After last night's 111-108 win over the Thunder, Kobe Bryant was doing his usual Q & A with the media. I eventually asked him about the recent third quarters trend of stout defense and if anything specific can explain it, whether in the team's use of halftime, a new view by Phil Jackson towards intermission, a more conscientious effort to regroup, etc. In a nutshell, not really. Kobe admitted it's tough to put his finger on why third quarters have been different this season than the struggle-fests of the past, since the same basic formula -chalk talk, strategy, orange slices (assuming NBA basketball is no different than Little League)- remains intact.
But more interesting than Kobe's answer was his reaction to my equipment while filming him. Not quite as animated as I picture the Average Joe upon gazing into the sky and first seeing an airplane back in the day, but as you can see, his attention was thoroughly engaged:
Gotta say, this was surprising on a couple of levels. First and foremost, to the best of my knowledge, I've never even remotely impressed Kobe in my life (nor do I disagree with his generally underwhelmed response to my accomplishments), so this was something of a milestone. All joking aside, when's the next time I may ever make Kobe sit up and go, "You're kinda cool, dude?" I'm guessing somewhere int he time frame of "never." So it's always fun impressing someone of his magnitude.
But later that night as I finished writing the words "Dear Diary,"* it kinda hit me: Dude, it's just an iPhone. Kobe's never seen one used like that? Really? I'm actually not even the person who sometimes uses one in the locker room (much less everyday life), but beyond that, this isn't exactly a rare brand of futuristic equipment. Bro, I can get ya one with a quick trip to the Apple store. Wall to wall iPhones as far as the eye can see. Plus, Kobe's hardly a guy that travels from Walnut Grove to Staples Center in a covered wagon. He's got one of the sleeker official sites I've ever seen. His use of viral ads have not only been funny and successful, but reflect how Bryant is way ahead of the curve in terms of innovative marketing. But an iPhone really perks him up? And a 16 GB to boot? Not even the 32? Wasn't expecting that at all.
By the way, if the folks over at Apple happen to be reading, a killer campaign was just set in the motion. You create a collage of everything Kobe's done over his career: Four rings, 81, making Smush Parker a relatively useful player. Then all the people he's met over the years, from celebrities to President Bush II when the team visited the White House during the Three-peat area. Add a series of Kobe buzzer beaters, and it becomes abundantly aclear, this guy ain't fazed by much of anything.
Then cut to his reaction to the iPhone: "That is an interesting camera."
Then sit back and watch product move. And hopefully remember me with a fat check.
* - No, I don't actually have a diary.