LONDON – Thursday was about resuming what’s called my “Game-day Workflow.”
When covering games at home, that involves heading to the 76ers’ morning shootaround, filing one or two afternoon stories and then covering that night’s game. On this occasion, the opponent was the Boston Celtics here at The 02 Arena.
The Sixers did what is starting to become a habit: blowing a big lead and losing the game. This time, they lost, 114-103, after leading by 22 points. However, there were plenty of head-scratching moments long before the Sixers began unraveling.
It actually started during Wednesday’s media availability when I witnessed a respected European reporter rocking a Sixers T-shirt. But who could have imagined the reporters would bring “We’re Number One” foam fingers to the game?
I dang near fell out of my seat when the two European reporters walked into the media room with them. “This has to be a joke,” is what initially went through my mind. “Stop playing y’all,” was the second thing I thought.
Me being me, I had to investigate to make sure everything was as it appeared. While approaching the table, it was obvious that my eyes weren’t wrong. They actually approached me and even asked for a picture. One talked about his love for the Sixers and said that Richaun Holmes was his favorite player.
At the time, I was the lone American reporter in the media room. And it was obvious that none of the other reporters felt this was wrong.
— Keith Pompey (@PompeyOnSixers) January 12, 2018
In America, reporters have to be objective. “No cheering in the press box,” as they say. However, I’m realizing that it can be different in Europe. These three reporters weren’t the only ones with a rooting interest.
A reporter directly in front of me was a straight-up fan boy, celebrating after plays. At one point, I had to ask him to sit down.
This truly was mindboggling.
But, hey, that’s something else I won’t forget about this trip.