It's hard to believe, but the NBA season is just around the corner. So come with us now as we present five tiny tidbits on each team, just to get you in the mood. Today we continue with the Pacific Division, so do us a favor and send your tips to firstname.lastname@example.org.
• 1. He's The Hoff. Of all of Ron Artest's controversial actions, perhaps the most egregious of all: During his rookie season with the Chicago Bulls, he applied for a job at Circuit City just to get an employee discount. Also, like David Hasselhoff, he is beloved in Germany.
• 2. Always With Him. Francisco Garc a's 19-year-old younger brother Hector was shot to death in an apartment complex in the Bronx in 2003. The night after the shooting, Garc a led Louisville with 24 points as the Cardinals beat Seton Hall. After the game, he flew home to attend the funeral. In his brother's memory, he taps his heart twice and then points to the sky in between his foul shots.
• 3. Gotta Support The Team. Maurice Taylor is not allowed to attend any Michigan home basketball games until 2012. Taylor, who played for the Wolverines, was accused of taking money from booster Ed Martin, somewhat tarnishing his college achievements. Taylor was in the stands in New York with another former Wolverine, Jalen Rose, to support the team during the 2006 NIT Final Four. And this isn't a "Mitch Albom says they're there" kind of "in the stands;" they were actually there.
• 4. Fifty-Five Years And Counting. The Kings began life as the Rochester Royals in 1945, then winning the National Basketball League title in 1946. In 1948, the Royals moved to the Basketball Association of America, which absorbed the NBL the following year to become the National Basketball Association. The Royals won the NBA title in 1951, which remains the only championship in the team's history. The Royals moved to Cincinnati in 1957 (you may recall Oscar Robertson), then to Kansas City, Missouri. Renamed the Kings (because of the Royals baseball franchise in the same community), the team initially divided its home games between Kansas City and Omaha, Nebraska. They moved to Sacramento in 1985, bit it is rumored that the owners, the Maloof brothers, want to move them again.
• 5. Lost In The Woods. Seven-foot-1, 245 pound center Loren Woods had been viewed as a lock to be a first round selection in the 2001 NBA draft, but slipped to the second round; some say due to his volattile personality. During the summer games following his selection, he fought with fellow 2001 draft pick Brendan Haywood.