I'm still writing up my notes on the interviews but first, I thought I'd share some of the fun anecdotes from the day. Usually, as fans, we get access to the quotes and reports that the columnists and beat writers supply us with. What we don't see or experience are the interactions between the players, coaches, and how their personalities really come out.
Al Harrington and Rebounding
The first interview I got the chance to be a part of was with Al Harrington. I was standing there listening and I turn to my right and standing next to me is this tall imposing figure, belly pushing out his blue tucked in polo. He's got some gray hair and skin looks tanned. I expected it to be some member of the media, so I look again because there's this big guy standing next to me. I turn and say to him, "how's it goin' coach?" He responds with "hey how's it goin?" and proceeds to interrupt the Harrington interview with something along the lines of "How come you don't rebound?" where Al answered back "They already asked me that." It was cool to just be right there to see the charisma that Nellie has. He can just stand there unnoticed (except by me) with about 10-15 people listening to what Al has to say and then blurt something out of the blue and make the entire group laugh. Then just walk away and do his thing. Typical Nellie I guess.
This is how I felt
I also happened to be talking with GSoM friend, Pree, standing near the Andris Biedrins table. All of sudden I get this slight knock in the head and this Russian voice comes down, "Oh sorry about that". I turn and it's this giant walking by me to sit down at his seat. I guess at just 5'9", my head is where Andris Biedrins' shoulders and elbows are. Immediately Skeelo's "I Wish" song by plays in my head, "I wish I was a little bit taller, I wish I was a baller..."
The Hair, Don't Touch the Hair
One of the funnier moments I saw was during the Andris interview. He's sitting there talking with reporters, jersey on, hair perfectly gelled, he looks ready to play. Then Baron decides to sneak up behind him and run his fingers through his hair. Andris jumps and quickly fixes his hair laughing that he shouldn't mess with his hair. Honestly, I didn't know his hair moved. I thought it was permanently like that.
More stories after the jump...
New tattoo #1
Jax's Collection of Artwork Grows
You had to expect that Stephen Jackson was going to do something funny. Something like, I don't know, show off his new tattoos. For about 5 minutes he was lifting up his shirt showing the new one he got on his stomach and another one that went across his entire back. It's not often you see 20-25 people have a guy lift up his shirt to see what kind of tattoos he has. He then mentioned that since Matt Barnes is light skinned the tattoos show up better on him. Funny stuff. You can see the one on his stomach in the picture above: a gun pointing upwards held by two hands. The other tattoo on his back was hard to pick out, but it looked like a Jack playing card. Oh and the rumors that Hanes has their hands on Jax is false, he rocks Fruit of the Loom. So do I. Now I can say I have something in common with him. We'll save those for the next interview. Okay back to the tatt's, I should have told him and Big Shot Barnes about Twisted Illusions, I'm sure he could hook up Jax with some Warriors tattoos.
More Jax tattoos
Al Harrington Limping?
I was talking with Pree and he was laughing because Al Harrington was limping around the practice facility, but he was faking it. Pree was saying Al was wondering how many people would notice and ask him if he was allright. But no, Al is not really injured, he's 100%.
Baron Shooting Around
At the end of the day, Baron got out on the court and just started launching jumpers. Most dropped in, but some missed and went clanging around off the tables and chairs that were near the basket. Seemed like a good way to release from the 30 people surrounding his table after his interview. There must have been at least 10 digital voice recorders and about 8 microphones jammed in front of him. I felt claustrophobic standing towards the back, I can't imagine what it's like being the center of attention.