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From another perspective
by Jesus Carro / June 5, 2003

Boom! Game 1 of the NBA Finals has not yet begun and Bruce Bowen is already throwing elbows. The first of the night comes in our direction. While taking a picture for a fan, unintentionally we step back to Bowen's favorite corner -- the one from where he usually hits his patented three-point shot. "Sorry," he says, as he pushes us out of the way minutes before the Spurs start to destroy New Jersey.

The Nets were quite upbeat before the game. The volume of the music in the locker room of the team is really loud. Rap music, of course. Dikembe Mutombo dances endlessly -- as if he knew he wouldn't get another chance to break a sweat during the game -- while Kenyon Martin's tattoos catch the attention of the journalists in a locker room that appears to be much smaller than the one of the San Antonio Spurs.

Talking about tattoos... While almost every Net wears them, only three Spurs -- Speedy Claxton, Tim Duncan and Stephen Jackson -- have one. K-Mart believes his tattoos make him even more fearsome -- not to the genius from the Virgin Islands, that's for sure.


Both the Spurs and the Nets could be really fearsome should they have George Gervin and Julius Erving back in their rosters. They participated in a ceremonial tip-off before Game 1. The last time Spurs and Nets played for the title, back in 1976 in the ABA, Gervin-Erving was the key matchup. Things have changed a lot in the last 27 years. Now, up to 3.1 billion people will be able to watch the Finals on TV in 205 different countries. It's crazy.

More crazy stuff... 31 cameras are used to broadcast the game on TV. Each player is followed by a individual camera all through the game.

Worth noting: Stephen Jackson and Tim Duncan had a shower and applied deodorant just seconds before the games began.

On the court, you can't help but notice that Steve Smith was having serious trouble missing a three-point shot during the warm-up. He hits 15 in a row. He doesn't play a minute after that. Ditto for Kerr. Has Popovich anything against the Steves? Apparently, we'll have time to find out, because most NBA types we talked to say the series will last six or seven games. No, really.

If the series are going to be that long, we'll pray not to see again the awful shining shoes of Lucious Harris or the "performances" of The Coyote, the Spurs' mascot. For some reason, the crowd at the SBC Center loves him, though.

Postscript: Before the game, we spotted Jarron Collins (Utah Jazz) in the crowd. He is sporting the jersey of his twin brother Jason. Sources say this may be a trick of Byron Scott in order to have six additional fouls to use against Tim Duncan. Stay tuned.

Jesus Carro is a regular contributor to HoopsHype.com

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