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MavsFanFinley
10-26-2004, 11:15 AM
Link (http://www.charlotte.com/mld/charlotte/sports/10015490.htm?1c)

Star-struck Bobcats
Players recall 1st celebrity encounters

Emeka Okafor

(on seeing wrestling star Hulk Hogan): "I was 5 or 6 and it was the old Houston Summit (arena). I was a huge wrestling fan. It was the biggest thing ever for me. I wore my little commando cap and had a Fresh haircut."

Tamar Slay

"In (his home state of West Virginia) you don't meet a lot of celebrities, so I guess it was when I was in college. I went to a camp out in Las Vegas. Gary Payton was out there and he was the first NBA person I met. It was amazing! You watch someone on TV every day, and then you meet him in person. I was just in awe, staring. I introduced myself and he was very nice about it."

Steve Smith

"Meeting (former San Antonio Spurs star) George Gervin. He's a guy who everybody idolizes in (hometown) Detroit. He epitomizes Detroit basketball. He's an icon for guys my age and the guy I patterned my game on -- him and (Magic Johnson). He was putting on a clinic and I think I was 11 or 12."I had met him before, but not in a way where we got a chance to talk. He said a few words to me when I was 12. He didn't know me; I was nobody at 11 or 12. I was so happy, all smiles."

Jahidi White

"It was at Georgetown, when Patrick (Ewing), Dikembe (Mutombo) and Alonzo (Mourning) would come back to McDonough Gym in the summertime. I couldn't really believe that was them and they were here. That was the first time I was star-struck. That same day I was practicing with them, playing against them one-on-one. I couldn't believe it. It was odd, it was fun, it was competitive. It was real cool."

Brevin Knight

"It was (former Georgetown coach) John Thompson. My dad was coaching with Seton Hall University and I went on a road trip with them down to Georgetown. I was on the sideline right before the game and got a chance to walk up and shake his hand and meet him. For me, that was a first -- he was the biggest man I'd ever met."Some of the players on that team might have been the same size, but (based on) his persona, his aura, who he was at the time, I'll never forget that day. I remember turning to my dad and saying how big his hands were. I was 5, 6, maybe years old at the time."

Jason Hart

"When I met Magic Johnson, and I was 22 years old. I played at his all-star game and went to his house. I got to meet him one-on-one. It was such an honor, having grown up my whole life watching him (in Los Angeles).

"I wasn't really nervous, but I was in awe, just staring. It had a profound effect on my life. I just told him, `Thank you for allowing me to play in your all-star game.' That was it."

Melvin Ely

"It was kind of funny. My (older) brother used to play for the University of Wisconsin and he played with (now Dallas Maverick) Michael Finley. Everybody knew he was going to the league. I came up for a game, and my brother introduced me to him. For the first 10 minutes, I didn't do anything but stare at him. Maybe I was 13 or 14."Now I see him all the time -- we're both Chicago guys -- and I'm so happy he doesn't remember, when I first met him, how struck I was. After a couple of days of him picking on me, us shooting, playing games, I finally loosened up. But I'm so happy he doesn't remember."

Coach Bernie Bickerstaff

"Probably when I came out of college (coaching) at 29 and started as an NBA assistant. I was coaching (Wes) Unseld, (Elvin) Hayes and Archie Clark -- for a guy 29 years old, coaching guys just as old or older, that might have been the time.

"These were guys you looked up to -- great players all around you. K.C. (Jones, the Bullets' coach) paved the way by giving me responsibility, and they had to respect that. After that, you're on your own, but that was a heck of a situation."

#41
10-26-2004, 12:36 PM
"I was a huge wrestling fan. It was the biggest thing ever for me. I wore my little commando cap and had a Fresh haircut." That's really ridiculous...

Fidel
10-26-2004, 06:53 PM
Nice find MFF. I like bits like this.

But... how did you find it? Daily Michael Finley google search routine? i/expressions/face-icon-small-wink.gifi/expressions/face-icon-small-tongue.gif

EricaLubarsky
10-26-2004, 06:57 PM
Originally posted by: Fidel
Nice find MFF. I like bits like this.

But... how did you find it? Daily Michael Finley google search routine? i/expressions/face-icon-small-wink.gifi/expressions/face-icon-small-tongue.gif

She's investigating some new options of fanhood in case the oh-five Mavs experiment doesnt work out. i/expressions/face-icon-small-wink.gif

MavsFanFinley
10-26-2004, 08:36 PM
Google? Are you accusing me of using Google?

Guilty. i/expressions/face-icon-small-blush.gif