I’m off for Orlando in the morning. I’ll see if I can find out who stripped Jameer Nelson of his bravado.
A few days ago, we brought you video of the Magic guard whispering to Chicago’s Derrick Rose, “I’ll catch you in the second round,” which was Latin for: “The Hawks won’t be a problem in the first round.”
That didn’t go over well in the Atlanta locker room. Nor apparently did it go over well in Orlando because Nelson suddenly is saying little on the topic. Our Michael Cunningham alerted me to an interview Nelson did with the Scott Van Pelt Show on ESPN radio. Here’s the excerpt of the interview that you’ll find amusing:
On the first-round matchup with Atlanta:
“They’re a good team; we know they’re a good team. They’ve definitely improved. They’re really well-prepared by their coaching staff and … we have a lot of respect for those guys over there in that locker room. It’s going to be a good series. That’s all I can say. I’m not sure, I’m not making any predictions in terms of number of games or who’s going to win, but obviously I want my team to win and I think we can.”
Wow. That’s a long way from, “I’ll catch you in the second round.”
I passed this along on Twitter Thursday but if you missed it, here was Josh Smith’s response to Nelson’s original comment: “It is what it is. He’s confident in his team and I’m confident we’re going to beat them.”
When I asked Al Horford if he knew of Nelson’s comment, he smiled and said: “Yeah. I mean, you’re not going to see it on everybody’s wall but everybody’s aware of it. I’m all about doing it on the court. That’s what I’m looking forward to.”
This series gets more interesting by the day.
By Jeff Schultz