Just in case you didn’t know, when you’re a sports blogger you get a lot of respect. It’s instant credibility in the journalism world because they don’t just hand out blogs to anyone that signs up. It took me three or four applications before I got my blog.
Pretty much everyone that has a blog will eventually become famous or get a full time job as a writer because they are all so good at it. When you’re a blogger, professional writers value your opinion and take you seriously without so much as a hint of doubt. Whenever I am trying to sell one of my stories to a newspaper or magazine editor, I tell them I’m a blogger and they laugh because they are so impressed. Sometimes the editors are so excited that they hang up the phone immediately when I give them them my blog address so they can go read it. It feels good to know that I have that kind of clout.
Typically I don’t do interviews. Partly because I don’t want to but moreso because nobody ever returns my messages for one. I assume my messages don’t get returned because NBA teams know their players will be too intimidated to interview with me and will act all wild and starstruck because I have my own blog, kind of like when people meet Prince. Some people can’t handle that kind of situation. I found someone who can. Maybe you’ve heard of him; his name is Kobe Bryant.
I came across his blog a few days ago so I emailed him with an interview request. To my suprise he responded. He said he just happened to be in Houston for the day on official NBA business and for me to leave $195 and my phone number in an old McDonald’s bag on a park bench at a bus stop near my house and he would call me. It sounded legit so I did it. 30 Minutes later he called me. He must’ve been at a comedy club or something because I could tell he was kind of trying not to laugh while we spoke. 5 minutes later I had finished my first NBA interview. Here is the transcript:
Introducing Liston: First I’d like to say that I’m glad to see that you got your email working again.
Kobe Bryant: What do you mean?
I.L.: Well, I had tried to email you at the address I found on the official Lakers’ website about 250 times and never got a response. I emailed you one time at this new address and you responded the next day. I figured that there was a virus or something that kept you from receiving my previous emails. I’m glad to see that’s cleared up.
I.L.: Since this is a phone call I should probably ask you some questions to verify your identity. Why don’t you tell me about yourself to prove to any naysayers that you are who you say you are.
K.B.: Um… sure. My name is Kobe. I’m tall. I like Italy.
I.L.: Okay, good. Now how about something a little more specific. Answer this for me; when you sign autographs, do you sign right-handed or left-handed?
K.B.: Ummm….. let’s go with right.
K.B.: Is that right?
I.L.: You know what, I’m not really sure, but that’s good enough for me. Let’s get started. How do you feel about playing the upcoming season as a Laker without having gotten any really strong additions to the team?
K.B.: He’s still wi-,.. err… I’m still with the Lakers? I thought they traded me.
I.L.: Nope, they didn’t. Next question. Was the changing of your number from 8 to 24 really about starting over? Or was it just a really clever business move to get you back to the top of jersey sales?
K.B.: He prob-,… I mean I probably changed the number from 8 to 24 because before I used to think I was only 8 times more important than the other Laker players. After Shaq was traded I immediately became 24 times more important than the other Laker players.
I.L.: Yeah, about that last answer. A lot of people feel like you’re cocky and you live in some sort of a bubble where you never hear all the bad things people say about you. Care to address that?
K.B.: That’s weird because I am really really smart but I’ve never heard that said before.
I.L.: I think that’s sorta the point, Kobe. But you know what? It’s kinda the same with me. Everyone is always telling me that I’m super cocky but I don’t think so. I mean, I honestly can not think of one person who is more humble than I am. You know what I’m saying? They probably say that about us because we are so smart.
K.B.: Yeah, you sound smart. [I'm not sure, but he sounded a little sarcastic here]
I.L.: You know, Kobe I gotta say. When I see you do interviews on t.v. you seem a lot more, like… well, you sound like you have a lot more bass in your voice, you know? It’s a lot deeper when I hear you on the radio too. You sound a lot more masculine, and like a, like a big dude would sound. But on the telephone you sound more… well… I guess it kinda sounds like you have a thick asian accent. A very thick and very feminine asian accent. Have you ever heard that before?
K.B.: Ummm…. you know what. That is probably because of my phone.
I.L.: Your phone is what’s making you sound like a small asian woman?
K.B.: Yeah, it’s these special official NBA phones. Have you ever played in the NBA before?
K.B.: I figured that because if you had then you would know that David Stern gives all the players these special phones that change your voice.
I.L.: Really? That’s very interesting. Care to elaborate?
K.B.: Yeah, I guess he does that so when we call radio stations or restaurants or whatever they won’t recognize our voices. Since we’re real big stars everyone goes all nuts when they know it’s an NBA star on the phone, trying to get our autographs and stuff. These official NBA phones eliminate that. It’s common knowledge if you’re in the NBA business. You are in the business, right? You’re not just some loser with a blog, right? You do know about the official NBA voice changing phones, don’t you?
I.L.: …. Umm… yeah. That’s right. I think I remember hearing about those. Yes, yes I have heard of those. I am in the business and I have heard of the official NBA voice changing phone. I don’t know what I was thinking. I must’ve thought you were talking about these other phones. My bad. I know which phone you’re talking about now.
K.B.: Good, good, good. Look, I have to go now. I’m real busy, being the real Kobe Bryant and all.
I.L.: Okay. Well thank you for the time. I think my readers and your fans will enjoy this. Let’s get together and do this again. What do you say?
I.L.: ….okay, bye.
What else can I say? Easily, the smartest $195 I’ve ever spent. Whatever the writing equivalent to winning the Kumite’ is, I’m 100% sure I’m going to win it. No doubt about it.