In mid-June, 2005 I visited Stan Albeck at his San Antonio home on an off day of the Finals, won by the Spurs over the Pistons in seven games.
A dozen years later, and I’m still insulted at where the national media was stashed. My seat near the top of AT&T Center wasn’t exactly at the end of the world, but I could see it from there. I skipped Game 2 and went to Auburn Hills to pick up the series at The Palace … where I introduced myself to Eminem a row behind midcourt as a bigger fan of his than Stan, and I don’t mean Albeck.
It had been almost 4½ years since Albeck, the Raptors’ assistant coach at the time, suffered a partially paralyzing stroke in Toronto’s locker room. We’d known each other since our small fry days in the ABA when everybody — players, coaches, referees, trainers, wives, girlfriends, cheerleaders and, yes, even beat writers — hung together after games in clubs, restaurants, hotel lobbies and rooms playing cards.
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