With cameras rolling and a room full of reporters, I’m under no delusion that players act completely natural in that setting. But you do occasionally catch funny exchanges. Here were a few from Pistons Media Day:
• Tayshaun Prince clownin’ reporters: As you can see by the videos I posted yesterday, let’s just say the scrums around players appeared to be a bit uncomfortable for the players. They consisted of a group of 20-30 reporters/radio personalities/TV people/photographers jockeying for space, all progressively getting more and more in the personal space of their subject. As Prince was about to take his turn in the fray, he noticed that he couldn’t even get through to take his spot facing the media. “Dang, who we interviewing?” Prince said from behind the group. “Y’all are already crowding and I’m not even back there yet.”
• Jason Maxiell‘s Swedish accent: We already know from last year’s appearance by Maxiell at the NBA Rookie Game sporting a Viking helmet that he and Jonas Jerebko seem pretty close. Yesterday, when Jerebko was doing his media session, Maxiell was hiding around the corner, every few minutes screaming out “YOWN-as YOUR-ebko” in a horrible Swedish accent as Jerebko tried to be serious when answering questions.
• A Jerebko-Goodwill feud: As Jerebko made his way to the front of the pack to answer questions, he whispered some sort of trash talk to Detroit News writer Vincent Goodwill (the best Pistons beat writer out there right now), to which Goodwill replied, ‘Psssh … I’m tougher than you.’ And Goodwill might not be exaggerating. Check him out going through one of Arnie Kander’s workouts.
• Charlie V’s nickname: When the Pistons were getting guys together for a photo shoot, they were doing their grouping of the UConn guys — Rip Hamilton, Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva. Gordon and Hamilton were in place, but they needed Villanueva who was on the other side of the practice facility. ‘Hey, Ham and Cheese, get over here!,’ Hamilton kept yelling at him. No idea what it means, but it appears to be a nickname.
• Ben Wallace‘s facial hair: Wallace didn’t talk to the media, but he was there for the photo shoots. His trademark goatee is still there, but he had turned it into a long braid that looked like it was at least four inches long.
With Wallace’s fro and Hamilton’s braids gone, there are no more distinctive hairstyles on the Pistons, so Wallace’s crazy goatee is all we have left.