Tag Archives: Jordan-Brand

Observations from behind the scenes at Jordan-Brand game

The Jordan-Brand All Star affair wrapped up this past weekend with the East holding on to take a 113-109 victory.  BDN was front and center during the event and here are some observations from the game and behind the scenes at the event.

-Just last [private] week WRAL ran a Rivers comment which basically said he had no hard feelings towards UNC and that he almost went there.  From my understanding, they took just that clip from a 12 minute interview and ran it.  Rivers is not aware of how "some" of the UNC fan base acts, nor that local media has a distinct slant there way, but he will learn.  A chorus of boo's welcomed him when introduced as was Gbinije.  Gbinije smiled and looked down at the court, while Rivers seemed surprised at first and then cracked a smile.  In fairness, there were a whole lot of Kentucky fans there as well and they certainly do not like Duke.  After the game, Rivers said there are more UNC fans and that was okay but he was starting to get an idea that while he may like them okay and not yet be into the rivalry, many of their fans will hate on you.  Rivers was clowning with McAdoo as he was interviewed and the two had a friendship.   FWIW, McAdoo is a class act and a good kid, hard to dislike if you will.  Rivers also hung around Myck Kabongo a lot.

-A Rakeem Christmas dunk strted the game off and for a quarter Rivers looked like the man.  But you could almost see the descent on some of his teammates faces who wanted their points.  He was open on the wings several times and didn;t get the rock and that eventually made him force some shots.  Some fan was killing him, yelling "pass the ball," the whole first half.  Michael Gbinije ended up forcing some shots as well and was a fish out of water in the sense that he is a team player.  He still showed a nice soft mid range and three point touch.  It is also clear that Brad Beal doesn't seem to like Rivers and he asked the west coach to let him guard him from the start.  As you know, Rivers went off early, but Beal answered only most of his points came on wide open dunks off the break.

-I had a VIP seat, front row, under the basket near the west bench.  Several rap stars sat to my northeast and Oak Hill Coach Steve Smith was one seat over.  Several ex players came by to talk to him including Stephen Jackson.  Jackson and a temmate I didn't recognize sat to my right.  Concessions people started bringing him food left and right or asking if he needed anything.  He joked that he was looking for a call from Michael Jordan about eating junk food.  When a Jordan video came on, you could hear some whispers which were jokes.  I did see Jordan after the game in the corridor with a girlfriend half his age in tow.  Several people quipped that the Bobcat's were not a smooth operation but I have no comment on that, just passing on what I overheard.

-Marshall Plumlee was completely gunned out.  A "gun" is an old school word for a player who jacks up shots and raely passes.  I waited like 17 minutes for Plumlee to come out of the locker room, returned and still saw media waiting and just did not have time to get an interview with him.  Plumlee seemed miffed when his coach put Jackson Simmons in ahead of him in the second half.  He was not the only one.  Jackson did battle his way to 8 rebounds though but he will never be a major factor at UNC.

-Kids were all over the players, especially Rivers after the game as you may have seen in the raw videos we put up.  Rivers gladly signed for fans and interacted with them.

-John Wall came over to speak with Jackson and gave me a nod.  And Mr. Clifton shadowed his every move.  It has become clear that a certain group is taking care of Kentucky, Louisville and Baylor.  Gee, I wonder is those handshakes we hear about happen.

-Kentucky fans there seemed like a cross between passionate and crazy.  Seriously, there were a lot of them and for good reason.  Michael Gilchrist and Anthony Davis are going to be scary good from day one.  Gilchrist seemed to be adjusting while Davis seemed to be realizing how hard he is to defend.

-While McAdoo won the MVP for the East, his teammate PJ Hairston seemed lost and did not have a great game.  Hairtson is accustomed to getting a lot of shots and will take them.  It will be interesting to see how Williams gets kids minutes with everybody returning.  The pressure started when Barnes said he was coming back.

-DJ Augustine was also sitting on near me and he liked Myck Kabongo's game.  Interestingly, once he made a comment on how he is quick and keeps his team together, the East had lost a big lead and were arguing with each other.

-A guy tapped me on the back and wanted my autograph, saying you are a scout right.  I smiled looked at Jackson and kindly said you don't want me to mess up that hat with all the autographs.  Actually, I was just taking a cue from Harrison Barnes and playing rock star, LOL.

-A Kyle Singler game alum video hit the screen up top and you guessed it, boo birds were at it again.  Man, Charlotte is a UNC town, always has been and always will be.  I wonder how many kids got an ear full from MJ who was pretty much the reason Barnes went to UNC.  One Duke alumni, Jay Bilas, sporting reading glasses, got away with no heckles.  Looks like his objectivity is working.  Ever wonder why Duke alum don't spew the cracks UNC ones do?

-Overall this is a good event and for entertainment only.  After worries about a small crowd, the place had more than a few fans. [/private]