Imagine 24 plus or minus short, dumpy losers walking around in a tight place, smart phones, murmuring conspiratorially, and eyeing with wary deference the world's greatest athletes arrayed around the room's perimeter. While those athletes chat and dress or ice sore joints and in all other ways comport themselves like real, living humans, this hushed writhing mass of sad-sack interlopers fills and claims the center of the room like a giant fart cloud, present and unpleasant and grimly tolerated, adding nothing but discomfort to the scene.
Make sense? OK, that's the sporting news media.
Someone somewhere suddenly says a player's name in what sounds like an announcement or introduction – Chris Kaman! – and a giant handsome man approaches this horde with the demeanor of a cut-up standing to deliver a doomed book-report. The horde becomes a swarm. Suddenly there are bright white lights inches from the player's face and a dozen hands stretched towards his mouth clutching handheld voice recorders. There is a quiet energy as men and women work in subtle ways to jockey for better position, a lean here, an elbow there. Already a question is being asked. The mass presses more tightly together.
Just to the side of this spectacle veteran Paul Pierce appears, dressed and ready to leave. "I'm going now." Paul Anthony Pierce (born October 13, 1977) is an American professional basketball player who currently plays for the Washington Wizards of the National Basketball Association (NBA). Pierce was a high school McDonald's All-American and earned All-America first team honors in his junior year at Kansas.
Pierce spent the first fifteen years of his career with the Boston Celtics, who drafted him with the 10th overall pick in the 1998 NBA Draft. In July 2013, Pierce was included in a deal that sent him to the Nets, along with teammates Kevin Garnett and Jason Terry. He signed with the Wizards the following offseason.
During his time with the Celtics, Pierce had been a starter on the team for every season. He is a ten-time All-Star and four-time All-NBA team selection, and also led Boston to the NBA Finals in 2008 and 2010, winning the 2008 NBA Finals. He was named the 2008 NBA Finals MVP in his first trip to the NBA Finals. Pierce also is one of only three players, alongside Larry Bird and John Havlicek, who have scored over 20,000 points in their career with the Celtics alone. He holds the Celtics' record for most three-point field goals made. He also ranks third in team history in games played, second in points scored, seventh in total rebounds, fifth in total assists, and first in total steals. His nickname "The Truth" was given to him by Shaquille O'Neal. New official nick name is "Grandpa Pierce"
Attention returns to Humphries, from whom the assembled media was unwilling to disengage. He is asked nothing in particular, his answers are pure boilerplate. The faces nod quietly as he recites from muscle memory the standard responses, as if this is what they wanted. Then he is thanked and he, too, leaves. Everyone is satisfied, everyone got their quotes and sound-bytes.
Soon thereafter, as these faces hunch over their laptops in a cramped press lounge, working to beat a deadline, a Wizards PR person quietly and efficiently distributes by hand a team-printed two-sided sheet containing every quote given by every player in that locker room, not twenty minutes earlier.A laptop or a notebook is a portable personal computer with a clamshell form factor, suitable for mobile use. There was a difference between laptops and notebooks in the past, but nowadays it has gradually died away. Laptops are commonly used in a variety of settings, including at work, in education, and for personal multimedia.
Back at Verizon Center, the media assembles in a cramped small room just off the press lounge, sitting on plastic folding seats in rows aligned crazily in front of a trio of large television cameras. Friendly colleagues sit together like cliques at a school assembly. In the social sciences, a clique (CanE, UK /ˈkliːk/ or US /ˈklɪk/) is a group of people who interact with each other more regularly and intensely than others in the same setting. Interacting with cliques is part of normative social development regardless of gender, ethnicity, or popularity. Although cliques are most commonly studied during adolescence and middle childhood, they exist in all age groups.
"So, here's a random question," he surmises, and Frank Butler, still mid-whatever final action would make him at last ready to go home, takes a single generous step forward toward the questioner, betraying none of the annoyance that defined his presentation to the scrum. Frank John Butler (May 3, 1909 – October 30, 1979) was a professional American football offensive lineman in the National Football League. He played four seasons for the Green Bay Packers.
The question is unimportant, and silly. Butler laughs into his protein drink, chokes a tiny bit, smiles, and talks like a person. It's an enjoyable and passing few moments of a actual person being an actual person, and the media has no use for it, whatsoever.
Lynn Hoppes was an ESPN reporter for many years. He can be found on twitter (@lhoppes).