Yep, this is the one.
At 10:52 AM Pacific Time, I received an email from my supervisor at one of my internships that my big shot Hollywood producer boss man would not be able to attend tonight's Lakers game against the Minnesota Timberwolves and that his two tickets were mine if I wanted them. After a brief moment of deliberating that the academic thing to do would be going to my Government and Media class at 7:00, I tossed the metaphorical cap'n'gown in favor of my blue Evan Turner "The Villain" t-shirt (buy one!) and accepted.
My only non-Sixers NBA game previously was a Suns/Knicks affair a few years ago where Latrell Sprewell caught fire. Not literally, although in Phoenix, anything fire-related is possible. This was my first time in the Staples Center for a game and even though it was the lowly T-Wolves, I was pumped. Check out our SB Nation sites Canis Hoopus and Silver Screen And Roll if you actually want real game coverage.
A multitude of random, semi-abstract thoughts after the jump.
Honestly, the game was a surprisingly competitive one, down to the last few seconds. But enough about that. Mind wanderings:
Corey Brewer looks even skinnier in person.
- At the Staples Center, there are much fewer staples than I anticipated. I paperclip'd all my papers instead.
- Layup drills were sloppy. Crisp passes and college layups! It's high school!
- I'm blown away by Michael Beasley's appearance. What's less surprising is how he scavenged for chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream and nachos during each time out.
- Speaking of crazy Bease, there were a few times where he was guarding Ron Artest. If Dennis Rodman were refereeing, that would be enough to make Vince McMahon wet himself. That's crazy. Queensbridge though.
- Rick Fox was conspicuously absent and my ticket remained unsigned.
- There were more brass instruments than I had planned for. Should've brought my jazz ears.
- Theo Ratliff definitely remembered me.
- There was one play where Michael Beasley was draped all over Kobe Bryant and Kobe stuck it right in his eye, then, as if amazed at himself, he slapped Beasley on the ass on the way back upcourt. If Mike hadn't scored a fresh jar of roasted red pepper hummus, he probably would have been pissed at the gesture. Instead, he smiled at Kobe the next three possessions. I'm pretty confident he has a crush on him.
- Gold may be too bright for warm-up jerseys. I'll get back to you on that for sure on my next trip.
- Remember when David KAAAAAAAHN said Darko Milicic was the best passing big man he's ever seen? Well I saw some of that tonight. But he also is soft as can be with the ball around the rim, missing 4-5 bunnies because he tried to finesse it in. I chuckled at his expense more than once, especially at his visible frustration upon returning to the bench.
- Every time Maurice Ager and Shannon Brown take the court together, I smile.
- The mop boy on my side of the court (behind Minnesota's bench) wasn't up to snuff.
- Lazar Hayward is such a gentleman. He dove into the third row trying to save a ball out of bounds. He probably bought a kid popcorn as well, even if it was overpriced.
- Speaking of overpriced, why don't most venues carry chicken fingers? I was craving for some tenderage and came up empty on the walkaround. Went with BBQ Chicken Pizza. Good, but nothing to blog about. (oh wait)
- Parking was $25. Um. Hello, Los Angeles.
- Celebrity watch: George Lopez. Seriously.
- The "Come Late, Leave Early" theory about LA fans held true again tonight.
- I saw two Phillies hats, a Sixers shirt (mine), and a Montreal Expos hat. Hipsters unite, evidently.
Put it all together and the Staples Center is a cool place to watch a game -- I definitely felt all Lakery after the Kareem, Wilt, and Magic clips. Props to the Wolves o' Timber for hanging in this game. They actually fought their asses off on the boards and probably could've gone inside more to foul out Artest and Lamar Odom. Kevin Love, who I typically don't like, really impressed me tonight, fighting inside and out for rebounds and positioning on both sides of the court for a 20-20 game. Same goes for Sebastian Telfair -- he was all over the place and displayed a much better jump shot than earlier in his career. Also, since the Lakers won and held the opponent to under 100 points, everybody at the game gets to use their tickets at Jack in the Box for two free tacos!
Anyway, this had little to do with the Sixers. Carry on with your day.