This year’s NBA rookie class played themselves last weekend in EA Sports’ “NBA Live 2010” video game. When they weren’t in front of the video screen, they were break-dancing and posing for countless action shots that will appear on their very first trading cards.
Having a trading card was a special moment for all of the rookies, but Golden State point guard Stephen Curry felt especially proud to get his own. His father, former NBA sharpshooter Dell Curry, had his own card.
“I used to walk around the house and see my dad’s trading cards on the counter,” the rookie said. “Now I’ll go home and see some of mine.”
Jordan Hill of the New York Knicks was smiling ear-to-ear when discussing his very own basketball card.
“I used to collect them and sell them and trade them,” he said. “Now when I see my face on a card. I’m going to keep them and pass them to my family members and true fans.”
Even Panini CEO Michael Eisenstein was excited to finally be able to spend time with the guys as they signed their cards
“To see the growth and potential in these kids, its makes me, it makes us happy,” the trading card sponsor said.
The rookies played “NBA Live” non-stop, and almost all agreed that the video game makers captured their likeness down to the tee. For Curry, it was down to his goatee.
“You have to pause it, go to instant replay and zoom in, and after that you will get a good look,” Stephen Curry said about his blond facial hair.
While players like Tyreke Evans of the Sacramento Kings and James Harden of the Oklahoma City Thunder felt that the video game resembled their actual likeness so much it was surreal, one hoop star felt the game did not get his good side.
“I don’t think it looked like me,” said Brandon Jennings of the Milwaukee Bucks. “They did my jump shot kind of dirty. It’s all right. I will fix that, I’ll just make myself 99.”
At one point during the day’s events, Chicago Bulls big man James Johnson started break-dancing and did a spin on his head – an impressive feat at 6 feet, 5 inches and 235lbs.
After all the fun, the rookies were ready to get past their transitional period and get down to business.
“I just want to play basketball, ” Jennings said. “Being here with the guys is cool. We’re making friends, but now its time to get out there and compete.”
Jennings will get his wish shortly. The NBA season begins October 27, with a double header including the Cleveland Cavaliers taking on the Boston Celtics, and Kobe Bryant and the defending champions L.A. Lakers taking on rookie sensation Blake Griffin and the L.A. Clippers.