Previous week’s games
4/02/10 SUNS 109, Pistons 94
4/03/10 Bucks 107, SUNS 98
4/07/10 SUNS 112, Spurs 101
Upcoming week’s games (final week of the regular season)
4/09/10 SUNS @ Thunder, 5 p.m., My45
4/11/10 SUNS vs Rockets, 6 p.m., Fox Sports Arizona
4/13/10 SUNS vs Nuggets, 7:30 p.m., TNT
4/14/10 SUNS @ Jazz, 7:30 p.m., ESPN
If you are a Phoenix Suns fan, you know who Lou Amundson is. If you’re a fan of any other NBA team, you are quickly learning who Lou Amundson is. The former UNLV Running Rebel does all the little things off the bench and is a big reason as to why the Suns are fighting for the second seed in a very tight Western Conference playoff race. With the way the game changes in the playoffs, Lou knows it is important for the Suns to continue playing as they have the last few weeks and secure home court advantage for at least the first round of postseason action.
“I think we’re playing great right now,” Amundson says. “We just need to continue to toughen up and get ready. Once the playoffs start, it’s a different game, the intensity level picks up. The refs are going to call the games differently.”
Before the start of last season, when the Suns signed Amundson, like most others, most probably figured he was just picked up as a cheap roster filler. As quickly as Lou won fans over with his defense and hustle on the court, he became a fan favorite for living in Downtown Phoenix and riding his bike to practice.
“I like it a lot. It’s still developing. It needs a few things,” the backup power forward says of Downtown. “It needs a grocery store, and kind of everyday-type things, but there’s really great, unique little spots Downtown. You get that kind of homegrown feel. You don’t really get that in Scottsdale or anywhere else.”
Amundson enjoys lots of different places to eat in the Downtown area, including his favorite joint. “My favorite restaurant in Phoenix is Pizzeria Bianco,” Amundson says. “Matt’s Big Breakfast is another good spot. They have really good lunch, actually. They have a BLT that is phenomenal.”
For Suns fans that want Amundson on Twitter, that day should be coming soon. A few weeks back, daughter of head coach Alvin Gentry, Alexis, informed fans that Lou had advised her that he would be getting a Twitter account real soon. “I’m going to do it,” he reveals. “I’m going to have to do it now. I gave her my word, so I’m going to have to set one up.”
That didn’t stop Twitter users from sending in questions for DPJ to ask Lou. He was gracious enough to answer a few below.
@LateNightCat: Boxer or briefs?
Lou: “Boxer briefs. A little bit of both.”
@GmarieO: What type of hair ties do you use to hold back that glorious hair of yours?
Lou: “Well, this is a very important piece of equipment for me. They’re called Goody, I believe. They have elastic on them, so they’re like sports hair ties. I just recently got these purple ones. They’re the playoff hair ties.”
@LateNightCat: What type of music do you listen to?
Lou: “I listen to everything. Hip-hop, to R&B, to indie rock. Lately, I’ve been listening to a lot of R&B and soul-type stuff. A lot of the old school guys — Bill Withers, Sly and the Family Stone. Those guys are great. New people, Mayor Hawthorne has a new CD that’s out — real good. I’ve been rocking that.”
From the Arizona Room is a weekly column examining the historic, reuse and infill structures in Downtown Phoenix. The inspiration for this column stems from the ever-expanding resources in Burton Barr Central Library’s Arizona Room (located on the fourth floor). For further information on this and other historic structures in the area, visit the Arizona Room during normal library hours.
905 N. 4th St. in Evans Churchill
Unfortunate as it is that Nine|05 recently closed without notice at 905 N. 4th St., it may be a fitting time to glimpse at the history of the property on the corner of 4th and Garfield streets. Blighted for so many years, and surrounded to the west, south and southeast by vacant lots, this property has long faced an uphill battle.
The building at 905 was built c. 1919, and was known by neighbors as the E.F. Drake House. Drake, a prominent lawyer in Phoenix in the 1910s and ’20s, lived in the modest single-family home on the (then) north end of town, but it probably looked much different back then.
Renovations for Fate, nextDOOR, Nine|05 and the never-completed Canteen changed the property quite a bit, yet much of the history remains. The original poured concrete foundation is still there, but much of the stucco laid on the walls was blasted away to expose the original brick. The home’s original wooden rafters are still a beauty to behold, and remain unaltered save for some simple wood treatments.
The home once had a backyard shed and a rear porch, the latter of which was removed at an unknown date, according to the state historic property inventory.
When the home was rezoned commercially, it was only in fair condition. Today, even though it currently sits vacant, it features unique modern touches coupled with the historic charm of a simple family home from the 1910s.
Sources: Arizona State Historic Property Inventory; Phoenix Public Records, 1922
Is there a historic property in Downtown Phoenix you’d like to see in From the Arizona Room? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with the address and a brief description.
Odd couples are a staple in today’s world. This came to mind when considering my recent venture up 3rd Street to China Chili. Contrary to the name, the place does not specialize in chili, much to my chagrin, but it does serve up some raucously good Chinese food. So, in my mind, it’s only halfway false advertising.
Interestingly enough, you are greeted by a giant, waving, golden cat as you walk in. Basically, the décor is like most other Chinese restaurants you have ever been to. In other words, old people dining in the corner, a golden Buddha statue awaiting a belly rub and oddly bright light fixtures adorning every few feet of the ceiling.
This particular trek was made with DPJ managing editor Si Robins in tow. In keeping with the odd couple theme, he schooled me on how the Jewish folk have their own Christmas traditions. Apparently, it is common to find most of the chosen community dining at the local Chinese restaurant on Christmas Day. Sounds like an interesting dining experience to say the least.
However, on this night, I was on a mission to tackle a mountain of cuisine named in homage of our fair city, the Chicken in Phoenix Nest. It consists of a mound of chicken, peppers, onions and carrots in a black bean sauce, but with a kicker — it’s served in a crispy potato “nest.” Yes, it looks exactly like it sounds. When it was brought out to my table, the interwoven strands of potato perfectly resembled a finely constructed nest. What makes it impressive is that it was scrumptious. The crispiness of the encasing “nest” countered the soft, succulent chicken bites harmoniously. And, even though bean sauce doesn’t jump off the page as a description of taste bud bliss, the soy sauce-esque mixture holds the entire dish together. It felt like a Jewish Christmas dinner in my mouth, complete with the celebratory shouts of joy. Mazel tov, China Chili, you have concocted a fine dish.
Even though I raised my voice in joyous praise to the dinner, I could not finish it. The generous portion makes this a meal worth a stop next time you’re in Midtown Phoenix. There is good reason that China Chili boasts the praise of several locals as “the best Chinese restaurant around.” This humble, Southern gentleman will have to absolutely agree.
China Chili is located at 302 E. Flower St. in Midtown (light rail station at Central/Osborn) — 602.266.4463
It is that time of year again, where droves of fans hit the light rail and head to Chase Field for some baseball. Some fans would agree that opening day should be a national holiday. Since it’s not, some of us will be ditching work with our Pops to catch the game. The Arizona Diamondbacks will begin the season facing the San Diego Padres as Jon Garland is scheduled to face Dan Haren on the mound. It should make for an exciting game. For those that have not had a chance to attend opening day, there will be plenty of pomp and circumstance prior to the first pitch.
Last year, the Diamondbacks won their home opener, but were off to a shaky start and ended the season in last place in the National League West. Losing is never fun, but in and around Chase Field, the fun never stops. There is plenty to do before and after the game, and we’ll be highlighting some of the happenings throughout the season, as we follow the D-backs in this exciting new season of baseball.
This year, the Diamondbacks have a surprising amount of depth and talent and made some smart moves during the off-season. Fans will be pleased to hear that Baseball Prospectus (MLB’s prediction authority) has the D-backs in a close race for second place in their division. With new additions in the field and on the mound, 2010 should be an exciting year for the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Thinking about heading to Chase Field for a game? Take the light rail. The stations at Washington/Jefferson and 3rd Street drop you off right at the stadium! For ticket information, head to the D-backs site.
Previous week’s games
3/26/10 SUNS 132, Knicks 96
3/28/10 SUNS 111, Timberwolves 105
3/30/10 SUNS 111, Bulls 105
3/31/10 SUNS 116, Nets 105
Upcoming week’s games
4/2/10 SUNS @ Pistons, 5 p.m., My45
4/3/10 SUNS @ Bucks, 5:30 p.m., My45
4/7/10 SUNS vs Spurs, 7:30 p.m., ESPN/Fox Sports Arizona
On Sunday, April 11, when the Houston Rockets visit US Airways Center, the Phoenix Suns will take the game of basketball to a galaxy far, far away as the team hosts “Star Wars: The Clone Wars Night.”
The Suns are going all out for the event, as they have teamed up with Lucasfilm to put together the first event of its kind in the NBA. Fans will be able to purchase discount tickets that come with a Suns/Star Wars t-shirt and the opportunity to take pictures with some of their favorite Star Wars characters. Throughout the evening, fans will be treated to in-game Star Wars entertainment, including “Star Wars on Planet Orange” player introduction videos, a Gorilla light saber duel and the Phoenix Suns Dancers dressed in Princess Leia costumes.
“This is going to be a fun night for our fans of all ages, from those who remember watching the original Star Wars film in the theaters in 1977, to those young fans who are growing up with The Clone Wars animated series today,” said Jeramie McPeek, Suns Vice President of Digital and a self-proclaimed Star Wars nerd. “We are very proud to be partnering with such a strong brand, known around the world and throughout the galaxy. The Force is strong on Planet Orange.”
If the past success of the Planet Orange, Facebook and Twitter nights the Suns held this year are any indication, “Star Wars Night” should be a big hit with Suns fans. Not only will fans be treated to the in-game entertainment and another night of exciting, fast-paced basketball provided by the league’s highest-scoring team, but fans are also encouraged to dress up as their favorite Star Wars characters. However, fans must keep in mind that masks and weapons will not be permitted.
Phoenix Suns Charities will receive a portion of the proceeds from the sales of tickets purchased through the special offer for “Star Wars Night.” Fans can purchase tickets at suns.com/starwars, with tickets starting at $26.