September 30, 2008
(KD NOTE: From time to time here at BDL, we're going to try to sell you stuff, and you're just going to have to take it. We'll think you'll like this guest post by Sly Folarin, though, what with your up up down down left right left right B A-lifestyle.)
For NBA 2K Sports, its covers have been graced in the past by the likes of Shaquille O'Neal, Allen Iverson and Chris Paul, all former rookie of the year winners. This year's cover boy Kevin Garnett fits right in some other way.
A glance at some of his credentials and you notice he is a former NBA MVP, current NBA defensive player of the year and oh by the way, he has that Michael Strahan 10-table ring, well maybe not today. They have not been presented with the bling yet.
Among the celebrities in attendance for this event, 76ers Andre Iguodala, who mentions he wants to be on the cover next year. "That's what we're working on. I've been telling them, I can play. I'm good on the game and we taking the Sixers to another level, get Philly back on the map, so hopefully I can get on the cover."
Iguodala won an unofficial video game challenge beating Boston Celtics guard Rajon Rondo, also in attendance. Rookies Brook Lopez of New Jersey Nets and New York Knicks Danilo Gallinari were present along with late arrivals from the Knicks; Quentin Richardson, Nate Robinson and Patrick Ewing Jr.
That a photographer, for a moment, could not spot KG was more hilarious than concerning. Dude was the tallest man in the room, dressed in his usual pregame attire; shirt and tie with a cardigan over it.
The following dialogue (almost verbatim) ensued between me and a photographer.
Photographer: Who this big guy?
Me: That's Andre Iguodala.
Me: He plays for the Philadelphia 76ers.
Photographer: OK, whenever anyone above 6 feet walks in, I'm asking you.
Me: (Laughs) OK.
Not long after
Photographer: Someone just walked in, look he is tall.
Writer: That's Kevin Garnett.
The point is KG was not recognized immediately. He was not the only figure though. A certain Olympic sprinter from Jamaica was in the house; Usain Bolt. Bolt stood in the VIP and three other dudes debated if he was an NBA player or not.
"I'm a basketball fan and I've watched KG since he'd been with (Minnesota) Timberwolves, since he came into the NBA," Bolt said. "Every match I could get to watch, I made sure I saw it. I've been watching him for a while. He went to the Celtics and finally got his ring and he really deserves it, because he played his heart out when he was with Timberwolves.
"I missed one game during the playoffs, because I wasn't in the country, and they didn't show it where I was. I was in another Caribbean country and I could not see it on TV. I called to find out the scores though. I watched two games here in the US and the final game I watched in Jamaica."
Bolt, an added bonus, was not on the list of celebrities listed to attend the event Thursday. The fact that people did not recognize him Bolt demonstrates that he is not as popular with mainstream media in America. I thought NBA players and guys who break world records slowing down at the finish line would be easily identified. Guess not.
As for video-game playing kills, Rondo defeated Garnett in their duel. The party DJ asked if we could redo the cover of the video game for Rondo, Garnett chuckled and said "no wonder I lost, I was playing with the Lakers."