Salt Lake Mayor Ralph Becker is confident the Utah Jazz will win the first round of the NBA playoffs against the Houston Rockets. He's so confident that he's engaged in a friendly wager with Houston Mayor Bill White.

Tonight at 7:30, the race will be on in Houston as the teams square off in the playoff opener.

Each mayor has offered the other a treat from their city if the opposing team loses the series. If the Jazz win the series, White will send Becker pecan pies made by Good Company Barbecue in Houston — at the rate of one pie for every game the Jazz win over the Rockets. If the Rockets win the series, Becker will send White two Ski Salt Lake Super Passes. The passes would entitle the Houston mayor to two all-day passes at any of Salt Lake City's four ski resorts; Alta, Brighton, Snowbird or Solitude, as well as round-trip travel on UTA city buses, ski buses and TRAX light-rail during his trip to Salt Lake City. Becker also has offered to ski with White during the latter's visit — if any.

"Salt Lakers skied on Memorial Day last year and enjoyed watching the Jazz play past that weekend, well after the Rockets ended their season. I think the Jazz are going to take this series again. I'm looking forward to enjoying those pecan pies from Mayor White when they do," remarked Becker.

White counters, "My wager, Mayor Becker, we're coming back at you again this year. Last year was a close series. They scraped by. But I'm gonna bet, I'm gonna place a wager on this game. My wager is gonna be if I lose you are going to get some pecan pie from Good Company Barbecue. It's good Texas food."

To which Becker replied, "It's going to be a great series, The Rockets had a run that was unbelievable in the middle of the season and we're glad they got that out of their system. We feel like Utah has proven itself. It's time for Houston to step to the plate."

With luck, it will be a plate with pecan pie on it, the Salt Lake mayor hopes.


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