Behind The Bench: Experiencing The Baby Lakers’ Multiple Personalities Up Close

11.29.16 1 year ago

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Comedian Chris Trew is a Pelicans superfan who has a single season ticket directly behind the visitors’ bench inside New Orleans’ Smoothie King Center, where he chats with and listens to the opposing team. The Pelicans’ opponent in this column: the Los Angeles Lakers who visited the Smoothie King Center on November 13th and are visiting again tonight.

The “Baby” Lakers came into New Orleans to face off against an even younger Pelicans team (though to my knowledge nobody calls them the “Infant Pelicans”) in a Smoothie King Center that was missing its usual splash of purple and gold which I suppose we can call “the Kobe effect.” Regardless, was there still a significant Laker fan contingent in the building? Yes. Where they more excited to be at the Arena than Pelicans fans? In many cases, yeah. Did the Pelicans lose? Yes, and badly. Some observations:

— Metta World Peace didn’t suit up, but the veteran took some jumpers before the game started. A fan made his way near the bench and asked me what the protocol was for getting pictures taken with players. In my experience, it’s a total crapshoot — some guys can’t believe you had the audacity to come over and interrupt their routine, some guys seem to really revel in the opportunity to mingle with their fans. Some assistant coaches appear to really love swinging their authority around via shutting down photo ops while some want to chat with you about how much they love a particular player.

Metta World Peace took the picture with the fan and even invited him to walk on the court (not typical). After the photo, player development coach and former hype man Mark Madsen stuck around to explain to myself and Metta’s fan about how good of a guy World Peace is. It was sweet but a tad on the excessive side, though I’m happy Coach Madsen loves World Peace so much and it’s neat that he’s still waving towels on the bench, albeit metaphorically.

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