Season At One-Quarter Mark
Iverson's Return Mirrors MJ's
An aging superstar, after trying retirement on for size, finds a new team.
Despite everything he has done, despite everything he has won, believe it or not, there are still those who doubt him. They must be taught otherwise.
Amazingly, some do not know the depths of the competitiveness in the man's soul. Age, slowing him? Please.
He graces a mediocre team with his big name and big game, creates a fan sensation, sells some tickets and prepares, in his mind, to rewrite the history of the franchise by mixing his improved jumper with the creative and daring forays into the paint that made him famous.
Only returning from the layoff is tough. The aging is real. The drives into the paint are met with bigger, stronger, faster and younger defenders.
There are some stumbling blocks out of the gate. The body is not quite what it once was. There are some losses.
The Internet has always said this celebrity is like a zillion others in enjoying the nightlife. Who cares? Maybe nobody. But it's clear the player did not arrive in championship form, and may have to "play into shape" a little.
Some of what's happening with the body, though. That's new. Check out all the fluid in that knee. Draining that fluid helps the symptoms, but trainers and doctors agree draining the fluid doesn't do much about the underlying cause. Addressing that the conventional way is extremely time consuming, and is centered on weeks or months of taking it easy.
This is the story of Michael Jordan, long-retired Bull, as a brand-new Wizard in 2001.
Schedule: Monday, Dec. 14
All That Jazz
After a 1-4 start, the Jazz have hit a high note, winning seven of their past nine games.
Monday Game Notes
• Kevin Durant and the Thunder visit the Nuggets Monday in the teams' first meeting of the 2009-2010 season. Last season, Durant became the first second-year NBA player to average at least 30 points per game in three or more games against the Nuggets (31.7 ppg in three games).
• Dwight Howard, whose Magic host the Pacers Monday, posted two 20/20 games against Indiana last season. Only three other NBA players ever recorded two 20/20 games against the Pacers in the same season -- none of them in the last 20 years: Bill Laimbeer (1985-1986), Moses Malone (1978-1979, 1979-1980, and 1982-1983) and Truck Robinson (1977-1978).
• The Hornets are 4-1 against the division rival Mavericks over the last two seasons, shooting better than 50 percent from the field in those contests. New Orleans beat Dallas 114-107 in overtime in their first meeting this season on Nov. 5.