On Thursday, we noted that Los Angeles Lakers coach Mike Brown called on fashionable NBA superfan Jimmy Goldstein to ask a question during his Game 3 postgame press conference. Goldstein declined, of course, because it's not his job. It was notable, though, because a man who we don't usually hear from was given a chance to speak. He didn't, but the opportunity made many of us wonder what he might have asked.
However, it turns out that we were about to learn a whole lot about Goldstein even without a press conference appearance. On GQ.com, Myles Brown spoke with Goldstein about his fandom, his connections around the league, and just how he ends up attending so many big games. Here are a few highlights:
I fly coach. It's bad enough that I spend a couple thousand dollars a night on playoff tickets by trying to get the best available, so I usually try to save on travel expenses as much as I can. Sometimes people come up to me and say, 'Are you a rock star?' or that kind of thing. More often people will come up to me and recognize me from the games and say 'What game are you going to tonight?" [...]
I bring dates to games, but not always. I'd say maybe fifty percent of the time this year, previous years. Probably not as high. I have several girls that I take regularly that all love the game and sometimes they request a certain nights. More often, I just ask them. They're all models. [...]
I have a terrific relationship with the entire Spurs organization. Peter Holt on down to everyone who works for the team to the players to the people in San Antonio. I've been going there for many years. In San Antonio, they set up a special seat for me whenever I go to the games there that doesn't exist the rest of the season. [...]
Every now and then Kobe surprises me by walking up to me shaking hands and giving me a nice smile. But for the most part, he ignores me. He doesn't look at me and even went to the extent of telling Pau Gasol not to say hello to me. He's never explained why.
It's a must-read article. There's much more there, including stories about Metta World Peace inviting Goldstein into the Lakers' private dining room before a game and his fame in the fashion world. The best part of all might be that this is just the first entry — there's more to come over the next few weeks.
What's especially notable about Goldstein's comments is that, if you take away the models and great seats and friendships with insanely rich people, he actually seems like a pretty standard basketball fan. He cares about the games and quality of play, and the extras are always secondary to what happens on the court.
It might not seem that way at first glance, but he has more in common with diehard basketball fans than most of the people in the first few rows at these playoff games.