Preparations for Vlade Divac's week-long visit before the March 31 retirement of his jersey at Arco Arena are underway. And let's just say, Vlade still knows how to party. With more to come, his schedule already includes the following:
* Sunday, March 29: Lunch with Divac at the Serbian Orthodox Church, followed by a 9 p.m. bash at Tre.
* Monday, March 30: A Charitabowl function at Strikes, in Rocklin, beginning at 6 p.m., with Divac, Chris Webber, Doug Christie and Peja Stojakovic.
* Tuesday, March 31: Kings-Hornets game at Arco Arena at 7 p.m., the ceremony taking place at halftime. A post-game bash at Tunel 21 in Old Sac, also sponsored by Divac.
All events are open to the public, with proceeds from the events going to the Humanitarian Organization Divac (HOD), the foundation Divac created to help acquire housing for refugees in his native Serbia. For more information and ticket availability, check out Vlade's website at www.Divac.com.
Additionally, The Bee sports department is planning several days of extensive coverage leading up to the official jersey retirement, possibly including a live blog session with Vlade before he travels here from Serbia. We'll provide details as we receive them.
More on those humbling travel plans
As my colleague, Sam Amick, noted in a recent posting, the Maloofs are back to traveling commerical instead of charter - most often on Southwest Airlines. But I heard an interesting story the other day: Because of lingering discomfort from his double-knee replacement surgery, Joe Maloof drives more often than he flies between his homes in Southern California and Las Vegas. Or, I should say, he sits in the passenger seat while someone else hits the gas.
Thinking about Charles P. Daly
Reports about Chuck Daly's battle with pancreatic cancer began surfacing during the All-Star Game in Phoenix, but finally became public on Friday. Daly, 78, who guided the Detroit Pistons to consecutive NBA titles (1989-90), is undergoing chemotherapy, with his treatment overseen by specialists at Sloan-Kettering Memorial Hospital in New York. Here's wishing Chuck the best. As the handful of my colleagues who accompanied the original Dream Team in the weeks preceding the 1992 Olympics will attest, that was a magical time, made even more enjoyable because of Daly's engaging nature and accessibility. La Jolla. Portland. Monte Carlo. Barcelona. Bird, Magic, Michael, and a young Charles Barkley. In this business, that's as good as it gets.
One additional thought: One of the journalists who traveled with the Dream Team - longtime NBA writer Phil Jasner of the Philadelphia Daily News - is coping with his own battle with colon cancer. For those who might not recognize the name, Phil was the writer who asked the relatively innocuous question that sent Allen Iverson into his now famous rant about "practice."