What do you get when you mix NBA players, EPL players, London, and a sporting nation fairly unaccustomed to professional basketball? Culture clash!
Such was the case across the pond this week, when London hosted yesterday afternoon's Nets-Hawks game. The game itself wasn't terribly interesting, but the adventures many of the Hawks and Nets players got themselves into—helpfully documented on social media—were quite fun.
Take, for instance, the video above. There, Jason Kidd and Mason Plumlee play a game of HORSE with Arsenal's Lukas Podolski and Lukasz Fabianski. Fabianski's sweet stroke—honed in his ample free time, no doubt—has officially proven that, yes, it is weird that those Bayern guys suck so hard. I also like the banter after the game, J Kidd noting that "[Arsenal] are rolling" and Fabianski returning the compliment with "you are on a good run." Google research at its finest.
Podolski's comment on the photo: "Iam not kidding !! It was a pleasure to meet Jason today." See guys, he's being earnest.
Podolski's Instagram account was one of the ones to follow if you wanted to keep up with the Americans. Here he is with Kevin Garnett:
Garnett probably had the most fun of anyone out there, the highlight being his trip to Chelsea's Stamford Bridge.
You can tell his giddiness at walking through the dressing room and coming out on the pitch is legit. He's reportedly a real Chelsea fan, dating back to a friendship he made with Didier Drogba.
Here are a couple pictures from guide-for-the-day André Schürrle's Instagram:
That second one features the young German with another young German, Atlanta's Dennis Schröder (aka the one guy who saw Wiz Khalifa's blond smudge and thought, awesome!). This is like the German equivalent of Russell Westbrook hanging out with Jozy Altidore.
Dennis wasn't the only Hawk to enjoy his time at Stamford Bridge. About halfway through this next video, you can see some of the Hawks guys making the rounds:
Hey, Mike Scott is pretty good at keepy-uppy! In another video (boo, NBA.com for not allowing embeds) Scott says that he too is a real soccer fan, and also a big fan of Drogba, whose conk and general swag make him a favorite of black dudes worldwide (Balotelli is the next iteration). Express caught up with Jeff Teague, who was impressed with the footballers' bravery in the face of London weather: "It's amazing how cold it is [inside Stamford Bridge] and they have to go out there and play. They some warriors."
There was basketball to be played, however, and eventually the game did come to pass. It was a star-studded event, attended by almost every player on a London team (including our own Clint Dempsey), Paul McCartney, huge basketball fan Cara Delevingne, and many other named people who pass for celebrities in Britain. Nearly every single one of them was caught on camera too, since the British photographers seemed more interested in the fans than the game itself.
So there you have it. A multinational, multicultural, multisport hodgepodge, all coming together in the name of friendship, competition, and basketball. Isn't that the point of sports anyways?