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News » Monson: Jazz should enjoy long and winding road

Monson: Jazz should enjoy long and winding road

Monson: Jazz should enjoy long and winding road The Jazz's European magical mystery tour through London and then Madrid is a lot about Basketball, a lot about crucial matters such as figuring out how many minutes Ronnie Price will get backing up Deron Williams versus how many Eric Maynor will get, and a little about everything else.

It's good.

But if I were planning their trip, there are certain sights and sites they would be required to see and visit.

(Come on, Jerry. Loosen up.)

First, a warning about London. Few cities can make regular folks, even millionaire NBA players, feel smaller than The Big Smoke. Its history goes back further even than the days of George Mikan and Oscar Robertson. Ever heard of Billy Shakespeare? He was the Jordan of his time. This is his home court.

Go to a place like Buckingham Palace, where commoners are fenced off from places only the privileged are allowed, and an American power forward can feel a little hemmed in.

1. Big Ben. Got to go see the old clock tower, probably the city's most famous landmark, which has been telling time and ringing bells for longer than Sloan's been coaching and dropping F-bombs. The first tower was built in 1288, and replaced with the current one when the Palace of Westminster was destroyed by fire in the 1830s. A fellow by the name of Charles Barry -- not Barkley -- designed the new digs. And the original bell was first cast at a place called, appropriately enough, Stockton. Unlike John, though, that bell cracked before it was ever fully installed, and a replacement was cast, which also cracked.

Side sports note: Some speculate the name "Big Ben" came from a heavyweight boxer of the day, Benjamin Caunt.

2. Visit 3 Abbey Road, or failing that, 3 Savile Row. Abbey Road Studios is where the Beatles recorded many of their songs and the zebra crossing in front of the studios was featured on the Abbey Road album cover, with John, Ringo, Paul, and George famously walking across the street. McCartney had a home nearby, where smitten fans in the '60s used to sleep outside, hoping to get a glimpse of him.

Savile Row is where the old Apple record company was located and it was on the roof of that building where the Beatles staged in 1969 their last live performance, a gig featured in the film "Let It Be."

3. Take a ride on the London Eye , the biggest ferris wheel in the world.

4. Buckingham Palace . Check out the changing of the guard, the stoic fellas in the red coats and hats that look similar to Marge Simpson's hairdo. The changing goes on at regular intervals, not unlike the Jazz's own changing of the guard, still trying to replace Jeff Hornacek at the 2.

5. Tower of London and the Tower Bridge. The bridge speaks for itself, the tower is a complex structure filled with history, including the imprisonment and/or execution and/or murder of notables such as Anne and Jane Boleyn, Sir Thomas More, Sir Walter Raleigh, Edward V, Henry VI, and Rudolf Hess. The place also has been the residence of royalty, a chamber of torture, and a safe house for ancient bling-bling that dwarfs D-Will's diamond earrings, namely, the Crown Jewels.

Honorable mentions: Harrod's, Stonehenge, Trafalgar Square, Westminster Abbey, the White Cliffs at Dover.


In Madrid ...

1. See the bullfights at La Plaza de Las Ventas. Might be the wrong time of year, as the grandest fights take place in May, but this is the Madison Square Garden, the Lambeau Field, the Yankee Stadium of Spanish bullfighting. Ole. Ole. Ole. Just like Carlos Boozer's defense.

2. Visit the Prado Museum . One of the world's finest collections of European art, although a bit highfalutin for Kyle Korver's or C.J. Miles' tastes.

3. Tour the Cathedral de Santa Maria la Real de la Almudena. And you thought EnergySolutions Arena was unwieldy. An awesome church, a place for Ronnie Brewer to throw up a few prayers.

4. Check out the Palacio Real. The largest royal palace in Europe, with nearly 3,000 rooms. Bigger, even, than Karl Malone's old place.

5. (Tie) Visit the Santiago Bernabeu soccer stadium; Eat at the Botin restaurant.

El Bernabeu, the 62-year-old home of Real Madrid, is one of the purest futbol venues on the planet.

The Botin is believed to be the oldest restaurant in the world. Goya worked there before he became a painter, and Hemingway was a regular during his time in Spain and said it was one of his favorite eateries. Rumor has it that Kevin O'Connor wined and dined Raul Lopez there before drafting him ahead of Tony Parker in 2001. A bad case of indigestion followed.

GORDON MONSON hosts the "Monson and Graham Show" weekdays from 2-6 p.m. on 1280 AM The Zone. He can be reached at . Alt Heads:

Jazz should enjoy long and winding road

Author: Fox Sports
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Added: October 5, 2009


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