The initial shock of being in the basketball epicenter of the world has sortof worn off. Not any less surreal, as on my way to the rookie game I hailed a cab exited by former Bulls Jerome 'JYD' Williams.
But the T-Mobile Rookie Challenge itself was most other moderately attended NBA games. Though the side of the lower section that was filled with screaming schoolchildren (the side shown most on TV), brought enough crowd energy to fill the building. Not exactly in concert with the game, mostly popping whenever a random NBA mascot went to their sections. And yes, Benny the Bull was amongst the roving entertainment, a welcome distraction from the in-game action.
The game wasn't all bad, actually, and a new experience to see so much talent on the court at one time. I liked that Evans and Jennings were very aggressive (the latter without the same success, but still), and the finish of the game with the DeJuan Blair show. Did whoop a bit for Taj Gibson's entrance, though it was probably predictable that his game wouldn't mesh well with an exhibition. In between there was some sloppy, yet intermittently entertaining basketball, but to be honest I was spending a majority of my attention to the internet commentary on the action.
(had my usual phone plus the new T-Mobile 3G Touch. So far my review is mixed. I like the interface and the displays a lot, but I'm still getting used to that touchscreen. I assume that's something that comes along better with time)
There was some buzz for the dunk-in at halftime, but it seemed a little off from the beginning with DeRozan coming in fresh and Eric Gordon playing in the first half. You likely saw the underwhelming result, and it was partly due to DeRozan taking it easy, correctly assessing that Gordon wasn't a threat. Though I thought Gordon's dunks were actually better if he hit them on the first try.
So far T-Mobile has been fairly hands-off, so no inside access perks yet. I may hit up the Jam Session at the convention center on Saturday before the nighttime festivities. Stay tuned.