I always liked Wayne Cooper. RIP, Big Guy.
Olan, longtime Nuggets fan
Kiz: Got to admit, the death of Cooper at age 65 hit me hard. He wasn’t the best player on strong Denver teams. But nobody kinder has ever worn a Nuggets uniform. His passing was a bittersweet reminder of a time when relationships between pro athletes and ink-stained wretches like me developed far more organically and were way more casual than how we tweet quotes from formal press conferences in this brave, new media world. Back in 1985, as a cub reporter covering the Nuggets, I rode the team bus, bunked on the same floor of the team hotel and regularly ate lunch with Cooper, who took me under his wing. During the playoffs, he wrote a diary for The Denver Post. Several hours after a tough loss against the Showtime Lakers at the Fabulous Forum during the Western Conference finals, there was an urgent knock at my hotel room door, which swung open to a gentle giant with anxious eyes. “Hey, is it too late to re-write the diary?” Coop asked. “I thought of a better way to start it.”
The Nuggets have a shot to beat Golden State in the NBA playoffs, but a lot has to fall into place. Will Barton is going to have to give center Nikola Jokic help offensively, and Bones Hyland will have to show up. Defensively? That’s a large question mark.
Bruce, keeping it real
Kiz: Crazy optimist that I am, my pick is the Nuggets to win this series in seven games. I’m the lone hoops analyst on my fine newspaper’s sports staff to show faith in our local NBA team. But for me to have any shot of being correct, I suspect Hyland will have to be so good he’s regularly on the court in crunch time, while Barton cheers from the bench.
Danilo Gallinari was an underrated Nuggets player. Happy to see him have continued success in the league.
Kiz: Watching our old pal Gallo help Atlanta earn the Eastern Conference’s final playoff berth, I was reminded he has scored more points in his NBA career than David Thompson, Mark Price or Dan Marjele. Not too shabby.
Kiz, thank you for your excellent column on the DU Pios winning the national hockey championship for the ninth time. We have said for decades they are Denver’s true champions! We have enjoyed DU hockey games, always knowing the Pioneers will be competitive and provide a great college sports experience. It’s a class act lead by a coach who expects and promotes greatness.
Susan and Jim, puckheads
Kiz: Far be it from me to suggest how a sports fan spends hard-earned money. But DU Pioneers hockey delivers more bang (and banners) for the buck than any team in Colorado.
And today’s parting shot is advice to pump the brakes on excitement about the Rockies’ encouraging start to the Major League Baseball season.
We’ve seen the April Surge develop into May Mediocrity and June Gloom, followed by Just Sadness so many times.
Mike, feisty old dawg