Along with a funny item about Jazz coach Jerry Sloane nearly being kicked out of the arena by an Oklahoma City security guard, the Salt Lake Tribune’s Phil Miller reported the following after the Jazz played the Hornets this past Wednesday night ;

The PA announcer introduced some special guests sitting in the front row, a pastor and his wife from a New Orleans church that was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina. Then they introduced a taped message from the host of “Extreme Makeover,” who surprised them by saying the home-improvement TV show would be fixing up their church.

A nice, heartwarming moment. Then, a really odd one. The PA announcer said, “The surprises aren’t done yet,” and introduced Hornets owner George Shinn (above), who got up and talked about the commitment the Hornets have made to return to New Orleans, and how the people of Oklahoma have welcomed them there. He was clearly building up to a big donation to the pastor and his church. Sure enough, Shinn finally said, “… and so tonight, we’d like to present you with … ”

$10,000? $25,000? Free labor? Nope.

“… a basketball autographed by all the Hornets. God bless you both.”

Wow. ALL the Hornets? Even Bostjan Nachbar? Gosh, thanks.

And I’m wondering: Where do you display that in a church?

The Rocky Mountain News’ Ivan Moreno writes that not everyone in the Denver area was pleased with the Nuggets’ acquisition of Ruben Patterson. And not merely because they were Earl Watson fans, either.

“It’s disgusting. What does that say to victims?” asked Tamika Payne, executive director for the Colorado Coalition Against Sexual Assault. “(The victim’s) life is forever changed, yet he can go about his life as if nothing happened.”

Ruben Patterson, a forward acquired in a trade Thursday, must register as a sex offender when he arrives in Colorado.

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer reported on May 9, 2001, that Patterson had entered an “Alford plea” to third-degree attempted rape. He was accused of forcing his family’s nanny, who was 24 at the time, to perform a sexual act in 2000, while he was playing for the Seattle SuperSonics.

The plea meant that Patterson acknowledged there was enough evidence to convict him, but that he maintained his innocence.

“The coalition is very disappointed that violence against women is being accepted,” Payne said. “That’s what him joining the Nuggets states.”

Denver police spokesman Sonny Jackson said that upon arrival in Colorado, Patterson will have five business days to register as a sex offender in the county he will live in.