BOSTON The old Boston Garden didn't have air conditioning, so it could be a sweatbox at times, especially during the NBA finals in late spring.
In Game 5 of the 1985 finals, for example, when the temperature hit 98 degrees indoors, Boston's Larry Bird was the hottest player in the building, getting 34 points and 17 rebounds in a 121-103 victory for a 3-2 advantage. The Celtics lost Game 6 in Los Angeles before winning Game 7 at the Garden 111-102.
Nowadays, in the TD Banknorth Garden, which opened in 1995, it's anything but warm. In fact, some of the Lakers were bemoaning the cold of the past few days.
"During my short time here, this building was always on the cold side," said Chris Mihm, who played for the Celtics during the second half of the 2003-04 season. "It was cold today. But I've never felt it the way it was yesterday at practice. I was waiting to see if I could see my breath during warmups. It was unbelievable."
NOT SO LUCKY: Another injury for the Celtics, this one to their mascot, Lucky the dunking leprechaun. Damon Blust, the stilt-walking, T-shirt-throwing, high-flying mascot who entertains the crowd during breaks at the Celtics games, had to cut the trampoline-enhanced acrobatic dunks from his routine on Sunday because he was hurt. Spotted underneath the stands during the first quarter, Blust said he had a labral tear in his right shoulder.
I'LL BE HERE ALL WEEK: Maybe Phil Jackson should hold his news conferences in front of a brick wall. Once again, the Los Angeles Lakers coach made like a standup comic during his pregame media gathering, and for the second time he got his biggest laughs while commenting on Paul Pierce's dramatic departure and return in Game 1. Jackson was asked if the Lakers' coaching staff had had any discussions about the Celtics' injuries to Pierce and Kendrick Perkins, who sprained his left ankle in the series opener.
"None," Jackson said. "We haven't discussed it at all. We discussed the wheelchair a little bit, but that's the only thing. First time I think we've ever seen it."
IDOL SINGING THE ANTHEM: David Cook will perform the national anthem Tuesday night, just across the street from where he won the American Idol competition last month at Nokia Theatre. Cook has the honors for Game 3 at Staples Center, becoming the latest American Idol winner to sing it at the NBA finals. Kelly Clarkson, Ruben Studdard, Carrie Underwood, Taylor Hicks, and Jordin Sparks all previously did so. Jeffrey Osborne will sing the national anthem on Thursday night before Game 4, and that could be a good omen for the Lakers. He also performed in the 1985, '88 and 2002 finals, and Los Angeles won all those series.
WADE OPTIMISTIC: Dwyane Wade still believes his knee will be ready for the Beijing Olympics. The Miami Heat guard, who missed the final 21 games of last season because of chronic soreness in his surgically repaired left knee, said Sunday that he's been playing 5-on-5 games for about a week with "no problems." Wade is spending much of his offseason rehabilitating in Chicago, with eyes on both getting a spot on the Beijing-bound team USA Basketball will finalize its Olympic roster later this month and ensuring that he's fully healthy when the Heat open training camp in September.