Sonics Update

  • Wednesday, December 6, 2000 9:00pm
  • Sports

Herald Staff

  • Opponent: Los Angeles Lakers

  • When: 7:30 p.m. Friday

  • Where: Staples Center, Los Angeles

  • TV: KONG (Ch. 6/16)

  • Radio: KJR (950 AM)

  • Familiar face: As teammates years ago, they were close friends. Their wives were particularly close, always sharing adjoining seats at Sonics home games.

    Which is why Dana Barros is one of many people around the NBA who cheered when Nate McMillan was named Seattle’s new head coach.

    “He’s the perfect guy for the job,” said the likable Barros, who played for Seattle from 1989-90 through 1992-93. He’s playing now with the Detroit Pistons, who were in Seattle on Wednesday. “He hasn’t changed since he was a player. He was always a coach even when he played, so I think this is a perfect situation for him.

    “He was born to be a coach. He’s got that mentality, and it’s the right mentality nowadays. He doesn’t care who it is. He’s going to do it the way it’s supposed to be done.”

    Even as a player, Barros said, “Nate didn’t care who it was. If you were wrong, he’d stand up in front of everybody and say, ‘You’re wrong.’ He’d put it out there. Nowadays that’s how you have to be because no one wants to be accountable. Everybody is passing the buck. So I think this is a great situation for him, and I wish him all the luck in the world.”

    Since leaving Seattle (he was traded with Eddie Johnson to Charlotte for Kendall Gill in the 1993 offseason), the 33-year-old Barros has played at Philadelphia and Seattle. He was dealt to Dallas in the offseason, then traded to Detroit during the preseason.

    Barros enjoyed his time with the Sonics, even though a career change was necessary. Barros wanted to be a starter, and that wasn’t going to happen in Seattle with Gary Payton on the team.

    “This was a great city and I enjoyed my time here,” said Barros, a Boston native. “And my wife wants to live here. I’ve been fighting her off.”

  • Lights, camera … : Every year, the Sonics feature their players in commercials that are shown during telecasts. The ads are always cleverly done – remember McMillan at a Tupperware party (“Show me how to burp this again, please”) – and the players seem to enjoy the acting experiences.

    One of this year’s commercials features Vin Baker and Desmond Mason crashing an outdoor wedding with the Sonics blimp. The blimp takes out a stack of champagne glasses, snags the bride’s veil, then crashes into the wedding cake.

    It was Mason’s first foray into acting and he gave the commercial a thumbs-up rating.

    “It was funny,” Mason said. “I liked it a lot. It turned out really well. And it was really pretty funny when we were out there doing it.”

    Mason, who majored in studio art at Oklahoma State University (“Anything to do with drawing,” he said), says he has no plans to take up an acting career.

    “It was fun to do and I’d like to do it again next year, but that’s it,” he said.

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