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Sports Blog

I Kissed Kosta

by John Saltas
- Posted // 2009-08-12 - GREECE - When I left Kosta Koufos (because I trust him) with my daughter and her two girl friends from Utah just a few minutes ago, I told him I wouldn't tell Jerry Sloan I kissed him. Well, I did. It's a Greek thing. Kosta had earlier led the Greek National Basketball team to an easy rout over Romania 102 to 57 and Kosta had a team high 15 points in a game in which every Greek player scored from Shortsiani (Baby Shaq), to Spanoulis (a really, really good player!).

We left for the game in plenty of time which is a direct contradiction to Greek time, and after waiting for trains to nowhere and buses to nowhereville, finally arrived midway throught the third quarter. In two stints, Kosta had eight easy points, some coming on great assists from fellow Greek American, Nick Kalathis, who played at Florida and who is a fine playmaker. His life is good because the Greek team can shoot lights out.

After the game, Kosta treated the Salt Lake kids--who he met last year while playing in Salt Lake and who were thrilled to learn he was playing during their stay in Greece--to a dinner in the Plaka. The wife and I stayed behind. When we said good-night, we parted with the customary game of male kissy face. I'm not so good at it, and neither is Kosta. And neither of us would be caught dead making like that in public back home. Him, because he works for that mans man, Sloan, and me because I'm simply shy.

I'm sure Sloan would gladly settle for a good Illinois farmer handshake. But this is for real--Kosta is a hard worker who can play, and it's pretty clear Sloan knows that. If Boozer keeps complaining his way out of town, Koufos is sure to get more playing time, and at only 20 years old, that can't be anything but good news for Jazz faithful.

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