2006 Houston All-Star Weekend
Q+A with Panney Wei, NBA TV China (Part 3 of 5)
What did you find out about a specific player that was most intriguing?
Well, I asked all the All-Stars and even NBA legends like Moses Malone and Charles Barkley fun questions like “What would movie would you choose: Brokeback Mountain or Boyz in the Hood?” or “What’s playing on your iPod?”
Needless to say most of the players chose Boyz in the Hood!
They’d laugh, tease me for asking them such ridiculous questions, and that would loosen them up before I would hit them heavy with other questions like “what runs through your mind when you’re the only person on the court or you’re headed for a fast break?”
From my impression, it seems like most of the All-Stars tend to like the same things culturally or entertainment-wise, but one interesting fact I learned from Shawn Marion was that Lebron James owns nine Mercedes Benzes, and that Shawn just sold his only one. That was funny.
Another was that Dwyane Wade is a true family man who loves his wife and kid. Aww...that would melt anyone’s heart. He was also a great interview. I asked him questions about his being poster-boy for the NBA and for P. Diddy’s Sean John clothing line as well.
Kobe Bryant designed his newest shoe, and is a real smooth guy in person. Girls, watch out!
Who are your favorite players? Did you get to speak to any of them?
Well, I mentioned that I got to speak with Nate Rob, whom I love. My other favorite players are: Shaq, Steve Nash who’s just fun to watch cause he’s such a great athlete, KG, Dwyane Wade, Magic Johnson, and of course, Yao Ming, and we got interviews with all of them!
Whether it was on the court or in the media room, part of my job was to also get the interviews, because you have to be really aggressive when you’re in a room full of reporters from all over the world.
So my producers and I ran around the building several times to get the interviews we needed and sometimes, caught the basketball players half-naked in the locker room. Now that was a first for me.
What was it like being on the inside of one of the world’s hottest celebrity packed, party weekend?
It was an amazing trip, a fantastic opportunity, a chance of a lifetime!
You’re running non-stop from event to event, location to location, game to game, and party to party. Literally, running around with a crew of 4, chasing interviews, conducting interviews, and stopping in between to eat quickly. You’re literally running on adrenaline. I’m sure I looked like hell on-camera at times but it was truly part of the fun!
We even got interviews from celebrities like Queen Latifah, Nelly, Steven A. Smith, Chris Carter, Eva Longoria, and Mary J. Blige, who was one of my favorite, since we bonded during our interview for our love of basketball, the men in our lives, and being strong women.
I’ve never worked so hard, but felt like it was ‘play’ at the same time. It’s a good sign when your heart sings when you’re working, because that’s when you know that you’re meant to do this work. Even if the going gets tough, because it makes you happy, feels like playing, and you’re enjoying the process.
The best part of NBA All-Star Weekend as that everyone’s there because they love basketball, and it’s such a universal sport, so the energy is high, there’s a sense of community, the spirits are soaring, and you’re excited who you’ll meet next, who’ll you’ll entertain next, or who’ll be entertaining you.