Wednesday, February 27, 2013

The party starts at 10:23 pm

First and foremost let me say that while I can appreciate the athleticism of Michael Jordan and recognize that he is the best that ever played the game of basketball I was not ever a "Jordan fan"  Hate me if you want.  But the Jordan fan in my family is my baby brother Angel, my standom was reserved for Magic Johnson.  I was once a great fan of the NBA and enjoyed watching it. Today, not so much.

Our story begins...

Crystal and I had talked about going to NBA All Star Weekend in Houston Feb 14-14, 2013.  As usual we arranged our accommodations and flights.  In exchange for cat sitting, our soror Marketa let us crash at her crib while she rolled out to a wedding in Louisiana.  (Thanks Keta, love you)

We arrived Thursday night, nothing big to report there.

Friday, we get up and decide to hit the Galleria in Houston.  Yes.  That Galleria, the one that was shut down on Saturday because too many folks had descended upon it.  Any how we valet park the car (cause we fancy), it actually turned out to be the smartest thing we did that morning.  Then proceed to spend the next 10 hours, YES 10 HOURS in the mall, doing God knows what.  I wont bore you with the details, but suffice to say we had a free dinner to end our day in the mall and were headed back to the apartment at 8pm to get ready to hit the scene.

I had no idea what or where we would be going, I had only been told that the party started at 10:23 pm ( What an odd time to start a party I thought out loud) and that we needed to be there as close to that time so as to ensure we got in.  So we primped and got ready and then we were off.  

We drive to one of the Hotels to pick up another soror, Terri, and then head to the "destination".  So we are a few minutes away from arriving and Crystal says to Terri "Ana doesn't know where she is going". 

 Terri:  Oh I have the address, just enter it into the GPS  
Crystal:   (with a laugh in her voice) "No, we got that.  Ana doesn't know to which event we are going to" 
me:  (interrupting) "Yeah, Crystal is probably taking me to a Q party".  
Terri:  Do you mind if I tell her?
Crystal:  Sure
Terri:  Well Ana, you know Michael Jordan is turning 50 years old on Sunday, we are headed to his 50th birthday party
Me:  So we are going to a Q party.  (Laughing)  WOW!
Crystal:  I didn't want to tell you in case at the last minute we couldn't go.

We park and walk to get in line

As we walk to the line I notice Erik Spoelstra, coach of the Miami Heat Walking in.  I smile to myself and think I wonder if Magic is here?

So we walk in to the party and immediately I am met with the image of Michael Jordan and a pictorial tribute to him

Each of the towers is topped with a picture encased in glass with  Jordan's milestones in it
Then we walk around the flying Jordan, up the stairs and small talk with some of Terri's former co workers and friends.  We start to make a loop around the place and run into Antoine Walker, some small talk there.  I can see Big Tigger from where I am standing, he waves, I wave back. Then we walk around some more.  Just then R Kelly takes the stage at the front of the room and proceeds to perform.  We stop to watch and Crystal points out that on the other side of the couch from where we were standing was Nas.  It was all I could do to not hurdle that couch and ask him to spit some lyrics.  I also had on 6 inch heels and was wearing a dress, so I don't thing the couch hurdling thing would have gone over well.  

Well we continued to walk through the party and then I saw him.  No, Not Magic.  I saw Michael Jordan.  He was about 25 feet away from me.  In his own VIP section at this already EXCLUSIVE party.  We continue to walk and Crystal stops to talk to some folks she knows, then Terri says "I'm going to go over and say hi to Michael"  So I walked behind Terri and had to shimmy past (think grind up on, ok so in my memory it was grinding but I slightly touched) Cam Newton to get into the area where Michael was.  

Michael greeted Terri with a great big hello and a hug and they chatted for a minute as I stood there.  Then Terri looks at me and says "Michael this is a girlfriend, Ana".  She introduced me to MJ, I talk fast, wish him a happy birthday, tell him how much of an MJ fan my brother Angel
 is and how we used to trick my mom into letting us stay up late to watch him and Magic and the NBA in general and then I say have a Happy Birthday, and he leans down and he hugs me.  During our hug I ask "will you take a picture with me?" he says "sure", I turn to Terri and in true publicist/PR/Marketing fashion she's all like"NO" so I turn and see the person waiting to talk to Michael and I say "Ndamukong hi!can you take this picture?" He obliged. So thank you Terri for the intro and thank you Ndamukong Su for taking the picture. 

after being introduced to the greatest to ever play the game of basketball
I thanked Michael for being so gracious and walked away.  For the next few seconds my hands were actually shaking.  I just met Michael Jordan, the man, the myth, the legend.  I immediately walked to where Crystal was standing and told her and then as she talked to me, I sent the picture to my baby brother Angel.  I knew he was going to loose his mind.

MJ talking to Kobe and holding court with Melo, LeBron and others
For the next hour or so I watched as the next generation of NBA players came to "kiss the ring".   I stood within 10 feet of Jordan talking to Carmelo, LeBron, and Kobe to name a few.  There were also former NBA players that came by to wish Jordan a Happy Birthday.  Guys who played with him, against him.  Those players that I enjoyed watching so many years ago.  But no, no Magic in sight.  There were also other athletes and entertainers in the mix.  All the while R Kelly sang live from a stage in the front of the room.  

This was only the beginning of All Star Weekend, however it was also the highlight of the weekend, I mean can you think of anything that could top this?

Click Here to view all the pictures I took that night.

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