clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Full court press

KEITH'S COACHES: New Jersey Nets rookie Keith Van Horn says his college coach, Utah's Rick Majerus, and pro boss, John Calipari, share a similar philosophy of the game, but "coaches in the NBA have to treat the players different. You're not dealing with 18-year-olds anymore."

As such, his relationship with the two coaches is different."(Calipari) has been great. I think it's good for me that he's new to the league as well. He has a year of experience, but he knows what I'm going through - he went through it last year," said Van Horn. "And I definitely think (Majerus) would be a great coach in the NBA just because he understands it so well and he prepares his teams so well.

"I don't know if he could take 82 games, though," joked Van Horn. " He's a wreck after 34 (college) games."

SUPER FAN SILENCED: For 12 years Robin Ficker mercilessly taunted the Washington Bullets' opponents from his seat behind the visiting bench.

He wasn't vulgar or profane. Just LOUD. And relentless.

When Michael Jordan was in a team huddle, Ficker read unflattering passages from the book "The Jordan Rules" or poked fun at Jordan's gambling habit.

When Charles Barkley approached the foul line, Ficker chanted "Two all beef patties special sauce lettuce cheese pickles onions on a sesame seed bun!" for the McDonald's burger the pudgy player endorsed.

When Chris Webber arrived with the Golden State Warriors, Ficker never let him forget how he mistakenly tried to call a timeout for the University of Michigan in the final seconds of the NCAA championship game when his team had none.

"TIME OUT!" he would yell at Webber. "STOP THE GAME! Chris Webber wants a TIME OUT!"

But one of the NBA's most vocal fans will not be heard from this season when the renamed Washington Wizards play their first game at the MCI Center in downtown Washington in December. Ficker won't be moving with them because the team didn't offer him the same seats in the new arena. Wizards spokesman Matt Williams said the area behind the visitor's bench was going to be designated for the handicapped, although the plan later was changed. The team offered him another seat, but Ficker didn't want to sit behind the basket.

Sound bite:

"Derrick tells me he's one of the top five players in the league. If he's one of the top five players in the league, then how come he's only been on one above-.500 team in eight years?"

- Philadelphia coach Larry Brown, relating a conversation he had with forward Derrick Coleman.