Sunday, November 27, 2011

LAUNFD "For the City" Charity Basketball Game 11-27-11

I was horribly sick with the flu the day of this charity game. However I still went out to LA Southwest College with my friends James and Nick to check out the LAUNFD "For the City" Charity Basketball Game with the goal of getting Paul Pierce's Autograph on a basketball and Russell Westbrook on his signature Nike Hyperfuse shoes. The charity basketball event was one of the many basketball events last year that were available due to the NBA lockout. Baron Davis and Tina Thompson hosted the event and scheduled players to play and participate were, Paul Pierce, Russell Westbrook, Dorell Wright, Amir Johnson, Darren Collison, Jason Collins, Ryan Hollins, James Harden, Nick Young, Arron Afflalo, Jordan Hamilton, Trevor Ariza, Demar Derozan, Craig Smith, Jarron Collins, Matt Barnes, and Chase Budinger. During the day of the event we found out that the lockout was over which was bad news in that a lot of players were no shows including Pierce, Westbrook, Collison, and Budinger and the players didn't really try hard when playing. It felt more like a practice as opposed to a real game. It was one of the more disappointing charity basketball games i've been to especially since I was sick with the flu and both Pierce and Westbrook were no shows.

I intially tried to get players coming in. The few people I got coming in were Trevor Ariza and Aaron Afflalo. Aaron didn't even play in the game as scheduled but just hung out with family and friends probably due to the fact that he didn't want to get involved in a freak injury especially since the lockout was officially over. I ended up starting a new team basketball featuring all the great UCLA players who made the NBA so I had both Trevor and Aaron sign my basketball.

Security was tough since they didn't let graphers wait near the parking lot. It was much easier getting players to sign inside. However I didn't do much graphing afterwards since I was sick and also due to the fact that i've gotten the other players featured at this event before last summer at the Drew League and other summer pro am leagues like the Nike Real Run in Inglewood High School.

After the game ended I had Baron Davis sign his All Star Li Ning shoes for me.  This model was the same ones that Baron wore during the NBA Slam Dunk Contest when he threw the lob pass from inside the Kia to Blake Griffin for the dunk contest victory.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Derrick Rose GNC, Brandon Jennings Flag Football 11-5-11

Went out to Westfield Mall in Culver City to check out the meet and greet Derrick Rose event at the GNC store. From facebook I found out that Derrick was doing a photo op at the GNC store so I went out there to check it out hoping that GNC would let Derrick sign some items for his fans or get him while he is coming in or as he is leaving the mall. When I arrived at the mall about an hour before the meet and greet I noticed that there weren't that many fans out there i'd say less than 100 people. If it was an official signing the numbers would have been more i'd say about 500. I asked the guys in front of the line how early they arrived and they said 3am. The meet and greet didn't take place until about 11am. Hardcore for no guaranteed autograph. Although there weren't that many people Derrick's reps and GNC didn't allow for any autographs and only photo ops provided by the GNC store. Everyone in line were all pissed off especially the ones who camped out for hours. The staff and GNC didn't even all fans to bring their items into the store. I wasn't too angry since I didn't expect anything. I brought a pair of D Rose All Star Adidas shoes to get signed but left home without anything. A group of us tried to get him as he was leaving but he refused to sign for any of the fans. The only person who ended up with a D Rose autograph is my friend Mike who won a raffle from GNC for a signed basketball. I ended up with a crappy photo of me and D. Rose courtesy of GNC.

After the bad news I picked up a pair of Brandon Jennings' new shoe called the Bloodline made by Under Armour. He had a signing and shoe release the day before the D Rose event at Footlocker which was literally next to the GNC at the mall. My friend James who got me into getting shoes signed ended up getting Jennings during his shoe release the day before. The true reason why I was out in the LA area was to attend Brandon Jennings' Flag Football Game at Rowley Park in Gardena which I heard about through Brandon's twitter page. I figured since i'd be in the area i'd check out the D. Rose meet and greet and try to get lucky. Since the D Rose event was an epic fail I was hoping for better at the Jennings Flag Football event. Drove out to Rowley Park in Gardena, Brandon's old stomping grounds. Under Armour even remodeled the basketball court at Rowley in honor of Brandon.

After checking out the basketball court I went over to the football field in search of Brandon. Brandon ended up riding his custom bike to the park.

As soon as I saw Brandon I approached him and asked politely for his autograph. I showed him the Bloodlines and he was happy to see I picked up his new signature shoes telling me "Cool you bought the Bloodlines, I'll definitely sign these." Brandon was nice enough to take a photo with me as well.

The flag football event was low key with less than 40 people in the audience. Most of the people who came to watch were family and friends of Brandon's. Less than 5 graphers were there. The game was MCed by the famous Clipper Darrell.

I wish more athletes would have low key events like this.