NEW ORLEANS — Many players were out and about on Friday, interacting with fans, participating in events and signing autographs. Most of the activity was happening at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in downtown New Orleans, which has an enormous setup for the NBA All-Star Jam Session 2014. Meanwhile, your Indiana Pacers were popular amongst the crowd on Friday.
Indiana Pacers’ head coach Frank Vogel made an appearance on the “Mike and Mike” show on ESPN Radio Friday morning. Vogel answered a series of questions during his appearance, which was not open to most media members.
Also on Friday, Indiana Pacers’ center Roy Hibbert participated in some media fun. NBATV hosted Hibbert on a show Friday afternoon to talk about the weekend and other various topics. Hibbert has been a popular face on television the past couple of years, appearing on “Parks and Recreation,” a popular TV show and also making multiple appearances on NBATV. He is finally getting the national attention he has asked for in the past.
All-Star starter Paul George was also very involved Friday. George took part in a photo shoot with the NBA, in which he was dressed very casually – he wore a collared shirt that was a shade of red, with dark pants and brown boots. George posted the photo to Instagram and quoted the photo, “Happy v-day!”
I stumbled upon many other players taking part in the fun on Friday. At the Convention Center, San Antonio’s Matt Bonner was a guest on a talk show, which was open for fans and media to watch. Across from the taping of the show, New Orleans Pelican Eric Gordon sat in a booth, signing autographs for fans. Gordon’s section was a popular one by no surprise, as he plays for the host city’s NBA team.
Los Angeles Clippers guard Chris Paul was also on hand at the time I arrived at the Jam Session. Paul’s area was also a popular one, completely surrounded by families and media. CP3 was having some fun with selected fans, as he was conducting passing and shooting drills for the fans in street clothes. He would get the “assist” if a fan scored off of his pass, and then fans tried to make a three-point basket with Paul defending.
The last faces I saw came Friday night, when Charles Barkley and Grant Hill made an appearance at Kenny Smith’s event.
All in all, it was a fun day and one that also included the representatives from the Indiana Pacers, which is good to see during NBA All-Star weekend.