By Alejandro de los Rios
First of all, I want to apologize for not getting a better angle on Jannero Pargo completely busting his ass as he tried to attempt a one-handed dunk. What can I say? David West is a big man.
Regardless, I'd think Hornets fans would be pleased to know that, before this team's biggest game in franchise history, the players and coaches are just as loose now as they've been all season. Before filming this sho, Scott, Pargo and Chris Paul were dunking on an 8-foot rim set up at mid-court. Also, players were generally chatty, doing trick shots and playing left-handed 1-on-1. But Bonzi Wells pointed out that, while they're loose, they're still focused.
"Coach makes sure we stay focused on the task at hand," he said, while Byron joked around and attempted some dunks. "He's kind of playful right now but he's been all business for the most part."
This came after asking Bonzi what his most memorable Game 7 was. He pointed out he was a part of one with the Portland Trailblazers back in 2001 where hit team "blew up" in Portland. He said that it "might've been good for the fans but it was the worst day of my life."
So what was his favorite Game 7 as a fan?
"The old Lakers-Celtics series," he said. "I remember the way CBS used to broadcast those games it was the best ever. I just looked forward to sitting back with my father and family and friends."
Morris Peterson also mentioned the Celtics, but he remembers their 1987 series against Detroit.
"Was that game 7 when Isaiah [Thomas] had his ball stolen by Bird [in 1987]?"
I have no idea (Note: I looked it up. Though that series went seven games, it was actually game 5 when Bird stole then inbounds pass).
Mo Pete also mentioned the game seven he took part in back in 2001 when he was a member of the Toronto Raptors playing the Philadelphia 76ers. The same game that Vince Carter missed the game-winning shot after spending that morning at his college graduation.
Melvin Ely, as he is wont to do, mentioned a completely different type of Game 7.
"Remember that Rally Monkey?" he said.
You mean the Anaheim-San Francisco World Series from 2002?
"That was amazing," he said. "I'm a Cubs fan myself but I got caught up in that moment cause I was playing for the Clippers. It's crazy I should've said a basketball game but that baseball game was something else."
I'm going to go out on a limb and say tomorrow's game 7, win or lose, will rank up there as one of the more memorable ones for all involved.