Return of the Big Macs

04.03.08 10 years ago

As we noted in Smack, last night was National Return from Injury night in the League with the dramatic comebacks of Agent Zero, Dirk, Gasol and Elton Brand.

Here’s what their coaches, teammates and opponents had to say about their comebacks:

In classic Gil fashion…

“I found out,” Wiz coach Eddie Jordan said. “He didn’t really tell me, but that’s Gil. I found out. Let’s say it wasn’t normal, proper channels, but I found out.”

Dirk’s return propelled the Mavs to their first win over a team with a winning record since the Kidd deal, and it couldn’t have come at a better time or against a better team for Dallas. They zoomed out to a 14-point lead in the first and never looked back…

“They just went to a different level that we haven’t seen this year,” Warriors coach Don Nelson said.

“They just outran us,” Baron Davis added. “I don’t know how many times you can say that about us, but that’s what happened. We got outran. I just think that we got tired.”

Gasol really only needed to be on the floor to serve as a decoy to Kobe. It might take a couple of games for Mamba (36, 13, 7) to snap out of John McClane mode…

“We’re in something very special right now,” Gasol said. “It’s been hard just being a watcher and not being active out there and helpful. Hopefully, I’ll be able to change that in the next few games.”

And even though it took Elton Brand a half to remember how to play basketball, since it’s been so long, fantasy owners all over the country must have been joyous to see that he can in fact, still play…

“In the second half, he made a huge difference,” Sonics coach P.J. Carlesimo said. “He struggled in the first half and he looked like somebody who hadn’t played in however long its been … He certainly was a major factor in the second half. He looked totally different.”

“It felt great just competing,” Brand said.

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