With the NBA still in its offseason and Major League Baseball approaching the playoffs (GO YANKEES!), it was only right that part of Reebok’s Family Reunion, held at their Boston headquarters a couple days ago, was an NBA vs. Media softball game, featuring Allen Iverson, Baron Davis, Gerald Green, Shaun Livingston and Marvin Williams
And yours truly held down right field for Team Pen-and-Pad like a blind, deaf, armless, legless Vlad Guerrero. Don’t get me wrong, I am a good athlete. Basketball is my passion and I was a decent football player in high school (QB and safety) … but I have NEVER played baseball or softball in my life. And I think it’s safe to say most of my teammates were in the same boat as me.
But with the exception of Gerald Green, it was the exact opposite for most of the NBA guys. Gerald and I were kind of feeling the same way about the event. Before the game started, he and I were chopping it up and he said he had no clue what he’s doing on the diamond and would just have to rely on his athleticism. And while he’s warming up, G-Money’s athleticism helped him blast one about 300 feet.
It was good to see Shaun Livingston out there. After I saw the big brace and sleeve he had on his knee I was wondering if he would play at all. I mean, it wasn’t that long ago that he suffered that horrific injury while playing against the Bobcats. Not only did Shaun play, every time he hit one it went into the outfield. He doesn’t have complete range of motion in his knee yet, so he had someone pinch-running for him. Defensively, Livingston got sneaky and successfully got one of my teammates out twice with the hidden ball trick.
Allen Iverson was definitely the best all-around player on the NBA squad. If you didn’t know, his softball game is top-notch. He is great at bat, but his biggest strength obviously is his speed on the bases and in the field. A.I. looked like Juan Pierre rounding those bases, and on defense The Answer got his Derek Jeter on, scooping up ground balls and making great plays at shortstop.
Baron Davis handled the pitching duties for the NBA. He wasn’t bad. He struck me out once, but I also had a base hit and was walked twice by BD.
Still, at the end of the 1st inning, the media was down 9-0. Team NBA continued to give us the service into the 5th inning (we only played 7). The score ballooned into a 15-1 lead for the pros. Then we made our run; I pinch-ran twice and scored two runs. Rise Magazine’s Jay Corbin led the comeback with 4 RBIs. Our comeback was stopped by great pitching by one of the RBK staff. I didn’t get her name, but it was clear that she played softball before, probably in college. She came in and closed the game with two strikeouts and a forced pop fly out.
Overall, the day was great. After the softball game, I got to watch A.I. run a little pickup hoop in the RBK gym. And one of the artists on Baron’s record label, a dude named Ya Boy, blessed us with a freestyle. It was a lot of fun playing with those guys and interacting with them. Baron Davis and Allen Iverson talk a lot of s**t on the field, but I guess you can do that when you win 18-6. Shout-out to the players and the whole RBK family, especially Mandy Murphy and Justin Polk. Thanks for the hospitality!