Monday, July 1, 2013

Tame on Steven Adams

Jack Tame is TVNZ's correspondent in the USA, and also writes a column in the Herald. He attended the NBA Draft in Brooklyn on Friday and reports thus on Kiwi hoops star-to-be Steven Adams:

Some overly thorough sports hack in some part of the United States apparently reckons that Steven Adams' hands are the second-biggest of any NBA prospect ever.
I can't personally clarify if that's of any rookie ever, or any basketball player ever, or whether it was measured on the thumb-to-pinky or middle-to-palm ratio. I can only assure you I have little intention of confirming it myself, but that greeting the man himself is like handshaking a front-loading washing machine.
Fortunately for those of us with humbler extremities, Steven Adams favours the knuckle-saving "bro" style handshake. And when he walked off the NBA stage to a waiting posse of NBA suits, I slapped that giant hand like the belly of a fish.
"OKC! Meeeean bro!" he grinned as he ducked under the door.
Never have you seen anyone so enthusiastic about Oklahoma.
"You know they have tornadoes, eh?" I asked.
"You know that the city's claim to fame is as 'The Birthplace of the Shopping Trolley'?"
"Bro, the chicks in OKC are meeeean," he whispered. "And the team has it's own chef."
To them, he's Kiwi-as. Fresh. Unsullied by expectation or the glitzy behemoth that is US professional sport.
In reality he could be any other 19-year old Wellington kid.
The posse pushed in. There were interviews to do, managers to meet.
I slapped that fish belly hand and hoped he doesn't lose his grip.

Adams seems to be a bit of a hard case. What you see is what you get, and unlike the American college players who have spent years being told how good they are and who believe it, he is one of the most unaffected young sportsmen we've seen for some time.

Adams is going to be mixing in some pretty select company in the next few years. But he is there because team bosses, most especially the head of the OKC outfit loved his attitude and personality. 

Here's hoping that the trappings of fame and fortune don't change Steven Adams, and that as he learns his trade at the highest level, that his unique Kiwi-as personality doesn't get squeezed out of him. He is as refreshing as he is imposing in physique.


Anonymous said...

You've got to remember that Valerie can contribute to the Smart head on the giant shoulders. If he was alone ind unaware it would eat him up, With Valerie there you have a woman who knows the score and the boy will be allright..

Keeping Stock said...

I agree Bulaman. His older brother Warren is a good influence too; he was the one that got Steven out of Rotorua and into Kenny McFadden's academy in Wellington.