Sense of self

Seldom a day passes without a coach or player saying, "It is what it is," which goes right along with its twin catchphrase, "You are what you are."

Clippers assistant coach and former NBA player John Lucas claims he once had to explain those concepts to his son, who wanted to be a rap artist. But Lucas didn't think rapping about street life was a great move for a kid from the wealthy suburbs.

At a YMCA fund-raiser in Salt Lake City last week, Lucas said his son "wanted to be like the Fresh Prince of Bel Air."

Added Lucas wryly, "We do live in Bellaire … Texas.

"I said, 'Son, you got a swimming pool. You drive a Hummer. And you want to rap about the street? Somebody's gonna want to (throttle) you. You got to deal with the way life is.' "

Which brings up another truism to live by: You drive what you drive.

Talent rules

At the same event, former Jazz coach Tom Nissalke was honored for his service with the YMCA.

During his turn at the rostrum, he drew laughs for noting how people talk about "good (character) guys" who play in the NBA.

"They say, 'Yeah, that guy's a better player, but this one's a good guy,' " said Nissalke. "I always say, 'Give me the great player; I'll work on his personality later.' "

Ill conceived

Phoenix Suns coach Alvin Gentry was captured on TV during his team's Game 5 loss to the Lakers vomiting into a garbage can.

Gentry, who reportedly ate some bad grilled artichoke and dip at an L.A. restaurant, kidded afterward that "It was Kobe Bryant making me sick."

Maybe, but it's hard not to figure the combination of Jason Richardson's ugly 3-point bank shot and Ron Artest's flat-footed put-back didn't help.

Game off

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Weird story, last week, when Angels' infielder Kendry Morales hit a walk-off grand slam, then broke his ankle in the home plate celebration.

One can only wonder what damage he might have done if he'd been asked to do something dangerous like fetch a newspaper from the driveway.

Simply shocking

Security guards at Amway Arena used a stun gun to subdue the stepfather of Celtics guard Marquis Daniels during Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals in Orlando.

But how they found him afterward is anyone's guess.

Considering the way the series went, there couldn't have been many in the building who didn't look like they'd already been Tasered.