Sonics Update

  • Thursday, November 30, 2000 9:00pm
  • Sports

Herald Staff

  • Opponent: Denver Nuggets

  • When: 6 p.m.

  • Where: Pepsi Center, Denver

  • TV: KONG (Ch. 6/16)

  • Radio: KJR (950 AM)

  • Familiar face: Horace Grant was a Sonic for only one season, but there were enough events, good and back, to make the year memorable.

    “It was definitely interesting,” said the genial Grant, who played for Seattle last season before an offseason trade to the Lakers. It was Grant, remember, who got conked on the shoulder with a weight while trying to mediate a dispute between teammates Gary Payton and Vernon Maxwell.

    Which means none of Seattle’s early-season hi-jinx, all leading up to Monday’s firing of coach Paul Westphal, came as a huge shock.

    “Paul was a great coach and still is a great coach,” Grant said, “and I’m pretty sure if he wanted to get back into coaching somebody would call him pretty soon. … I’m pretty sure Paul needed the respect from his players, and I don’t know why he didn’t get it.”

    Still, Grant said, Nate McMillan should do an admirable job as Seattle’s new head coach. “He’s going to be a great coach. A no-nonsense type of guy. … He’s a very aggressive guy, in the court and I could say off the court. He’s not going to take any trash from anybody. When the time presented itself, when I was here last year, he got into guys’ faces.”

    Grant was not surprised that McMillan juggled the starting lineup for his first game, Tuesday at Portland. “That’s Nate in a nutshell,” Grant said. “It’s his way or the highway, so to speak.”

    For his part, Grant is delighted to be in Los Angeles. “It’s very good,” he said. “I’m just playing ball and being happy and enjoying life.”

  • In the lineup: Tuesday’s game against Portland was not Emanual Davis’ first NBA start. “But it was my first ‘earned’ start,” said Davis, who started two games last season as an injury replacement.

    Davis graduated from Delaware State in 1991 and has bounced around, both in the NBA and overseas. Nothing has come easily and Davis has taken nothing for granted.

    “When I got out of school, I never thought I’d make it to the NBA,” he said. “Then playing for a couple of years, I thought, ‘I’d love, just one time, to earn a starting position on the team. It doesn’t matter how long it is, just to get that feeling out there.’ And I got that (Tuesday night) and it was real gratifying.”

    Davis made his second “earned” start Thursday against the Lakers.

  • Warm welcome: Performing the ceremonial ball toss before the game was Ichiro Suzuki, the newest Seattle Mariner, who was accompanied by a huge contingent of Japanese media. Suzuki received a noisy welcome from the KeyArena crowd.

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