Friday, January 14, 2011

...My "travels" may never bring me to Harlem.

Or trotting around the globe for that matter.

But they did show me the way to work yesterday for what turned out to be the equivalent of a court-side seat at the most entertaining basketball game of all time.

That's right, the legendary Buckets Blakes bounced by the TV-6 studios to promote the Harlem Globetrotter's "4 Times the Fun" tour that's shooting into East Lansing's Breslin Center on campus.  Complete with his red, white and blue uniform and matching basketball, Buckets literally and figuratively took a spin through the station, dropping jaws and openings eyes with his talented tricks of the b-ball entertainment trade.

"People love basketball here... MSU is a sports town and Coach Izzo is a great coach," he told me during an interview while rolling his basketball around his shoulders, neck and head (talk about hand-eye-camera coordination).  "But I'm not gonna give any of his players my tips or tricks if they come see us play.  I don't need Buckets being blamed if they try them in a game."

A sense of humor can go a long way in life, but it also works wonders on the hardwood against anybody wearing a Washington Generals jersey (the ill-fated, oft-defeated opponents of the Globetrotters).  I found out in a shot-clock's time that I'd be better off wearing the former, as opposed to the latter, namely for my lack of coordination when Buckets tried to teach me how to spin the ball on my finger and later dribble through my legs (I knocked over our coffee set-up in the kitchen during the ball spinning and proceeded to dribble into the conference room door during lesson two...the ball kept moving, I didn't).

"Practice, practice, practice, my man," Buckets told me smiling.

And that's what I'll need to do big-time to be ready for half-time of the Globetrotters game next weekend.  I'm playing in a special 2-on-2 challenge between halves with a colleague, as we take on the personalities from a local rock station. TV vs. Radio in an epic battle of basketball ineptness on the court of the Breslin Center.  First there was Magic Johnson, then Scot Skiles, most recently Draymond Green and now Evan Pinsonnault.  Yes, my name will forever live on with the basketball greats who played on that famed parquet.

"But only if you make the 4-point shot," Buckets reminded me.  "None of those guys ever hit the 4-pointer.  You could be the first, Ev."

Now that would be a shot heard round the worl...scratch that.  Globe!

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