The dude looks battered like a prize fighter after games. Head hung, back slumped and groaning as he cuts the tape off his ankles. That's when I noticed the toenails. Each one was painted black.

Who knew Al Buckets was into goth?

"Nah, you know that not what I'm all about," Al Harrington said in his raspy New Yawk accent. "I have ugly toenails, so I thought I'd cover it up."

Seriously?

He smiled. "That's my story," he then said, "and I'm sticking to it."

* * *

* - Wilson Chandler was expected to meet with the team's medical staff to have his left groin injury re-evaluated. We'll likely get an official word tomorrow, but, with nine games to go, it seems likely Wilson will be encouraged to shut it down for the season.

* - At the game Monday in Salt Lake City was Wat Misaka, a Knicks first round pick in 1947 who was the first non-Caucasian to play in the NBA. Misaka, who played for Utah from 1944-47 (which included NIT titles at the old Garden) is a Japanese-American who was quite a sensation back then. Below is a trailer from a documentary on him:

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* - The team didn't have practice today here in Portland. The team's Nike contingent, plus staffers who get on the guest list, paid a visit to the Nike HQ in Beaverton for some shopping at the famous Employee Store on the Swoosh campus. It used to be a valuable spree, but these days the prices weren't any better than what you'd see at your nearby Niketown or Factory Store at the outlets.