Columnist Todd Porter's offbeat notebook considers Chinese shoes, burgers, Eva Longoria and more.
These are finely tuned professional athletes playing in the NBA Finals,
right? Larry Hughes and Damon Jones didn’t exactly treat their bodies like
temples prior to Game 2 on Sunday night.
Hughes and Jones had a locker room assistant fetch them a meal from
Whattaburger, a chain fast-food joint here in San Antonio.
LI-NING STOCK ON RISE
Jones is the only player in the NBA with a shoe contract from China-based
Li-Ning. The eighth-year pro made sure he wore his Li-Ning hat and shirts
during all media appearances at the AT&T Center.
“Hey, the stock went up, and that’s awesome,” said Jones, who owns shares in
the company. “I never heard of them before they came to me, but I took the
time to listen and learn about the situation. They never signed an NBA
The shoes are not available in the United States, but Jones said the
company’s plan is to have them here in about two years. They retail for
about $74 in China.
WHO’S THAT AT THE COUNTER?
If you were eating lunch at Johnny Rockets on the River Walk on Saturday,
then, yes, you did see LeBron James’ 6-foot-7 frame folded up on a stool at
LeBron, Larry Hughes and a couple of Cavs employees ate at the burger
restaurant. During a short-span of observing, only one fan recognized James
was there, and the little boy walked away with an James autograph.
REVIEWING THE FILM
How important was the series finale of “The Sopranos”?
An announcement was made in the print workroom under the AT&T Center that no
one was to divulge the ending of the show because the NBA had arranged two
screenings for the media at its hospitality center.
The Cavs planned to watch the finale at their hotel after the game.
“I’ll watch ŒThe Sopranos’ definitely before I review the game film from
this game,” James said prior to Game 2.
He watched Game 1 hours after it was over.
GET OUTTA HERE
San Antonio Head Coach Gregg Popovich was asked what he believed should
happen to Tony Soprano.
“Who? ... No I haven’t thought about that.”
THE BOSS’S NICKEL
Cavs Owner Daniel Gilbert flew in several Cavalier and Quicken Loans
employees and paid for their hotel and meals during the past week in San
NBA Officials and North Canton resident Joe DeRosa officiated Game 2 of the
NBA Finals. He was able to bring his wife, Patti, and their children Valerie
and J.B. on the trip. A few hours before tipoff, mom and the kids were
soaking in the sun at the hotel pool. Dad was resting and staying off his
feet before he worked the game.
Lake High School Athletic Director, Bruce Brown, a good friend of DeRosa’s,
made the trip to San Antonio with his wife and attended Game 2.
THE SCOREBOARD GAME
DeRosa also worked Game 6 of the Detroit series at Quicken Loans Arena, in
which the Cavs clinched the Eastern Conference. It was also the game The Q
lost its shot clock, horn and most functionality of the scoreboard.
“I’ve never had that happen during a game,” DeRosa said. “But it’s an
experience, and we’ll know better what to do the next time.”
LONGORIA OR PARKER?
Spurs Head Coach Gregg Popovich has his own celebrity problems to deal with
on his team. Point guard Tony Parker is engaged to actress Eva Longoria.
Who’s more famous?
“It’s probably a tossup,” Popovich said.
Longoria attends many of Parker’s games, sitting several rows back from the
court. But she commands plenty of attention aside from her romance with
Parker and pending nuptials. Longoria is a star of the popular television
show “Desperate Housewives,” which airs on ABC. It’s the same network
showing the NBA finals, which Parker’s San Antonio Spurs are three games
away from winning.
Longoria, 32, attended Game 1 in a short yellow dress and high heels. Parker
is seven years her junior.
“He’s the most mature young guy I’ve ever been around in my life,” Popovich
said. “I can remember when he first came after about a week or two, he came
in and he told me he bought a house, and I was like, ’What about a bank?
What about a mortgage? What about this?’ He goes, ’I already did that, Pop.
I’m from Europe.’ ”