Mario Elie Rumors
Athletic trainers see the impact of back to backs traveling from West to East. But others believe the longer four-in-five stretch is more debilitating. “Four in five nights,” one current general manager said. “Back to backs are tough, but not as bad as four in five. Fatigue is a lot greater at the end of the four in five.” The brutal travel every NBA team has, even though every team uses charter service, also weighs on players playing four in five. “You can be in four different cities,” former player Mario Elie said. “Different time zones.”
Who was the toughest player for you to guard during your career? DA: There was a couple. When I played it was tough. I was a tough guard but think about it, you had these shooting guards: Michael Jordan, Reggie Miller, Mitch Richmond, Latrell Sprewell, Allan Houston, Steve Smith, JR Rider… Just naming those guys, you knew you had a tough night every night and if you watched on TV you said ‘Man, this is a great game!’ Now you can’t name me five apart from Kobe [Bryant], [James] Harden and maybe Joe Johnson… It was fun back then. Mario Elie, Allen Iverson was a two-guard back then… There was a bunch of talent. Now? There’s nothing.
If anyone had any doubt that Mario Elie wouldn’t be back on the Nets bench next season, he seemed to erase them Thursday night when he made a televised pitch to Dwight Howard on behalf of the Rockets. “Hopefully, Dwight Howard, you’ve got to come down to Texas, man,” Elie said. “No state taxes, ain’t no pressure down here. You don’t have to worry about LA, Hollywood, or Brooklyn. Texas is great. The fans are terrific down here. We support. We’re not like the Miami fans leaving when the game’s not even over. We stay until the end here in Houston. Come on down to Texas, Dwight.”
“I like him,” said Elie, an 11-year veteran of six teams. “It’s not just that he’s good. I like how hard he works.” “He’s going to stick around,” said Stackhouse. “When you see a guy with a shirt that wet, you know he’ll be sticking around.”
Kris Joseph’s 10-day contract with the Nets expires at midnight and Joseph tells Tim Bontemps that he hasn’t heard yet what the Nets are thinking. But P.J. Carlesimo tells Bontemps he likes what he sees and Mario Elie and Jerry Stackhouse tell Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald that the ex-Celtic’s work ethic will rule the day. “I like Kris a lot,” Carlesimo said. “I think he’s active. … I’d like to be able to get him some more time so we could look at him. I think Kris Joseph can be a good player in the league. It’s just hard for us to get him time right now.”
It’s been common knowledge for months that P.J. Carlesimo and Mario Elie were going to join the Nets’ coaching staff, but the Nets wouldn’t announce that until today, when head coach Avery Johnson finally welcomed the two men on board. “When you talk about guys that I really respect that are coaches around the league — guys like Coach (Gregg) Popovich, who’s my mentor, and (New Orleans Saints coach) Sean Payton, who’s my really close friend, and I can go on and on, sometimes it’s about compatability and coachability, it’s about chemistry amongst the coaching staff, as well as chemistry amongst the players,” Johnson said in making the announcement about Carlesimo and Elie, who will join holdovers Popeye Jones, Tom Barrise and Doug Overton from last year’s staff. “We feel we got the right fit this year and hopefully, the guys that we have, they’ll be able to provide some continuity for us, so now we can have a staff that I can move forward with, not only this year, but the next couple of years.”