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superheadcat
10-28-2003, 12:52 PM
obviously somebody takes it seriously enough to print an article on sacbee about it.

Kings preview: That voodoo that you do
Forget the Cubs and Red Sox. Are the Kings cursed?
By Joe Davidson - Bee Staff Writer
Published 2:15 a.m. PST Tuesday, October 28, 2003

Jerry Reynolds doesn't believe in hexes, voodoo or witchcraft.
Not even when the Kings' director of player personnel bumps into Jim Kozimor, the team's radio personality, or Brad Miller, the new forward-center, both of whom have completely bought into any and all curse theories that doomed their beloved Chicago Cubs.

Reynolds can tell you plenty of horror stories all right, of bad luck, bad trades and just plain bad karma. He has seen it all as a man who has donned many hats for the franchise, including a time when the Kings were a commitment to chaos during the late 1980s and a good part of the 1990s.
It was so bad, former Kings coach Dick Motta said in 1991 that the team adhered to a "Band-Aid diplomacy," with the way it picked up the weary and wounded in place of its own battered and beleaguered.

But why do the Kings seem to have more than their share of injuries to this day, when they are finally among the NBA's elite? Pure fluke, Reynolds said.

And plenty of rotten luck.

Chris Webber, the Kings' All-Star forward, will not be in the lineup until sometime in December. He's rehabilitating a knee that buckled last season during the playoffs, when the Kings were expected to make a serious run to the top before bowing out in the second round. Vlade Divac has missed only five games in his 14 NBA seasons because of injuries. So what did Divac do for the Kings' final three preseason games this year? Sit out with the worst sprained ankle of his life.

And one of the last men on the bench during recent seasons, Lawrence Funderburke? Gone for the season with an Achilles injury. He can't even stand and whip a towel during rallies. "We're starting the season the way we always do," is how Divac summed it up.

Two years ago, Webber missed the start of the season because of an ankle problem, and last season Mike Bibby was out for 27 games after foot surgery.

Divac went down seemingly all by himself in Houston's sparkling new Toyota Center on Oct. 16, clutching his ankle. He grossed out his teammates a good two hours later with a baseball-sized knot on his ankle. Jinxes? Hexes? Voodoo?

Kings coach Rick Adelman wouldn't reach that far, for this one, at least.

"I think for Vlade, the paint was too high on the arc or something," Adelman said. "I don't know how he did it."

Bobby Jackson isn't about to dismiss anything, although the Kings' guard hopes someone out there wearing a Los Angeles Lakers jersey doesn't have voodoo replicas of Sacramento's players and enjoys twisting, turning and torquing body parts.

"I think this team has been cursed," Jackson said. "Cursed a lot. If it's not a curse, then there are a lot of unfortunate injuries. It's very weird. I didn't drink a lot of milk growing up, so maybe it caught up to me for when I missed games (last season with a broken hand)."

Kings players missed a staggering staggering 350 games because of injury last season - second-most among NBA teams and the most among playoff teams. The Kings righted themselves enough to win 59 games and reach the Western Conference semifinals against the Dallas Mavericks, and appeared to be steaming toward a conference finals showdown with the San Antonio Spurs.

After a blowout victory over Dallas in Game 1, the Kings were being throttled in Game 2 when bad luck stepped in, altering the series and, perhaps, the playoffs. Webber went down in a heap, with no one near him. His knee buckled, and so did the Kings' chances in the long run. They succumbed to the Mavericks in seven games.

And forget that notion that Arco Arena was built on top of some ancient Indian burial grounds, an interesting theory for the Kings in the bleary bad days. That doesn't fly with Reynolds. Besides, Webber went down in Dallas.

"I don't think jinxes have anything to do with it," Reynolds said. "But you really can't explain injuries like that. They happen. It happens a lot in this league. You have five to six teams that can win a championship every year, but they have to stay healthy. You can't even pull a toe muscle. That's where luck comes in. If Tim Duncan gets hurt in the playoffs last year, do the Spurs win the NBA title? My guess is they wouldn't.

"The NBA is the one sport where you can't afford to lose your star player. Maybe it'll all even out for us. Maybe when Webber comes back in December, we won't have any more injuries."

No jinxes, Reynolds insists. No need to burn any medical charts in a ritualistic bonfire at midcourt. But Jackson? He's ready to try anything. Jackson has witnessed enough bizarre injuries in the past year or so to make him wonder. When he saw Scot Pollard merely bend over last season, tweak his back and miss another maddening stretch of games, Jackson was left to mutter, "He's got a terrible jinx going on right now." Jackson had his own concerns, beyond his control.

He broke his hand, or, rather, Shaquille O'Neal nearly reduced it to powder last winter when the Lakers' big man took a swipe at the ball. And it happened on Christmas night, of all things. Bah, humbug.

Nice theory, the milk and all. But no go for Reynolds.

"Bobby could drink a gallon of milk a day, before games even, but if Shaq goes across his hand, that bone breaks again," Reynolds said.

"I'm convinced there's nothing you can take that would prevent a hand break after a sledge hammer across the hand, and that's what Shaq is like. That's just bad luck."

Reynolds said that every team goes through a rash of hurt, even the great ones.

Even when the Lakers were NBA champions, O'Neal wasn't always fit, but he was fortunate enough to play.

"Even the teams that are healthy, it comes around, and they get hurt, too," Reynolds said. "If you play a lot of minutes, you will get hurt. It's like driving a car, and it has 120,000 miles on it.

Probably at some point, you're going to have some engine work. For Webber, his body broke down. In the NBA, if you play any real length of time, your ankles, knees and back hurt. That's the nature of the sport.

"But a jinx or some curse of the Bambino? I don't buy it."

LRB
10-28-2003, 01:26 PM
Sweets keep up the good work with your Voodoo. i/expressions/face-icon-small-wink.gif

MavsFanatik33
10-28-2003, 06:09 PM
That'd be nice if Kinga were cursed, then it'd be between us,SA, and LA. Now if we can get Duncan to walk under a ladder and Shaq to break his mirror we're left with just us and Minnesota.

MavKikiNYC
10-28-2003, 06:12 PM
Originally posted by: MavsFanatik33
That'd be nice if Kinga were cursed, then it'd be between us,SA, and LA. Now if we can get Duncan to walk under a ladder and Shaq to break his mirror we're left with just us and Minnesota.

The latter should be easy enough.

mcsluggo
10-29-2003, 09:11 PM
yeah, I'm sure he breaks enough mirrors just by looking at 'em.