White hat guys

Fandom can be the strangest thing.

Last spring, when Derek Fisher walked into ES Arena during a playoff game against the Warriors, Jazz fans gave him a standing ovation. Those same people booed him when he returned with the Lakers this year.

Similarly, Gordan Giricek was booed loudly last week when the Sixers came to Utah — for no obvious reason, other than having been traded.

New acquisition Kyle Korver was afforded a loud ovation, simply for showing up in a Jazz uniform.

Want to know the truth? They're all good guys.

Which raises the unsettling possibility that wearing a uniform doesn't make someone good or bad, any more than wearing a cowboy hat makes you Tim McGraw.

Total recall

Former kicker Garo Yepremian is downplaying New England's 16-0 regular season, noting that his 1972 Miami Dolphins were the first NFL team to go undefeated.

"We were the first ones to climb Mt. Everest," he told ESPN.com. "If New England comes and does it, then they can be the second ones. But you usually don't remember No. 2."

True, but they do remember kickers who turn blocked field goals into bloopers and blunders highlights.

Light 'n' lean

Don't plan on often seeing John Stockton shorts in the NBA.

At least not on Kobe Bryant.

After the Lakers wore throwback shorts against the Celtics last week, Bryant told reporters, "I don't know what it feels like to wear a thong, but I imagine it feels something like what we had on in the first half. I felt violated. I felt naked. It's one thing to see films with guys wearing those things ... I'd rather stay warm, man."

Sort of makes you wonder how Wilt and Cousy managed, doesn't it?

Promising prospect

Irvine Valley City College center Bryce Webster missed a game recently.

Not because he was injured, ill or on probation, but because he reportedly packed two left sneakers in his gym bag.

Which could be a good sign.

Benoit Benjamin did the same when he was playing for the New Jersey Nets, and he lasted 15 years in the NBA.

Off the clock

Hawaii athletic director Herman Frazier is out, after letting the state's most prominent coach get away.

Stories say Frazier dragged his feet in contract negotiations with football coach June Jones, who took a job with SMU.

"Is director Frazier to blame? I believe so," said state Rep. K. Mark Takai.

Maybe people shouldn't be so hard on Frazier, though.

Yes, he was slow-arriving. On the other hand, wasn't he just working on Standard Island Time — which is to say when he got around to it?

E-mail: rock@desnews.com