* Although limited recently by injuries, Jason Capel was feeling good enough last Tuesday to come off the bench for 19 minutes (2 points, 3 rebounds) to help Fayetteville defeat Roanoke in the first game of their best-of-three NBDL playoff series.
Yesterday, Capel played 18 minutes as a reserve and scored two points and grabbed five rebounds as his Fayetteville Patriots edged Roanoke 78-77 to sweep the series 2-0 and advance to the NBDL Finals.
In addition to playing in two games, practicing and recovering from lingering hip, back and thigh injuries last week, Capel had a visit at practice on Thursday from former North Carolina head coach Bill Guthridge, according to the Fayetteville Observer.
The report in the Observer noted that Jason's dad and Fayetteville coach, Jeff Capel, said Guthridge called him earlier in the week and asked if he could come down and take Jason to lunch. "He's one of the nicest men you'll ever meet. He's a real class act," Jeff Capel told the Observer.
The Patriots begin the best-of-three NBDL Finals against Mobile on April 4 in Fayetteville.
FORTE: SONICS UNFAIR
* The Seattle SuperSonics suspended former Tar Heel Joseph Forte for one game last week for what the Sonics called "conduct detrimental to the team."
The Tacoma News Tribune reported that, according to unnammed team sources, Forte's suspension was a result of a number of "corrosive actions" defined as "being disruptive in practice and taunting teammates he considered as inferior players." It was also noted that Forte was "joyously singing" in the shower after an 80-74 loss to the Wizards.
Based on quotes from a report by the Seattle Times, Forte had a somewhat different outlook on the circumstances surrounding his suspension and loss of $11,211 in pay.
"Jerome James tried to jump on me and he was not successful," the 6-4, 194-pound Forte explained, according to the Times. "Both parties are usually suspended, but that didn't happen. That tells me that they give me special treatment in a negative way. Basically, I got suspended because I got into a fight with a 7-foot [285-pound] guy who attacked me."
Forte missed Friday's game with Memphis and returned to practice on Saturday, but thinks he has been "wronged" by Seattle. He said he has filed a claim with the NBA Players Association regarding his one-game suspension and loss of pay, and wants to shed some light on the situation, as reported by the Seattle Times.
J.R. REID PLAYING, TALKING BASKETBALL
* In three games since going to Spain and joining the LEB League's Leon Caja Espana (15-12, 5th-place), J.R Reid has played 55 minutes, pulled down 15 rebounds and netted 15 points.
Reid talked about his return to pro basketball overseas in a recent interview with a Eurobasket reporter. Here's a sample of some of his comments ---
On his expectations: "I am very fortunate they called me. They want me to help them go back up to the ACB League (Spain's highest level) and they are being patient with me. They know that I am not in shape yet. I am working hard and I am looking forward to continue my play here."
On how long he will play: "I am only 34 (actually, 35 as of today), I don't think I'll be playing when I'm 40. I'm playing now because I still feel I can play this game at a very high level. I know myself and my body and I know I can do it again."
On Americans playing in Europe: "It's a much different style of play than the NCAA and NBA and you have to adjust to the style, the style will not adjust to you. It's not as physical as in the USA."
TAR HEEL NBA PROS TO MEET UCONN
* The Tar Heel NBA Pros were idle last week in NBA.com's "Big Men on Campus" quest to determine which college has produced the best current NBA players.
After being appropriately seeded at No. 1, the Heels scored landslide victories over Fresno State (96-4) and Michigan State (91-9) to reach the "BMOC" final four.
Connecticut is next for the current NBA Tar Heels, following a 59-41 quarterfinal thrashing of Duke.
Voting for North Carolina over the Huskies can be done at www.nba.com/features/bmoc_bracket.html from March 31-April 3. Michigan vs. Kentucky is the other semifinal. The 16-team tournament final will be on April 7.