Some scenes from the start of all-star weekend
The Stuff You See And Hear Around These Things, Vol. 1,292,375:
Not sure of this a compliment or whether it was meant for me but …
Odd thing early Friday morning.
I’m in the lobby with a handful of NBA office types chatting and catching up and who comes wandering but Dennis Rodman.
Now, he’s got the lip ring and a nose ring, a couple of humongous earrings and he’s wearing sweats and what looked all the world like a pink mesh tank top. He’s got a comely young lass on his arm and, yes, it’s quite a sight.
He stops to say hi to a couple of the NBA folks he knows and as he sashays away, he looks over – I think at me – and says,
“That guy’s cute. And I’m not even gay.”
(Not that there’s anything wrong with that).
Yes, every now and then, odd things occur.
Okay, I dare anyone who watched the Rising Stars thingy Saturday night – you know, the rookies and sophomore “game” – to disagree with my assessment that it’s the most un-fun thing of the weekend.
So, here’s how the Friday things work here at these all-star things.
Early in the afternoon is the media availability with the players and it is a circus beyond belief. For 45 minutes for each team, the players are trotted out, put up behind mics on podiums and anyone with a credential can join a scrum and ask anything they want.
(If you want to know how silly it can get, the one year a guy showed up with a trumpet or a kazoo or something ridiculous like that – I’ve tried to block it entirely out of my mind -- and asked all the players to play a tune gives you an idea of who can get a credential to this thing.)
Anyway, there’s always one guy who attracts the biggest mob and, not surprisingly, this year it was Dwight Howard. Had to be 50 people hanging around his little table 30 minutes before he arrived; to think you could get a question in or heard was folly.
The players know what’s coming – Carmelo Anthony was last year’s Flavour of the Month and he thanked Dwight for making it easy on him when he walked past him this year – and Howard was boring and impossible to bait and the entire thing was pretty much an exercise in futility.
Oh, and the fun question yesterday was, of course, about Linsanity and a handful of players were asked which teammate’s couch they would want to sleep on if they had to sleep a teammate’s couch, ala Lin.
Fun times, indeed.
You gotta give Chris Bosh credit.
You know how sometimes reporters like to ask athletes where they rank themselves compared to others in their sport? Like the guy who got Eli Manning to say he was among the top quarterbacks in the NFL, a quote met with some early-season ridicule last fall?
Well, Bosh was asked where he’d rank himself among the top power forwards in the NBA today and he gave perhaps the most insightful – and truthful – answer I’ve heard.
I don’t think the guy asking the question was trying to bait him or anything so he could mock Bosh’s assessment of his own abilities but Chris’s answer was bang on.
“Those are things I don’t really concern myself with because I feel I am the best and everybody else does, too. I think that’s something that’s very important, you have to have that supreme confidence in yourself.”
Spent a fair chunk of time around the Steve Nash table during the west availability (you’ll see the full results here later and in the paper Sunday) and, because it’s omnipresent, like air, Linsanity was a topic.
All had to do with whether Nash saw similarities between he and Jeremy Lin (and that’s the biggest stretch in the history of comparisons given the relative abilities of the two men) because, well, because that’s what we do.
Nash, as bright and insightful as usual, plays along and is laudatory of the youngsters while pointing out he can do some things Lin can’t (shooting came quickly to mind) and that Lin can probably do some things Nash can’t (dunking came quickly to mind). It was maybe the third time he was asked a variation of the same question that we got the money quote; and the laughs.
“You can also make similarities for a lot of players. If you wanted to, you could find similarities between me and Blake Griffin.”
Two Chuckling Grunts
“Huh? What would they be?”
“Muscle mass. Jumping ability.”
Okay, just a few quick hits; I believe now it’s brunch by the pool, a Nash story and some mail. If you want to get in on the fun, you know where I am.