Mar 26

Batum Beats Buzzers, Ruins Dinner Plans In The Process

By caseyholdahl Posted in: AndreMiller, Blazers, NicolasBatum, Spurs
As far as Nicolas Batum knew, he and Tony Parker were still on for dinner Friday night after the game.

After all, both players knew when they initially made plans to dine post-game that only one of their respective teams' would win, so it's understandable why Batum told the horde of reporters jockeying for position around his locker that he and Parker were still going to break bread even though the Trail Blazers had rallied back in dramatic fashion to beat the Spurs in one of the most amazing finishes in Rip City's history.

But there was a reason why many of the media in attendance chuckled when Batum declared that dinner with Tony was still a go. They knew something that Batum didn't. They had the benefit of watching the replay of Batum guiding Andre Miller's pass into the basket as time expired numerous times. They knew that it was Parker who was left in Batum's jet wash as he elevated and tapped the ball toward the basket for the game-winning bucket.

Batum, however, was unaware that it was his good friend and teammate from the French national team who was on the losing end of a highlight that will go down as one of the most memorable of the 2010-11 season.

"I didn't know Tony was there, really," said Batum. "I was too much focused on the ball and the rim, so I didn't see him."

But while Batum, who claims to have seen the highlight just twice and only because he "wanted to see what really happened," might not of known the particulars of how the final moments of the game played out, Parker surely did. And that might have had the tiniest bit to do with why Parker scuttled the post-game dinner even though the Spurs were not flying out until Saturday morning.

"I was supposed to have dinner after the game," said Batum, "but he texted me, say 'I have to stay with the team.' I think the coach said maybe they couldn't go out that night. He said he couldn't go out, had to stay focused on the next game Monday."

In his defense, Parker wasn't the only Spur to cancel plans with a Trail Blazer Friday night. Steve Novak, who threw the inbounds pass that sailed out of bounds, allowing Portland to get one last attempt that ended up being the difference in the game, was supposed to dine with fellow Marquette alum Wesley Matthews before circumstances likely ruined his appetite.

Canceled dinners aside, nothing could ruin the high Batum was on after completing the first buzzer-beater of his career. The connection between Miller and Batum was featured as the top play on both SportsCenter and, prompting Batum to say it was "cool some times to have some respect." It also gave him the chance to send his mother, who returned to France Saturday, off on a high note.

"I said 'That's for you.' said Batum. "She was very happy. She say 'Now I can go back to France. I can breathe and be relaxed. I know you make a good game. I know you feel good.' So she was happy."

But for as spectacular of a night as it was for Nic, he said Saturday after a brief practice in Oklahoma City that it was time to put Friday's game in the rear view and focus on the task at hand: a brutal three-game road trip against three of the best teams in the Western Conference.

"That was a big thing, big action, big game," said Batum, "but we've got a tough road trip right now. That was yesterday. It was cool but now we're in OKC. We've got to think about the game tomorrow, don't think too much about the last game. I can (mess up) my game tomorrow if I don't. Now is another day."


  1. I bet if it was the other way around Batum would have still had dinner with Parker.

    Poor sportsmenship.


    by Hg on 3/26/2011 9:38 PM
  2. I doubt it was Parker's or Norvak's idea to skip. Sounds more like Popovich wanting to give the team major grief while he still had a head of steam going. He can be brutal. Too

    by rosette2251 on 3/27/2011 2:29 AM
  3. Popovich should have waited until after his players had dinner. He should have waited until the next day.

    by supereagle20 on 3/27/2011 8:11 AM
  4. I don't think i would have done anything different that Parker, or Pop for that matter. After a loss like that, you have to bring the team together.

    by caseyholdahl on 3/27/2011 9:44 AM
  5. i can see why pop did what he did seeing the stunned faces on the spurs and their dejection was hard to could have been us. one of the greatest finishes i can recollect in yrs. seeing it again on replay made it all the more fab...great blog casey!

    by oregongal47 view (TG) on 3/27/2011 10:44 AM
  6. Great blog!

    by RedRudy5 on 3/27/2011 1:33 PM
  7. I agree with Casey. We won that because the Spurs made some uncharacteristic turnovers (granted, so did we but earlier in the quarter). Having lost 2 straight games against teams you could face in the first/2nd round, you got to get your team together.

    by Herr on 3/27/2011 10:51 PM
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