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J.E. Skeets

2008 Rookie Photo Shoot: Director's direction

Ball Don't Lie

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Every summer, the NBA marshals its rookies together for an epic publicity photo shoot, and every summer, the pictures get a little more awkward. (I mean, who can forget 2006's intimidating brick wall pose? Patrick O'Bryant has never looked so tough!)

This year, I was fortunate enough to join esteemed bloggers Henry Abbott and Dave McMenamin at the MSG Training Center in New York. (Not really. This is fake.) I decided to leave the scoops and interviews to the pros, and instead concentrated on the direction photographers were shouting at the rookies. Their words of encouragement, after the jump.

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"All right, Joey Dorsey is angry. Joey Dorsey is as angry as a hornet! *click* That's it, that's it. *click, click* Oh, you're angry, Joey Dorsey. Argh! You're so angry. *click* I just stole your rebound, Joey Dorsey. What are you going to do about it? *click, click* That's it, show us the guns. *click, click* C'mon, angrier, give your best Artest after a rough nap ..."

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"OK, OJ Mayo, I'm all aboard your mind train. Where we goin', boss? *click* Oh, we're getting philosophical, are we? *click, click* Nice, nice. We're dreaming big. *click* Where we headed, OJ? Talk to me, tell me with those eyes. *click* Are we going to the future? *click, click* Are we in the future, OJ? Do you own a small country? *click, click* Oh, nice, two small countries! *click* Nice ..."

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"Lopez, right here, right here. *click, click* That's it, that's it, we're in the clouds, boys. *click* We're in the clouds, but we're not impressed. *click, click* We're in the clouds, but who cares, right? Clouds are stupid. *click, click* Love that smirk, Brook, love it. So nonchalant. You've obviously flown before. *click, click* OK, now, Brook, rest your arm ever so gently on Varejao's shoulder there ..."

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"Ryan Anderson, lookin' at the camera on three ... *click* OK, we got it. Thanks. Yep. That's it."

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"I love it, DeAndre Jordan. So zany, so wild. Keep it going. *click, click* Ha, yes, you're a goof ball. Excellent, excellent. *click, click* Wait, DeAndre, hold that face. Tony, Tony, get this kid a second basketball. He's too wild for one ball. Catch, DeAndre. *click, click* Ha, yes, that was it. That's what we were missing! *click, click* We had to get you another ball to balance out the wackiness ..."

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"Here we go, Roy Hibbert. *click, click *Nice, stretch it out. *click* Whoa, you're a tall drink of water. *click, click* OK, c'mon, Roy, give me some Jackie Moon. Give me that love the camera sexy. *click* That's it, let's get sweaty, Roy. *click* Oh, we're talking rain forest sweaty now. Give me swamp sweaty. *click, click* Nice, the chicks are going to love this ..."

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"All right, Joe, look: I'm getting hungry and I could really go for a smoke. So give me a quick Harlem Globetrotter goth, and let's get the hell out of here. *click, click* That's it. Perfect. *click, click* You're a natural, kid.

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"I'm coming in nice and close for this one, CDR. No, no, you're OK, you're OK, stay there. *click, click* Nice, nice, I'm not even here. You don't even know I'm here. *click, click* It's just you and the basketball. *click* You and you're buddy there. *click* No, no, keep looking at it. *click, click* You're on an island, CDR. Make that baby your Wilson ..."

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"Well, well, look at this little firecracker. *click, click* Were you born in a Kodak lab? *click, click* Because that's really weird if you were. *click, click* Big smile for mom at home. *click, click* They didn't give you a real jersey and yet you're still taking the best pictures of the day! *click, click* OK, big finish, Russell. I want you to zip the ball at Kosta Koufos over there. Really try and take his head off ..."

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"Yes, that's it, Anthony. *click, click* Just like The Truman Show ..."

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