An irreverent look at the series.
By Mike Wise
To Chicagoans all over: Thank you for playing.
It's over? It's over.
Gilbert Arenas won't say it, even after he made the shot that sunk the Bulls' season. Jared Jeffries won't say it, though he came perilously close. Not even Gee-Whiz, the florescent-blue, furry mascot who is a direct descendant of Cookie Monster, will utter a peep. Because as a critter mascot, he cannot talk -- let alone talk trash.
But walking around the visitors' locker room here at United Center, you just knew that for the first time since 1982 -- the year "Don't Stop Believin' " almost catapulted to No. 1 on the Billboard charts -- the Wizards are going to win a playoff series.
"Gilbert's shot was like the shot Derek Fisher hit against the Spurs last year in Game 5," Jeffries said of the former Lakers guard's catch-turn-and-shoot jumper at the buzzer that robbed Tim Duncan and his team of perhaps their most dramatic playoff victory. "San Antonio should have won that series. But after that shot, they knew it was over."
Craig Sager has done it again, combining a loud, royal blue blazer with a floral, ridiculous pastel print tie from Leonard of Paris. "This tie is numbered, it's so original. Look, 70461," the TNT sideline reporter boasted prior to Game 5.
Memo to Craigie: Crockett and Tubbs want their clothes back.
In Game 4 at MCI Center, Sager somehow picked out a deep lilac Versace suit from his closet of pastels and hot pink. It was maybe the loudest, most ostentatious ensemble ever worn by Sager, who has worn some really loud, ostentatious ensembles. Said Sam Smith of the Chicago Tribune, solemnly, "Maybe it was a tribute to Barney."
Shaquille O'Neal calls many of his get-ups, "Horri-awful. It's horrible and awful combined, the man looks so bad."
Johnny Ligmanowski, the Bulls' longtime equipment manager, said Washington's cuisine compares well with Chicago's, which is usually ranked behind San Francisco and New York for metropolitan eateries, followed by Seattle, San Antonio, Pocatello and then D.C.
"I went to an Irish Pub in Georgetown and had some excellent lamb chops," said Ligmo, who is listed at 5 feet 11 and 245 pounds of pure Polish sausage.
He also got the red-carpet treatment at the Pentagon, courtesy of Rep. Henry Hyde (R-Ill.), whose son works for the Bulls.
A Giant Matchup
As reported exclusively in Tuesday's Post: It's on. The guy in expensive silk on the end of the Wizards' bench has agreed to meet Gheorghe Muresan in a Goliath-meets-Goliath, one-on-one extravaganza. The game was proposed by a warped person who wants to see a 7-foot-3, bench-warming Puerto Rican rookie and a retired, 7-foot-7, bad-back Romanian go toe-to-toe. First to seven buckets wins.
On Monday night, Muresan, 34, said he would be glad to play the 287-pound Peter John Ramos, 19. Muresan, who last played in 1997 and retired in 2000, said he would "play until he dies." Or something like that.
Ramos was informed of the challenge and the blatant trash talk spewed forth by the man best known for playing opposite Billy Crystal in "My Giant."
"What did he say?" Ramos asked.
"He said he would dunk on your head, destroy you." (Actually, Muresan never said that).
"I'll break his ankles," Ramos said. "I'll . . . I'll . . . Just tell him I'm hungry to bring it on."