In August, the average NBA fan’s calendar tends to drag. The excitement of the Finals, Draft, and Free Agency exist as distant memories of June and July, while the NBA preseason awaits in the ever-more distant October.
Well, unless you’re a Sixers fan.
Usually here at The Painted Lines, I’m giving my perspective from the stands, as a fan, but today at this free-to-the-public, family-friendly event, I got to peek into the reporting side of TPL with our stalwart Sixers and Blue Coats beatwriter, Jason Blevins. It was a hot and sunny day, but the Sixers, the players, and our local media (shout out Serena Winters) couldn’t have been cooler. Here’s how the day went:
Jason and I arrived a little early, around 11:30am, which is one of the best outcomes when you’re fighting against Saturday shore traffic. We were able to use that time to do a quick video about all kinds of topics, Sixers & otherwise:
The Beach Bash Begins!
The event was in full swing at 12pm, almost immediately, as many fans had been lining up early to secure a voucher for an autograph from either Zhaire Smith or Josh Richardson, both in attendance for the festivities today. There was a LOT to do, and this was one of the most fun events I’ve been to. Kudos to the Sixers and great venue host Pig Dog Beach Bar BQ for this one, cause it was a true bash. There was live music, food & drink, dancing, face-painting, plenty of blow-up beach games (giant horseshoes was my personal favorite), autograph stations, both “Air” Franklin and Coaty, and even a giant Ben Franklin. My wife Erin and I had a blast walking around in the sand and sun:
The Sixers Stixers were also in full effect & Sixers legend World B Free even predicted a title!
Jason and other media members were able to get some exclusive time with Zhaire Smith post-autograph signing. Zhaire has been hard at work this offseason working back from injury last year, telling Jason that he looks forward to playing hard this season as he knows Philly “loves hard-working players.” Check it out, in full here:
When Josh Richardson arrived, he started with a chat with the media. He seemed excited for the season and is looking forward to the home opener against the Boston Celtics where he can “be part of the rivalry” that Sixers have had with them. He was also impressed with the Jersey shore venue, and explained his answer for fans looking to build him a fan club, in the spirit of the #MikeScottHive: #JosuélitosHooligans. Here’s the interview, in full:
On a lighter note, Josh is an awesome Twitter follow, but he took it to a new level today, in real life – he was willing to play me in rock-paper-scissors:
Josh Richardson – what a guy!
As Josh went to sign autographs and enjoy the rest of the beach festivities, my wife Erin, Jason, and I headed over to the famed Wildwood Boardwalk for a refreshing slice of Mack’s Pizza. As a fan and today, part-time media member, I was truly blown away by this event. The venue, the fun, the dancing, the atmosphere – it was awesome.
Big thanks to the Sixers for making basketball in August fun – here’s to celebrating a 2019-2020 title at the next Summer Shore Tour!