The games are obviously always fun, even if the media attention is so great that you don’t always get a courtside view. From Greg Monroe punking John Wall at the end of the Rising Stars Challenge to LeBron James sulking next to Craig Sager like he had just lost his balls and blown an NBA Finals Game, it’s cool to be close for those things. But the stuff you’ll remember happens off the court. Even the smallest things, like when Jameer Nelson’s entourage wouldn’t let me on the elevator with them (I guess I wasn’t cool enough to be included) become instant jokes.
The highlight of the whole weekend for me was being invited and playing ball at a special Jordan Brand event about 20 minutes away from the hotel. Media guys from just about every major national publication were there, and so were a few celebrities. The first run was ordinary – just a bunch of media members. Everyone super excited to be rocking JB’s newest gear. Everyone super hyped with the DJ bumping music in the background. With all of that added energy, the game was pretty sloppy. Warming up for the second run, DJ Clue came over to get some shots up before we checked ball. You want respect? Dude could’ve missed 10 shots in a row, and he would’ve kept getting the ball back.
Going up against Jadakiss in the actual game was interesting. I figured he’d be garbage. Instead, he scored four or five buckets, most of them double-pumping in the lane. At one point, he scored on me (even though I obviously fouled him) with an up-and-under at the rim, yelling the whole time in that unmistakable voice.
It was weird. I’m sitting there thinking to myself, Okay. Do I talk junk to this dude or not? He’s Jadakiss. It’s not every day you start trading jabs with a man who does it lyrical for a living. Other than the fact that they’re worldwide famous, the games took on a rather ordinary feel. Every pickup game must include two of the following three things: a) a couple of guys who don’t pass and call every foul, b) the fat guys who play lazily for the first five points and then start colliding with everyone who tries to run through the lane, and most importantly c) a major, 5-15 minute argument about the score. I think we had all three.
By the time All-Star Weekend was all over, I was rushing out of the hotel to meet a shuttle to make my flight. Extra gear I had been given over the weekend consisted of some Air Jordan 2012s, the adiZero Rose 2.5s, some All-Star edition adidas originals, an adidas bag, an NBA bag with a t-shirt stuff inside, adidas and Jordan socks, Jordan shorts, two All-Star jackets and four All-Star shirts from adidas and a reversible and t-shirt from Jordan. You always pack light on these trips. I came back feeling 20 pounds heavier and sweating three times as much from carrying enough luggage to clothe a family for a week.
What was your favorite part of the weekend?
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