I have a confession. Sometimes when I watch basketball games, I lose sight of the fact that the ten guys on the court are human. That may sound extreme, but it is true. I forget that these gigantic physical specimens worth millions and millions of dollars in the eyes of an individual or a group also worth millions and millions of dollars are just like us. They enjoy the same music. They laugh at the same jokes we laugh at. They enjoy hanging out and having a good time, just like us. That’s what makes yesterday’s events so awesome.
Sunday evening, [Ekpe Udoh] jumped into a Google+ Hangout with various fans from “basketball twitter.” He started taking questions from people who had never spoken to an NBA player before. These weren’t journalists or reporters; they’re bloggers and fans whose entire existence was just made by a whimsical decision.
And Udoh brought the goods. He answered questions about defense, his favorite Kanye West album, who’s the best team in the league, what his favorite place to play is — basically, the only question he dodged was about his feelings toward being traded. That’s just good basketball instincts by Udoh. He even talked about whether he prefers boneless or bone-in chicken wings, for goodness sake.
Ekpe Udoh, who earns $3.524 million this season, created a Google+ account to chat with fans who never in a million years thought it would be possible. Blake Potash was one of the bloggers who was fortunate enough to be in that hangout. He answered some questions and shed some light on just how awesome yesterday was.
What was it like having a NBA player take the time out of his day to join you guys?
A lot of times you see NBA players promise to do things over twitter and flake out because it’s twitter and not binding at all. This instance really changed that perspective for us. For him, someone so famous to us, someone whose job is to play a game we all love, to take time out of his day to chat with a few fans, and end up being bombarded by questions from each side of the spectrum. The fact is that this event will be ingrained in our minds for the rest of our lives. Nine kids on twitter convinced Ekpe Udoh to hangout with them online, and it was pure awesomeness.
What was your favorite part?
Questions were mainly about common topics among basketball twitter, like “Do you like Kendrick Lamar”, “What’s your favorite Kanye West album”, “Do you like pineapple on pizza”, and various others about entertainment, music, and food.
My personal favorite part of the hangout was when somebody asked him, “If you could marry any famous actress/celebrity in the world, who would it be”. He responded with a very professional answer, something along the lines of “there are so many beautiful women in the world it’s hard to choose”. Basically he didn’t answer, but proceeded to turn the question onto us.
In about a second or two, all of us rattle off our choice, not having to think about it at all. It goes, Emma Watson, Anna Kendrick, Jennifer Lawrence, Jennifer Lawrence, Jennifer Lawrence, Jennifer Lawrence, Jennifer Lawrence, Jennifer Lawrence, Jennifer Lawrence. The fact that he actually asked us a question was kind of exciting like a “OMG he cares” type of thing, but then we respond with the same person seven times at a whim. It’s hard to choose a favorite moment since it was all amazing, but that’s something I personally thought was hilarious.
How does this change your opinion of Ekpe?
Honestly, I really didn’t know much about Ekpe besides what he had done on the basketball court. By doing something like this, I can now see what type of guy he is and how he carries himself. The way he was answering questions showed that he understand the type of power a pro athlete has with even the most simple questions. When asked about being traded he declined to answer, rightfully so, and never said anything that would make us think bad of him.
It was really cool to see that a player would reach out to fans, especially since I was one of the fans, and it paints the most positive picture of him as possible. I think it’s safe to say Ekpe Udoh is now one of our favorite players off of the court now. He was just a normal guy, and that is awesome.
That is awesome.