An interesting story has made the rounds recently, but it’s not nearly as heartwarming as it seems on the surface.
A 10-year old fan once wrote a letter to Jason Kidd, and part of it included an invitation for Kidd to attend his birthday party.
Some 14 years later, Kidd made this fan’s dream come true.
Pretty cool … I guess.
But it becomes less so once you realize that the fan, Daniel Marks, is now an employee of the Milwaukee Bucks — the team Kidd just happens to coach.
The only effort required on Kidd’s part likely involved walking down the hall to a conference room to pose for the photo opportunity. It probably was still a nice moment for Marks, though, who now gets to work alongside one of his childhood heroes.
Kyrie Irving will play and start in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Hawks on Wednesday, he told reporters at Mondays practice.
Irving tweaked his left knee in the Cavaliers’ Game 6 win over the Bulls, and was held out of the rest of the contest after the injury took place. He did say, however, that he would have been able to return had the game been closer.
Irving was held out of Saturday’s practice as a precaution, but he will be ready to go Wednesday night.
From Dave McMenamin of ESPN.com:
“I’m going to go,” Irving said of Wednesday’s Game 1 in Atlanta.
It’s been four days since Irving aggravated his left leg in the Cavs’ closeout win over Chicago, limiting him to just 12 minutes overall, including keeping him sidelined for the entire second half. The All-Star point guard consulted with team doctors Friday and sat out Cleveland’s practice on Saturday to rest, but reported marked improvement since the Bulls series.
“I would say just my spirits and mental confidence, just being able to actually feel both my feet underneath me, especially when I’m shooting, it feels amazing,” Irving said. “You know, just a confidence of getting extra work in and just preparing with my teammates. I think that’s the biggest thing I get out of it. I don’t want to be on the sideline at all, especially preparing for a big stage like this. I want to be as close to 100 percent before Wednesday as I can be, so just doing the necessary things in order to do that.”
Cavaliers head coach David Blatt remained outwardly cautious, and would only say he’s encouraged by Irving’s progress. But Irving has been playing hurt for much of the postseason, and especially with six days between games, it’s no surprise that he’ll be in the starting lineup for this one.
Anytime your team is facing a win-or-go-home scenario entering a Game 7 in the playoffs, as a head coach, you’ll take any motivational advantage you can get.
So, before the Clippers made the trip to Houston to take on the Rockets on Sunday, Doc Rivers had his team pack enough clothes for two games in Oakland against the Warriors in the next round.
From Ben Bolch of the Los Angeles Times:
The Clippers had taken an optimistic approach Sunday, packing enough clothes for the first two games of the conference finals against the Golden State Warriors. But Houston will be taking the flight to Oakland after advancing past the second round for the first time since 1997.
The Rockets beat the Clippers, of course, which means the players have a ton of unpacking to do — after all, that’s seven or eight days worth of clothes, depending on when the team made the trip to Houston.
This may have just been the most practical way to handle things from a travel standpoint, instead of being a purely motivational tactic. But either way, it’s probably not a great feeling to be reminded of what could have been when having to put all of those clothes away.
[via Andrew Ungvari]