Comedian and comedy theater founder Chris Trew is a New Orleans Pelicans superfan who has a single season ticket directly behind the visitors’ bench inside New Orleans’ Smoothie King Center, where he interacts with the opposing team’s players and coaches. He will be documenting some of his experiences here for us in a regular column called, Behind the Bench. You can follow his in-game interactions live on Twitter at@Trew2theGame. The Pelicans’ opponent in this column: the Los Angeles Clippers, who visited New Orleans on Thursday, December 31.
The Clippers come with truckloads of passion and excitement for the game of basketball. DeAndre Jordan’s warmup routine was a comedy show. Paul Pierce gives off a basketball aura I’ve never experienced before. Austin Rivers is…well, let’s talk about Doc Rivers’ boy.
— Austin Rivers tells jokes that his teammates do not enjoy listening to. He tries really hard to be one of the guys, but receives only reluctant pats on the back when he does something well. At one point during the game, Rivers blew a defensive assignment and was immediately pulled out of the game by Doc, then whined to an assistant about how he did what his dad said to do. The rest of the Clippers don’t appear to take Austin seriously. When asked, “Do you miss New Orleans?”, Austin replied, “Hell no. Hate it here. But I love the people. The people make this place great.” I heard him spout this rehearsed awkwardness a couple more times throughout the game. I hope Austin Rivers is in the league for 20 more years.
— Two fans on my left were fancied up in suits and kept asking Paul Pierce for a picture all game. Finally in the second half The Truth turned around and berated them for getting so dressed up. “Why suits? You ain’t at work” followed by “Relax, take it easy, this is the NBA.” Then finally, “You’re not owners. You don’t own the team, so why dress up?” Maybe the best way to get into Paul Pierce’s head is to overdress for an NBA game.