I couldn’t really get many decent pictures of the event because well, NBA players seem to only come out to private parties at clubs or well organized appearances at certain stores. I don’t get it. I have seen Rockets players at different street festivals before shaking hands with fans and signing autographs – Chandler Parsons for instance was super cool when I met him at iFest last year.
The All-stars however were so paranoid about human contact with ordinary people that they not only chartered a bus to drive what amounts to across the street from the Hilton to the Toyota Center, but they had an army of hotel and City Police pushing people back in case they by chance got a “free” glance at the stars. Now I can understand only allowing rich River Oaks kids (that’s a wealthy part of Houston) whose dads are buddies with the owners and such to go inside the hotel, but it was odd to see them block out sidewalks with vans and keep people off public streets (which were already mostly closed off to traffic). NBA Cares my ass. But I digress.
Still, I managed to get a few shots paparazzi style just to fight the man There were many people in front of me so I had to raise the camera and hope I got something:
Here is Kevin Durant, my favorite player at the moment featuring a stylish and expensive LV Man-purse. To his credit, he at least acknowledged the crowd which was more than I can say for LaMarcus Aldridge who also had the exact same man-purse. Imagine his embarrassment when he finds out that Durant bought the same one! Yeah right…”bought”.
I snapped a few more pictures too but the angle was just bad and the hotel was really really trying to block out the view of the fans. Seriously guys, what the hell? If a 10 year old would have caught a glimpse of Kobe, would that have been the end of the world? Anyhoo, being a Paparazzo is hard work so I walked across the street on a sidewalk and broke out the 80-200 lens. I got Joakim Noah and a few other people but then the whole Paparazzo thing had run its course.
Two nights earlier I was going to see what was going on and only got a few snapshots here or there.