Well, the time has come, sports fans. First, I’ve gotten to use the term, “sports fans” un-ironically, so bless us everyone. Second, the NBA All-Star Game. NBA players are descending on our fair city (Toronto) and leaving us all very excited because this is truly the TIFF of basketball in that *~anyone who’s anyone~* will probably be hanging out at various locations I’m not familiar with because I don’t like going to clubs since they make me anxious.
But I digress.
If you care about the NBA All-Star Game, odds are you will probably mosey on over to a place famous athletes are, and you’ll want to be ready to converse like a person who knows exactly what they’re talking about, and also as somebody who for sure belongs there. (No getting kicked out of a hotel lobby for you!) And if that’s the case, I have some hot tips for you. And while I’ve never used them myself, I feel confident enough as a person that I stand these recommendations because, if face to face with [insert famous NBA player], I would say exactly these things.
Foolproof. Absolutely foolproof. You come face to face with a famous basketball player, and what do you say? “Hey.” 100% of the time, you will receive a “hey” back — or, if you play your cards right and pair said “hey” with a head nod, you will be the proud honour of a very cool, “What’s up?”
Just do not answer the question because they do not care, and will not listen to whatever you end up saying.
2. “Great game”
Here’s why this works: 1) If they played a game, even if they truly fucked up and instead of putting the basketball in the basket, they drew a face on it and started calling it Wilson, you will have made them feel great about their day, and honestly, don’t we all want the same from our friends and fans. 2) If they haven’t played the game yet, they’ll think you’re very funny and you’ll probably become instant friends over your shared sense of humour.
3. “Do you know Drake?”
If you ask this to every famous person you see, you will inevitably meet someone who knows Drake. BONUS: If you see Drake, open by asking this and he will think it’s VERY ENDEARING that you don’t “recognize” him. (You do, but he won’t know. Or he does, and is super into whatever it is you’re trying to do.)
4. “Ugh, the snacks here are terrible”
Everybody knows that the fastest way to cement friendships is to bond over something you both hate. And we all know that if someone throws down a “Ugh, I hate this” statement — delivered with a knowing confidence — everyone else will feel pressured to also hate the tiny quiches, no matter how delicious they may be. So: position yourself near a famous. Hold said snack. Make eye contact, then shake your head in disgust. “The snacks here are terrible,” you will say. And then, because Kyle Lowry thinks it’s bold that you’re a person who’s not afraid to talk shit about the sliders, he will say, “Yeah . . .” defeatedly, as he puts his down. You’re welcome and also you’re best friends now.
5. “HOLY SHIT, it’s [high school acquaintance name]!”
I have a theory that if you pretend to know someone with enough certainty, they will feel pressured to play the part. Nobody wants to be the person who says, “Oh, no I’m . . .” in a crowded space. You remember Ocean’s 11? When Saul’s trying to pretend to be Mr. Zerga? And his friend starts yelling, “Saul! Saul! It’s Bucky Buchanan! From Sarasota!” That can be you. That will be you. But instead of them trying to pull of a con, they’ll feel so sorry for you and so anxious about what’s happening that they’ll just play the part. Then, to gain control, say — near the end — “No, I know you’re not my grade 12 prom date — why would you go along with it?”
And so a very unbalanced but important friendship begins.
6. “You tried your best, you went out there, now you gotta get points and play as a team”
I actually don’t know if this works, but I’ve heard it in so many sports interviews that it’s gotta garner some type of response.
7. *STARING AND REFUSING TO BREAK EYE CONTACT*
But I mean, like, COMMIT. No matter where they are in the room, stand somewhere they can see you while you stare into these poor basketball players’ souls. The bathroom? You’re in other stall. Near the canapé©s? You’re the person holding the tray. In photo ops? You’re behind the photographer. There is a 50/50 chance you will be removed from the premises, but also a 50/50 chance this will turn into a Phantom of the Opera situation.
So please keep me posted. If you forge friendships, know that I am the one responsible for your successes and victories, but also if you are a person in charge of wrangling talent, please put me in contact because, as you can see, I am absolutely delightful.
“Take care.” – Drake