Highlights from the just-wrapped-up NBA All-Star Media Day:
* LeBron was asked who’s better between him and Kobe: “Kobe. No question,” LeBron said very seriously. Pressed to elaborate, ‘Bron kept saying that “Nobody is better than Kobe.”
* The crowd surrounding Kobe was by far the largest of the day, ahead of Yao Ming and Steve Nash. Another real popular guy was Allen Iverson. The throng of reporters and photographers surrounding Kobe’s table was huge before Mamba even got there. It was a good 20 minutes into the Western Conference’s 45-minute media session that I was even able to get close enough to see Kobe’s face. Lots of questions about the Gasol trade, his pinky finger, the Shaq trade and the Kidd trade.
* The recent trades were a hot topic. Everyone wanted the All-Star’s opinions on Shaq, Gasol and Kidd. And seeing as Jason Kidd was the only one of those guys actually in the building, his entire media session focused on the Mavs trade, which looks to be very close to dead.
* Dirk walked into the room and was immediately approached by a handful of young ladies who looked more like groupies than reporters. On his way out, someone from a German newspaper asked Dirk to pose for photos while holding their paper. A slightly uncomfortable Dirk obliged.
* As the Eastern Conference session wrapped up, D-Wade was on his way out of the room but stopped in front of LeBron’s table to pound his fist on the table and yell something about LeBron looking at his lemonade. Inside joke that none of us surrounding LeBron understood. As Wade walked away laughing, LeBron shouted, “Can I be in your Fave Five?”
* As I predicted, David West had the smallest group of people around him. Byron Scott had a bigger group.
* Prior to the All-Stars, the All-Star Saturday Night participants had their Media Day. The biggest crowds were assembled around Peja, Jamario Moon and David Robinson (who’s doing the Shooting Stars competition).
* B.J. Armstrong (Shooting Stars) was there, but was so embroiled in a deep conversation with Sam Smith of the Chicago Tribune that no one could steal his attention.
* Walking across the street from my hotel to the Sheraton, where they held Media Day, I ran into Rudy Gay, Daniel Gibson and one of the Graham brothers. I also saw a guy pushing a grocery cart full of Grey Goose bottles. In the Sheraton lobby I saw David Thompson, Bill Laimbeer, Rod Thorn and Lenny Wilkens.
We’ll have photos and more stuff on the site later on…