Ballin in Beantown
Just got back from seeing LeBron James play in the Reebok Summer League in Boston. My co-workers Jason and Keith, and their respective posses headed up to Beantown yesterday at 8am to see the Wizards-Bucks and Cavs-Hawks games at the UMass Boston campus. The gym seated 2,500 people, and going to the game reminded me of when my boys and I used to travel all over the Greater Toronto Area to see good high-school basketball games featuring players like Jamaal Magloire and Robert Traylor.
The first game was forgettable. Before the Cavs (read: LeBron) entered the gym to play the second game, there was a serious buzz in the air. Everybody was on their feet, and the crowd was pressed tight along the path from the locker room to the court. When LeBron entered the gym, the place exploded in cheers, as it did when he was introduced as a starter.
LeBron did not play like a man who has a 90-million dollar deal with Nike, but he did drop some sick dimes (read: make some very good passes). It was obvious that he has a very good feel for the game, is unselfish, and already has an NBA player's body. He could not hit a jumpshot, however.
While waiting for the bus back to the T (read: subway), someone in my group pointed out that we were standing a few feet away from Rudy Tomjanovich, the former coach of the Houston Rockets, who was diagnosed with bladder cancer this past season. Keith and I ended up sitting directly across from him on the bus. He seemed like a very soft-spoken, polite guy, and when asked he gave positive opinions of both Yao and LeBron.
My plan was to hang out there for a bit, then head across the street to Fenway Park to catch the Jays-Red Sox game with Geneve, but she could not make it on time. When she showed up, we all ended up moving around the corner to eat dinner on the patio at the Tiki Room. Our spot provided a fantastic location for people watching. I had never hung out on Lansdowne--it's kind of the Boston club district--so the hoochies and big ol' neckless Boston guys were out in full effect.
Jason, Keith, and their homies took off to come back to the CT at about the same time that Chad and Lucy showed up to ensure that Geneve and I had no chance to sober up. Hanging out with them was a great time, as usual.
The line of the night had to go to Chad. Lucy was using a battery-powered pump to blow up the air mattress that Geneve and I were to sleep on, and she kept starting and stopping the pump to try and get it as full as possible, which resulted in Chad saying something like, "You'd better be careful; you're starting to act like a retarded Prometheus."
Ok, it was funny in my sleep-deprived and alcohol-addled state.
After a good breakfast at the Angora Cafe, and some compliments from Chad and Lucy ("Your greatest virtue is that you're such low-maintenance house guests. Your second greatest is that you're fun to hang out with") Geneve headed back to her folks place in Lexington, and I headed to work in CT. Unfortunately, I could not spare time to take up the offer of the sign on the way to the Mass Pike, which proclaimed "Shop at the best address in town--Yard Sale at 69 Hooker St!"