by Brett Edwards
Since we haven't seen him on the court this season, it was cool to see none other than Amare Stoudamire while I was doing some Christmas shopping today. I was at the Beverly Center, which is a huge 7 story mall in the middle of Los Angeles. He was dressed casually, jeans and a t-shirt, and only carrying a one-man posse with him.
I debated whether to approach him, considering that this is L.A., and celebrity sightings are a dime a dozen if you know where to look, so it's more appropriate to ignore them than to gawk and ask for an autograph. Also, I am unimpressed with just about any famous person who is not a professional athlete. I mean, most have no more or less talent than anyone else in the industry, they just got a lucky break or were in the right place at the right time to make it big. But with pro athletes, especially basketball players, I am admittedly star-struck, and am not as cool and loquacious around them as I would be with a normal person. I saw someone approach him, and my decision was made for me.
Now I caught this exchange near the end, so I honestly don't know if the guy was asking for an autograph, a picture, a handout, or a hand job from Amare, so I can't necessarily blame him for having his (1-man) posse shoo him away. Assuming that it was a harmless request, why not oblige the man? Amare wasn't being mobbed; in fact the mall wasn't that crowded at all for being so close to the holiday, so I don't think signing one autograph would have ruined his relative anonymity for the day. Whatever the reason, it made me lose interest in saying "Hi." Still, it's always cool to catch an NBA superstar in person.