My first NBA player encounter.

I've been to a couple of Detroit games in my time, but they were mostly nose bleed seats and I was younger so I couldn't wander off by myself. I haven't tried to go to many games since high school as I was working a lot and then eventually got married and had kids. I didn't know that the first time I would meet an NBA player would be at the gym.

There's a class that I normally take at 10 A.M. on Saturdays at the gym I go to. So as per normal, I woke up, made breakfast, did dishes and then got the kids ready to go to the gym. Got there a little early and was chatting it up with the daycare staff when someone came in to drop their kid off. At first, I didn't think anything of it. Then I looked a little closely and saw the NBA Basketball shirt and recognized who it was. However, I didn't make a scene (as you'll see why later, it's not that a scene really should have been made).

When that person left, one of the daycare attendants told me that he plays professional basketball. I told her I know, that's ******* ********. She looked at me bewildered wondering how I knew that. I reminded her (we talk often) that I'm very much into basketball and knowing what team he played for, where we were, there weren't many possibilities.

So I go and take my class (brutal) and afterwards I get a drink from the drinking fountain. I then sit there and go to look on my phone and he walks past me so that he can get a drink from the drinking fountain. After he gets his drink...

Me: Do you mind if I ask you something?
******* ********: Yeah, sure.
Me: Has Detroit contacted you?
******* ********: ******** ******* ****** ******* ******.

Note: Seeing as how this was an impromptu conversation, and I don't ever want to get in trouble for accidentally leaking something, even if it's nothing, there are going to be many things of our conversation that I'm going to leave out. Sorry.

So I left it at that, he walked back to the machine he was working on, and he kept working out with his trainer/friend. After a minute or too, I hear his trainer/friend say "Detroiiiiiiit Basketbaaaaaaaaaaaall." I turn and look at them and give them a thumbs up. I walk over to them and spark up another conversation...(I don't remember all of the details, so here's some of the basics.)

Me: So, does Detroit really need to worry about ***** **********?
******* ********: (gesture).
******* ********: Who's that young kid you guys also have? Really athletic.
Me: Tony Mitchell?
******* ********: No, not him.
Me: Andre Drummond.
******* ********: Yes. (looks at trainer/friend) That kid is a beast.

We then continued to discuss how the East may shape up, where he's likely to play this season, some parts of the CBA, and he called me a Super Fan (based on my knowledge of his stats off the top of my head). I then went to take my shower (was tired of smelling my sweat). He came in the locker room as I was finishing getting my things together and I apologized to him for getting into his space while he was training. He said that it was no problem at all. I then told him how he's the first NBA player I've had a chance to talk to and he said he's glad to be the first. Also warned me that there are many players in the NBA who aren't as friendly.

Then, as I was getting my kids out of daycare, he was as well. A couple of people stopped and asked if they could get a picture with him. I didn't want to ask that, but after he stood there for another 5 minutes, I decided that I'd ask if I could get my boys to get a picture with him.

Gabriel is the one in the red and Kaiden is the one in the blue. His son shares his first name, but his middle name is the same (sounding, probably not spelling) as Kaiden's first name. The kids gave each other high fives and then he was on his way out. (I confirmed with him as he was leaving, though he was wearing Hawks clothes also, his trainer/friend does not play professional basketball - his answer: "I'm too short" - he was as tall as me, 6'1".)

Now, at the time I was talking to him, I could have sworn he was someone that was on our radar for the 15th spot. I also, for some reason, had it in my head that he played Center. But when I got into work today, I realized that isn't the case and there are many reasons why he shouldn't be on the Pistons team. But it was a good conversation and he was quite forthcoming. Again, I apologize to everyone if you want to know all that we talked about, but I'd rather not put all of that out there. If it was a scheduled interview and I was an actual reporter, it'd be different. But then again, I'm sure the answers would have likely been different as well.

FanPosts are user-created posts from the Detroit Bad Boys community and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of all fans or the staff at DBB. The DBB staff reserves the right at any time to edit the contents of FanPosts as they reasonably see fit.

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