pants. Ahhh, the Finals.
Basketball is the greatest game in the world and tonight kicks off it’s greatest spectacle. Probably a bad choice of words to use “kicks off” when referring to a basketball related event but it’s all I could come up with. The NBA Finals are upon us. Two of the best teams in the league who have worked hard all season long to get to this stage. You’ll be seeing some of the world’s greatest athletes along with some so-so on air talent (ABC’s Jon Barry). Thanks for taking the time to stop by and blog out with me and hopefully they’ll let me do it again......