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LATINO NBA BASKETBALL SIDE NOTES

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Miami, Fl. Dec. 20th – Ex-New York Knicks forward Trvor Ariza still has his former team on the brain. He scored 13 points when the Lakers came back from a 15 point halftime deficit on December 16th. The youngest player ever to wear a Knicks uniform, Ariza remembers every detail in his short stay. "I learned a lot," he said prior to the game against Miami. "The year and a half I was there I did a lot of growing up." Claiming he would not change anything, Ariza still knows what’s going on with New York. Drafted by Isiah Thomas, he sympathizes what Thomsa has been going thru. "It’s a tough situation especially for a good guy like that. He loves the game of basketball. He would die for basketball, he said. When asked if he’s looking to play the Knicks at the Garden February 2nd, his grin could not have been wider. "I can’t wait."

 

Both Ariza and Kobe Bryant were sporting new Nike low cut sneakers. Bryant wore the Nike "Venom" while Ariza wore the Nike "Four". Head coach Phil Jackson did not think either would be prone to injury due to the sneaker. "Most ankle injuries happen when a player steps on another players foot," said Jackson. "Not because of the sneaker."
 
After the Lakers winover the Knicks, a Lakers fan Dorothy Klopfstein, suffering from ALS, (the Lou Gehrigh disease) gave Bryant a red bracelet to wear when they faced Miami. The 58 year old from Huenerve California has been battling the disease for most of her adult life.

Finally, veteran guard Derek Fisher, has seen a different and maybe a renewed spirit in head coach Phil Jackson. Sensing that the team may be running out of time, Fisher says that Jackson has a more hands on approach this year compared to last year. It might have something to do with the way the year ended for the team in the NBA Finals. "A year ago we were searching for our identity as a team," Fisher began. "This year, a lot of things have been answered. I think we know who we are as a team and what we want to accomplish." As far as the hands on approach Jackson has taken, Fisher says, "he (Jackson) appears to be more hands on early in the season. I think he sees the window of opportunity closing. I don’t think he’s going to sit back and allow us to find ourselves, said Fisher.

About William Gerena-Rochet

William Gerena Rochet, is the former Latino Sports baseball editor. He is a retired NYC teacher who divides his time living between New York City and San Juan, Puerto Rico. He started writing for Latino Sports during the inaugural World Baseball Classic when a series was played in Puerto Rico in 2006. On of his favorite moments was covering the 2006 MLB All-Star Game in Pittsburgh. During his time with Latino Sports, he covered several divisional and League championship series games and the 2009 World Series. He also covered the last game at the old Yankee stadium and the first game of the current one. In closing, William has covered multiples Latino Sports MVP Awards ceremonies and Spanish Language Press Conferences including the Jorge Posada retirement one. Now a contributor, Willie will occasionally cover the Yankees.