eeting someone you know but don’t know filled me with anticipation. When that guy is an NBA All-Star, well, the anticipation increases manifold. I mean, how often do you get the chance to have a beer with the guy who was the bee in Shaq’s bonnet–if he wore one that is–and flop so well that his acting would make Chevy Chase’s Gerald Ford impersonations look simply amateurish? Well, I had that beer with Vlade Divac.
On Saturday night, I left my class reunion to meet up with him at Yoro no Taki. Steffy said she would be there and apparently she tried to come, but didn’t. This is not her fault, of course. The address I gave was correct, but the shop has been sold to someone else, and they changed the name. Steffy said that she thought it was the wrong place and went to the stand-by place. Sorry, girl. They must have changed the name very recently because everyone I talked to did not realize the place had changed either.
Well, I was just as perplexed to see the restaurant’s name change when I went there, but walked in nonetheless, just in case someone was waiting there. I guess the O-man is pretty recognizable because someone immediately got up and motioned toward me. I smiled, walked over and shook his hand. It was Vlade. I must admit, I didn’t recognize him right away. He was wearing glasses and was pretty clean shaven. What really surprised me was that he was much shorter than he appears on TV. He’s listed as 7’1″ but he could not have been more than 5’8″ max. Oh well, so much for truth in advertising.
Anyway, we had a pleasant albeit short time together. We talked about Xanga and others we’d like to meet–were your ears burning, Sammy? I asked him why he changed adresses, and Vlade finally fessed up about a freaked out fan who was trying desperately to meet up with him. She seemed okay at first, you know, your typical fan. But when she called him in his locker room during a team meeting at the Arco Arena, he knew he had to get away. That’s when he decided to exercise his free agency and moved back to LA to play with the Lakers.
You know how I’m trying to lose weight? Well, Vlade gave me a great tip. Spinning. At first, I sat there thinking, I’m sure the early colonists were svelt, but can you really lose weight from spinning? I guess the look on my face gave away my ignorance. He immediately explained that spinning was an aerobic exercise but instead of doing side-steps and grapevines, you ride a stationary bike in a class. The “ride” takes you through various speeds set to music and the class–and getting to know your classmates–was motivational. I’d consider it, but the O-man really can’t afford a health club membership at the moment. Oh well.
So that, in a nutshell, was my meeting with Vlade. We had a nice time with a few beers, and I thoroughly enjoyed our time together. Thanks for meeting me, dude.
FLASH: The O-man Almost Dies
Yes, I was almost shot to death. No, no, no. I was not a victim of the random pellet gun shootings in LA. It happened in Zurich, Switzerland. If you go to Eechim‘s site, you’ll see me as a seemingly dead Agent. In reality, I’m just sleeping… anyway, Eechim farked my photo and wove it into the fabric of her story. She got my face from a pretty old photo, and it must have taken quite a while for her to find it. I must say that she must have a lot of time on her hand, and I mean a LOT! Hahahahha. Just kidding, girl. It’s a pleasure to be a part of your story. (How’s that for advertising?)