Behind the scenes at All-Star weekend
Once inside? Well, you win this round, Jerry. This place is beautiful and overwhelmingly large. And the fact that it's all enclosed makes it feel even larger than, say, The Big House (relax, Michigan fans, I know it's not actually larger).
One other thing: Jerry's giant TV (which is indeed humungous and an amazing picture quality) will be put to good use. Looking down from Section 205, you'd think you were in the nosebleeds. But of course, you've got three levels of sections above you. Looking out on the court from here, you'll be hard-pressed to tell David Lee from Canadian rocker Geddy Lee (though he probably won't be in attendance... unless Steve Nash brought him along).
Not surprisingly, all of tonight's participants -- Robinson,
A very unscientific survey for tonight's dunk contest:
The players seem to hate it just as much. You spend your time elbowing for space to try to milk out one interesting quote from a guy, and it often results in exchanges like this one with Gerald Wallace, when asked whether his tweaked hammy will affect him tonight in the dunk contest:
Admittedly, it wasn't the most fascinating line of questioning , but yeesh ...
I'm not sure what was going on, something with
Anyway, that was the last we saw of Paul Pierce. The moral of the story: If you want any respect at media day, get a supporting role in a
(And sorry to refer to you by the name of a character from a three-year-old movie,
I'm not sure whose brainchild this is, but it's pure genius -- fun to do and even more fun to watch. Basically, there are two giant inflatable lanes about 20 feet long. The goal is to make it as far down the lane as you can and toss a basketball pillow into a hoop. But the kids are strapped into bungee cords while they do it. Some kids took the cautious route and slowly stretched the cord, making it a pretty easy shot. But most kids went with an all-out sprint combined with a desperate heave as they're pulled off their feet and yanked back. The YouTube upside is definitely high (and it's likely the biggest reason everyone has to sign a medical waiver before participating in any part of FanFest).
Security at the players' hotel is intense. Everyone involved with security has been polite, but there's just so many of them. My cab had to go through two check points, then I had to go through three more once inside the hotel. My cabby (and plenty of other folks around here) think it's ridiculous, but it really isn't. I remember two years ago attending a Dwyane Wade event at the All-Star Jam Session where he was going through fitness drills with kids. A very large, very loud crowd of women gathered around. With his back to said crowd, Wade started a stretching routine by bending at the waste to touch his toes and... well, think The Beatles on
Anyway, things went fine once inside. Roy's the cover athlete for
I also didn't mind waiting because Roy's an excellent interview. I'm not going to claim "he's a great guy" since I've talked to him for a total of one hour now, but he sure seems to be. He's one of the guys in the league who will actually listen and make eye contact when you ask him a question and then give you a thoughtful answer. He's also got a great courtesy laugh for when you make an attempt at humor, a strong weapon to break out when dealing with the media.