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|| SportsShooter.com: News Item: Posted 2000-06-28

Leading Off: NBA Playoff Notebook
By Robert Hanashiro

Photo by Robert Hanashiro

Photo by Robert Hanashiro
Of limos, cocktail sauce, Krispy Kremes and too many remotes: notes from the NBA Playoffs.

- The NBA IS Fan-Tastic. Overheard during the beginning of the 4th quarter of Portland's blowout win over the Lakers in Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals at the Staples Center.

Glen Frey: "Hey Sid! Your limo or mine?"
Sid: "Mine!"
Frey: (grabbing a cellphone from a jacket pocket): "All right. I'll call my driver and send him home. Let's blow out of his joint!"

- The REAL Capital. A sign in front of the Staples Center boasts "Sports and Entertainment Capital of the World. After working out of Conseco Fieldhouse for a week, the REAL sports capital is in Indianapolis. Without a doubt. While LA gushes over the new home of the Lakers, Conseco has the things that Staples doesn't: a lot of room to work, friendly and easy to work with staff, GREAT LIGHT, easy access to the catwalks, a lot of parking (and it doesn't cost $15!), unbelievable press food and fabulous (and knowledgeable) fans. While glitzy, Staples is definitely a SHELL in comparison.

Photo by Paul Morse/LA Times

Photo by Paul Morse/LA Times
- Party Central. Yes, one COULD say that the 12 days that it takes to stage the Finals is an excuse for an endless party (with a few games to break them up). But one thing is for sure: the NBA's hospitality is second to none compared to the other pro sports leagues and the NCAA. Where else can you see NBA commissioner David Stern with BBQ sauce on his shirt like all of the slob sports writers?

- We Have No Life. While most of the sports writers were out playing golf (or sitting in bars) most of the photographers in Indy for the Finals ended up at Robert's Distributors. On one off-day, my NYC colleague Bob Deutsch and I stumbled into Robert's and within 45 minutes we were joined by shooters from: SI, Reuters, The Sporting News, AFP, Allsport and NBA Photos. After we had all made our purchases none of us had any real plansexcept Charlotte Hornet's team photog Garrett Elwood. When I asked what he was doing that afternoon he replied "I'm going back to the hotel to take a nap so I'll be ready to do some serious drinking tonight!" At least he had a plan for the day (and that night), unlike the rest of us.

Photo by
- P.J. Loves Krispy Kremes. Before Game 5, Bob and I discovered a Krispy Kreme in a suburb of Indy (while shopping, of course!) so we decided to bring a couple of dozen to the digital workroom at Conseco Fieldhouse. During the elevator ride to the floor, former Golden State coach P.J. Carlesimo spotted the two boxes of donuts on my equipment cart and said "Hey! What will it take to get one of those Krispy Kremes?" I replied "P.J. for you, nothing." (I always felt he got jobbed by the Warriors when he got fired.) He ended up following us all the way around the arena to the workroom to get his ONE donut! (That's all he wanted.) The man obviously loves Krispy Kremes!

- The Sauce Is Still The Same. While the steaks may not be as big and thick as they once were at St. Elmo Steak House, the trademark cocktail sauce is still hot enough to cure the worst head cold. (The secret to the sauce, we're told, is just grating fresh horseradish into plain ketchup!)

On a few serious notes:

Photo by Bob Deutsch/USA Today

Photo by Bob Deutsch/USA Today
- Remote This! If you didn't get to the arena at least 5 hours before tip off, you were SOL on getting a post remote up. With two huge "Wizard Trees" mounted on each basket support, along with assorted Hassleblads, D1s and EOS bodies, it was tough to squeeze a camera into a clear spot. With the NBA and SI "droning" so many cameras (both handheld and remote) the going was awfully tough. Estimates were 60 remotely triggered cameras. At least.

- Remote This, Part 2. The NBA tried a little experiment during Games 1 and 2: a "pool" (the term used loosely) glass remote. To reduce the number of remote cameras on the basket, the league decided to have one glass remote that they would fire (on lights) and would share the images with whatever organization wanted them. This really amounts to a "handout" photo rather than a "pool" photo. The short-term results were the wires had nice images (shot at 200 ASA on strobes). The long-term results you figure it out! (Note: the glass "pool" camera arrangement was changed after Game 3. The wire services put up a camera and shared time on it for Games 5 and 6.)

- View From The Top. About 5 hours before Game 6, photographers got an advance look at the security plans for the court should the Lakers win the game and the Championship. About 65 security guards rehearsed ringing the entire court ad putting up a rope barricade. Of course the security guards would have to be in place before the game ended, meaning they would be sitting in front of photogs and fans seated courtside. When all hell broke loose, if you weren't in an overhead position, you didn't even see Kobe Bryant leap into Shaquille O'Neal's arms. What you did see was a sea of NBC and NBA Entertainment crews (stills, movie and video) along with the 65 or so security guards. (One of the funniest moments was watching Laker head coach Phil Jackson trip over a security guard holding a rope in front of the team bench with about a minute left in the game. Jackson turned and yelled more than I saw him the entire 6 games!)

* * *

Photo by Robert Hanashiro

Photo by Robert Hanashiro
Some Sports Shooter news:
- Rob Galbraith's revamped DigiNews site features a new service that will be of interest to most of you. Rob has added several "forums" where you can post messages on several topics, including sports photography.

Every month after Sports Shooter goes out to the mailing list I will be posting some topics from that issue to discuss and explore. Also, if you ever had a burning question (like: what film does Peter Miller REALLY use at football? And: who is Mongo?) or have a comment you'd like to make relating to any topic involving sports and photographythis is the place to do it.

- There have been several published items listing me on the faculty and conducting a sports photography seminar at the NPPA's annual digital workshop, Visual Edge 2000. (There was a recent post on the above mentioned Sports Shooter Forum and I have also received many emails about this.)

Sadly I must report that because of the way management of VE 2000 decided to handle my sessions, I had to drop out.

However, the handout I prepared for the workshop is being reworked and I may post it on my ftp site if there is enough interest. Now if there was a way to post my slide shows

* * *

Sports Shooter v.21 gives us a great article by Sam Mircovich about covering the riots that occurred after the Lakers won the NBA Championship. We also have a report by Tim Clayton on a controversy brewing with basketball at the upcoming Summer Olympics. Rod Mar checks in with a piece on the NCAA Women's Softball World Series; Ivo Gonzalez reports from Brazil; Anthony Bolante gives us the lowdown on hunting Tiger at the recent U.S. Open, Bob Deutsch takes wireless LAN where no man has been before and as we like to say at Sports Shooter much, much more.

So sit back, adjust the brightness on your monitor, turn down that new Green Day CD and enjoy Sports Shooter v.21!


Related Email Addresses: 
Robert Hanashiro: rhanashiro@earthlink.net

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